Traffic And Weather

  • Record Label: Virgin
  • Release Date: Apr 3, 2007
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
  1. It's sturdy, well-written power pop, but it falls prey to some of the faults of craftsmanlike pop -- mainly, it's possible to hear the craft behind the pop instead of just getting sucked into the sugar rush of the melodies.
  2. Matters of love and life dominate the album, as they do all great pop, although there’s a sense that the band is more in on the joke this time out.
  3. Traffic and Weather finds them treading water in the worst possible way.
  4. Uncut
    80
    Cements FOW's status as the savviest modern-day practitioners of both Beatlesque pop and Steely Dan's cool precision. [Jun 2007, p.94]
  5. Here they fail to provide the elusive novelty follow-up to "Stacy's Mom" but nonetheless invent many dandy new ways not to be in love.
  6. Under The Radar
    60
    After such a lengthy break between records, the disappointing ratio of great-to-crummy songs is a mild surprise. Traffic and Weather could’ve been so much better. [#17, p.84]
  7. Their songs are either shitty soft-rock or worse, wink-nudge pastiches like the new-wavey 'Someone To Love'.
  8. There's a feeling that maybe it all comes a little too easily, and perhaps they would be best advised to think harder before committing songs to tape.
  9. Traffic And Weather offers vivid little snapshots of characters and places, but in Schlesinger and Collingswood's hands, a snapshot can tell the whole story.
  10. Spin
    60
    It's like an alt-rock adaptation of a John Cheever anthology. [Apr 2007, p.87]
  11. The end product is, on the whole, a simply wonderful CD of songs about love, lust, and loneliness.
  12. Alternative Press
    60
    It's something they've done better before. [May 2007, p.158]
  13. Paste Magazine
    40
    The band simply reiterates earlier ideas less interestingly. [Apr 2007, p.54]
  14. Magnet
    70
    There's always a surplus of good humor to carry us past the rough patches. [#75, p.98]
  15. The perfectly pleasant Traffic and Weather is inarguably diminished returns.
  16. If ‘‘Traffic and Weather,’’ doesn’t as frequently pack the knock-out punch of 2003’s superb ‘‘Welcome Interstate Managers,’’ it still more than holds its own in the fight for pop music that is both catchy and canny.
  17. 70
    On Traffic and Weather, their lyrical touch slips. [Apr 2007, p.114]
  18. Front to back, this 14-song slice of bop-worthy Americana hits the spot like hamburgers and coffee.
  19. They’re still far and away the best bet for impeccably produced, beach-ready power-pop, and way better than your shitty sounding power-pop band, so excuse them if they seem to harbor no interest in doing anything else.
  20. Billboard
    80
    They still pen power-pop tunes so utterly irresistible—"Someone to Love," "This Better Be Good," "Strapped for Cash"—that they deserve to be every bit as ubiquitous at radio as the elements of the album's title. Oh, and they're still brilliant. [2 Apr 2007]
  21. Despite being four years in the making, Traffic and Weather finds Fountains Of Wayne offering more of the same and yet decidedly less, working your nerves to the point where you’ll wonder whether you ever truly liked them in the first place.
  22. Record geeks beyond repair, the songwriters still lace the more accessible material here with their trademark wit.
  23. The left-bent, middle-class everymen in these songs are consistently disarming.
  24. The everyday-ness of the songs makes them easily relatable, but, like a commute where traffic and weather happen on the 10s, the album starts to feel routine by the end.
  25. 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.
  26. Without interesting stories to tell, it all feels like an empty-calorie exercise in vapid songcraft.
  27. As usual, the band never takes itself too seriously, crafting melodies around a lively, vigorous cast of characters that practically come to life.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. ParcoM.
    Aug 25, 2007
    9
    Not the best FOW album ever, but very solid, very enjoyable, and sticks with you, the way true FOW music should.
  2. JohnR
    Jul 6, 2007
    8
    How corny is '92 Subaru'? Barenaked Ladies heard it and said, "Wow, that's corny. Are they Canadian, too?" Hey, Fountains of How corny is '92 Subaru'? Barenaked Ladies heard it and said, "Wow, that's corny. Are they Canadian, too?" Hey, Fountains of Wayne, Ray Davies just called. He heard '92 Subaru' and says he wants his embarrassing '80s period back. Haha, seriously, '92 Subaru' aside, this is song-for-song every bit as satisfying as WIM. There's at least three masterpieces here ('T&W', 'New Routine', 'This Better Be Good'), and the rest is completely listenable and not completely disposable. 'Planet of Weed' is hilarious and kind of sweet -- I don't get the backlash against that song. And, OK, even '92 Subaru' scratches some dark, repressed .38-Special-adoring itch somewhere. Pitchfork hates pop music, that's all I can figure. Anyone who likes pop music will like this album, and like it repeatedly. Full Review »
  3. TedR.
    Jul 3, 2007
    9
    Great power pop....songs I can listen to over and over again.