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Traffic and Weather
Artist: Fountains of Wayne
Label: Virgin Records
Time: 14 Tracks 47:27
New York City’s Fountains of Wayne, having been the rising star of retro rock over the past few years. Their new album “Traffic and Weather” has continued their exploration of different musical experimentation and pop/rock. This may be their finest effort so far, in this critic’s opinion.
“Someone To Love” is both the album opener and the current single, which I first heard on my local college radio station. It tells the tail of two people who, despite their successful careers, are lonely. The song is an encouragement to anyone who is looking to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right.
“92 Subaru” is a fun song that features the protagonist bragging about buying a car from ‘a couple of old ladies’ and then remodeling it into his new cool mode of transportation.
“Yolanda Hayes” features a very catchy pounding piano loop in a funny song about a DMV employee dealing with customers all day.
“Fire In the Canon” is a country sounding tune, while “This Better Be Good” is another humorous song written from the perspective of a guy who is convinced his girlfriend is seeing other people behind his back:
I thought you could be trustedThe way this song is written is just funny to me for some reason. While the subject is serious, the way in which the rhyming patterns work out is just plain amusing!
“Michael and Heather At the Baggage Claim” is an acoustic folk song about a couple whose luggage was lost at an airport and the process in which they attempt to get it back.
“Strapped for Cash” is another humorous song about a guy who is being threatened by the mafia for his in-ability pay back money he borrowed.
“I-95” is a gorgeous rootsy sounding love song from the perspective of a young man who is willing to drive long ours to see the woman he loves:Two other songs on the project, “Hotel Majestic” and “Seatbacks and Traytables” deal with the topic of the difficulty of life on the road as a band. These two songs, while again spiced with humor, are also at the same time very serious. I often realize how much I don’t envy popular bands and musicians for this very reason. They spend an awfully large amount of time on the road away from their families and friends that I can imagine it gets to be very difficult at times.
This a project that features many characters and stories put into songs. If you are a fan of songwriters like Ben Folds and Jim Croce you will definitely enjoy Chris Collingwood’s songwriting style, and if you enjoy retro-rock with a lot of variety you won’t go wrong with these guys musical tastes either.