This isn't a dreadful record by any means, but it’s not very convincing either. The middle of road noise bears some relation to their past work, but lacks any of the grit or charm that made them such a cool little indie band.
The Fountains Of Wayne story can be split into two easy sections – from 1995 to 1999 they made a series of cool little indie records that the critics loved and nobody bought. Then they went away for a couple of years, came back and had a massive hit with ‘Stacy’s Mom’ and its teenage wet dream video.
After their years in the wilderness, no-one would begrudge Fountains Of Wayne their moment but, as the sales figures rose and the critical kudos fell, one maybe wished that a fairer balance could be struck. Traffic And Weather won’t do much to allay those concerns. It’s not a dreadful record by any means, but it’s not very convincing either.
With their sunny harmonies, smooth edged guitars and knowing lyrics, Fountains Of Wayne fit neatly into the US music industry’s idea of ‘alternative rock’ – music that is in truth neither alternative nor indeed rock. This essentially middle of road noise bears some relation to their past work but lacks any of the grit or charm that made them such a cool little indie band. Bigger yes, richer certainly but better? Not to these ears.
In an ideal world where people of consummate good taste (Er, anyone we know,George? - Ed) ruled the radio waves, the much-maligned genre of power pop would - by rights - be an airplay staple and practitioners of this noble art such as Fountains Of Wayne …Read More