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Showing posts from April, 2007

144. Fountains Of Wayne: Traffic And Weather (2007)

Fountains Of Wayne have taken some unexpected lumps lately. The former critical darlings' 4th release, Traffic And Weather, has been met with some harsh assessments, especially from Paste and Pitchfork.

Paste writer Marc Hirsh claims that the band has run out of steam. Pitchfork reviewer Matt LeMay concludes that the album finds FOW "treading water in the worst possible way." Both of them give the Traffic And Weather one of the most insulting comments an album can recieve, that it's mediocre and boring.

But is it true?

After a few listens, carefully aware of his own bias, this long-time diehard Fountains fan is happy to say no, it isn't true at all. Of course, that leads to another question: What's wrong with Marc and Matt?

I've prepared a list to try to suss out their problem.

1) They hate Fountains Of Wayne and always have.
Right off we get Marc out of the way, because this is obviously his issue. Read how he begins the second sentence of his review: &qu…

In Brief

139. Kaiser Chiefs: Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007)

Ignore the ass-backwards review on Pitchfork and enjoy zippy XTC-derived pop from a group that has improved on its exciting but uneven debut. Ruby is joy and fear all mixed together, Heat Dies Down is as good of a meet-then-break-up-messily song as you could ask for, and the thrilling Everything Is Average Nowadays is anything but. On album closer Retirement lead singer Ricky Wilson claims, "I want to retire" but let's hope it doesn't happen anytime soon. Grade: A



140. The Broken West: I Can't Go On, I'll Go On (2007)

Mining the same indie power pop territory as The New Pornographers is a good approach, and Los Angeles' The Broken West do it well, even without Neko Case's gorgeous voice. The album never quite acheives full lift-off, but nevertheless cruises at a smooth, enjoyable altitude. Check out Brass Ring or Abagail. Grade: B




141. Alexa Ray Joel: Sketches (2006)

Billy and Christie's little gi…