December 06, 2004 12:00 PM


Passing Through

The older he gets, the more Travis, 45, sounds like George Jones, down to the little catches in their throats that they both use so expressively. This is the absolute best thing if you’re a male country singer. Travis’s splendid latest drifts back toward country-pop and away from the gospel excursions he has taken in recent years. So much the better, since pop’s wider range allows Travis to flex his versatility, which he does mightily on Passing Through, from the rueful “I Can See It in Your Eyes” to the nostalgic “Four Walls.” And on the witty highlight “Pick Up the Oars and Row,” Travis laconically sings, “Sometimes love is a river of tears, so pick up the oars and row.”

•DOWNLOAD THIS: “Pick Up the Oars and Row”

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