Friday, March 30, 2007

Traffic & Weather - Fountains Of Wayne

Image Hosted by

I've always (well not ALWAYS, but you get my drift) thought that Fountains Of Wayne were a vastly underrated proposition. 2003's Welcome Interstate Managers was wonderful in a way that their one UK "hit" Stacy's Mom could only hint at. If anything that painted them, over here anyway, as some kind of novelty act, a "fact" which can gain some credence if you toss in their I Want An Alien For Christmas single (one of only two other Wayne singles to hit the UK top 40) and the fact that they provided the music for the Tom Hanks film That Thing You Do (which I suppose would technically make another top 40 UK hit for them as well, even if it was released under another name).

And all this is a shame as they craft some of the finest pop songs you're likely to hear. This is a band who could toss out a 30 track B-sides and rarities compilation which packed more top notch radio-friendly pop tunes than most bands A-sides compilations would muster.

But anyway, you get my drift. They're really rather good and nearly 4 years after (the rather excellent) Welcome Interstate Managers they're back with a brand new studio album.

And as you might expect, Traffic & Weather continues that. Ok, so it's not as good as their last album (Hackensack off that album would be one of my 10 "Desert Island Discs) but it's still very good.

We get a whole new cast of memorable characters (even if a correlation between them and ones from previous albums can be easily made in some cases) and the tunes are as catchy as ever. Particular highlights include Someone To Love, with it's neat little twist at the end, title track Traffic And Weather, with TV news anchors lusting after each other and the Beatles-esque Revolving Dora.

It's not going to win them any new fans, as anyone who doesn't like them won't see much deviation from the usual formula. Even some fans may come away with a distinct "we've heard it all before" vibe. But most will find this is another enjoyable and welcome collection which does contain some of their best songs to date. One can only hope we don't have to wait 4 years for the next album.

1 comment:

Ian Yang said...

good to know that FOW released a new album, it's like suddenly all the fun of listening to their pop songs came back to me in a flash!