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Traffic and Weather
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Top Customer Reviews
Maybe because the band has such a quirky sense of humor that infuses all their songs that critics find it hard to take them seriously when, clearly, they don't take themselves seriously.
Or perhaps because hip hop/rap, the purported music of the inner city, is actually selling to suburban kids looking for some way to rebel against the dull sameness of their upper middle class lives spent in manufactured communities with their green lawns and cul de sacs. Consequently, Fountains Of Wayne are the "Kings Of The 'Burbs'" whose music is full of references to shopping malls, airport terminals, Costco, diners and the DMV, can't break through because these are exactly the things the teenagers this music is supposedly geared towards are trying to rebel against (even though their intelligence lyrics are clearly Baby Boomer directed).
And more's the shame because Fountains Of Wayne have developed into the quintessential American Pop band with one brilliant song after the other, all with great lyrics and perfect arrangements and relatively free of angst thanks to their sense of humor. This time around they even show evidence of being influenced by a pair of bands that once wore that crown, the Eagles (on "'92 Subaru" and "Fire In The Canyon") and America (on "Michael And Heather At The Baggage Claim" and "I-95") and have delivered a CD that can more than hold its own with those groups' classics.Read more ›
For those who remember the synthesizer tinge 1980s, most of the tracks echo that particular music era and a little 1960s thrown in for good measure. The title track, "Traffic and Weather" has a "dirty laundry" feel, "Yolanda Hayes" is fashioned with a little psychedelic Beatles sound about the woman at the DMV counter. Two songs on the record, "Fire in the Canyon" and "Michael and Heather at the Baggage Claim," have a poetic and storytelling quality. "I-95" is one of the other slow-paced songs, but do not be fooled with the strumming acoustic guitar-middle of the road feel because behind the music it is all tongue-in-cheek, especially for those who have traveled along that route. And the album ends with the waltz-like and country-western-campfire sounding "Seatbacks and "Traytables."
After listening to TRAFFIC AND WEATHER, one may categorize most of the songs as looking out the window while traveling songs. Overall, Fountains of Wayne will keep the wheels rolling along the road, which may have one humming along to all of the songs.
I was ecstatic to hear that "Traffic and Weather" was coming out after 4 long years, and I made sure to pick it up on my lunch break on 4/3. Given that the two original songs they wrote for "Out of State Plates" were great, I thought they were definitely going to put out a whole album of that caliber. But to be honest, the sound is just not very good. As I listened to it for the first time, I slowly became disappointed as I hoped each new track would be one of those catchy tunes I came to love from their first and third albums. Before I knew it, I was at track 14 wondering what I had waited 4 years for. The whole "Power Pop" phrase that has been tagged to their music seems irrelevant with this effort; there's not a whole lot of powerful music on this disc.
"Someone to Love," which kicks off the cd, sets us up beautifully: the whole time we are listening to the song, we think that these two people are made for each other. Even their names (Seth and Beth) rhyme. We hear how Seth "calls his mom / Says he's doing fine / She's got somebody on the other line." That's brilliant -- Seth is a corporate lawyer whose mother has more of a life than he does. Beth's "job of her dreams" is banal: "Re-touching photos for a magazine / Aimed at teens." She wears contacts (presumably to make herself more attractive) but has nothing more to look forward to than a bad sitcom and "an hour in the shower." But rather than put these two together, the song ends with Beth cutting in front of Seth and leaving him "for dead" just to get a taxi. That kind of ironic sucker-punch makes the point that these people will remain alone unless they completely change the way they go through their days.
Most of the other songs are strong as well. "Strapped for Cash," "I-95," "New Routine" (with its great line about old men who "talk about real estate, prostates, Costco"), and "Hotel Majestic" are particularly good. "Planet of Weed" is hilarious once you realizes it is making fun of the whole stoner mentality, especially when the speaker can't focus long enough to come up with rhyme for "Oliver Stone".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As with other Fountains of Wayne albums, this one keeps growing on you. Catchy tunes and clever lyrics abound. If you like Fountains of Wayne, you'll enjoy this.Published 3 months ago by L. B. Steenwyk
I know when I buy a new album and start playing it over and over that I've got something special. I have liked Fountains of Wayne for a while now, and this is one of their best. Read morePublished on March 1, 2014 by MusicManJP
I love the music, and that's why I bought the CD. The bad thing is the shipping now days. I bought this CD along with 2 books, and they all came in the same box.. Read morePublished on January 6, 2014 by Michael Arnold
The Fountains of Wayne are a true joy to listen to. This is my second CD by them, (Welcome Interstate Managers is the other), and they're simply wounderful entertainment!Published on April 24, 2013 by Catherine A. Rohm
another enjoyable and fun album from Fountains of Wayne.... a consistent rock sound with creative and unusual lyrics/storylines, very good, like their other recent albumsPublished on February 3, 2013 by Tom
A bit unusual for this 63 year old but I do like the latest trends in current music. I would recommend this to my friends and family too!Published on December 26, 2012 by Oregon Born Ken
One thing about Fountain of Wayne there is no let down. Their CD's get better
Good lyrics with the good sense of humor from songs "92 Subaru", "Yolanda Hayes"... Read more
Fountains of Wayne's Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger are big fans of flipping the big box of Pop Conventions and seeing what tumbles out, and with "Traffic And Weather,"... Read morePublished on December 17, 2011 by Tim Brough
I got this album without knowing who these guys were. Decided to take a chance and boy did it pay off. Read morePublished on October 4, 2010 by Evil Kamel