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Air Traffic Fractured Life Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Amidst the usual album filler tracks, there are some real gems here

Helen Groom 2007

Air Traffic are a hard band to describe without name checking every other successful indie band in recent years. Sounds like Coldplay? Check. Sounds like Snow Patrol? Check. The list could go on endlessly.

A four piece from Bournemouth, they have a knack of writing songs that remind you just a little bit of something you have heard before. Enough to make you feel comfortable and familiar with each one, but not too much so that you feel as if you have heard it a million times before. It is a formula that should help them shift bucketloads of this debut album.

They’ve mastered the skill of writing great choruses. Listening to ‘’Charlotte’’ you can already see the crowd going mad and some major mosh pit thrashing. The same goes for ’’Never Even Told Me Her Name’’, which is sure to be a favourite with its fast, insistent, catchy chorus.

‘’No More Running Away’’ has the makings of a real anthem, with Chris Wall’s impassioned singing sounding eerily like The Long Pigs. But then you are confronted with ‘’Time Goes By’’, a pretty faceless track that is easily forgettable, followed by ‘’I Like That’’, a track with both a piano solo and a great Fratellis-esque chorus.

‘’Empty Space’’ starts off as if it is going to be a Keane-lite piano-laden monstrosity, but then veers more into Coldplay territory (which is handy seeing as it might be a while until their next album). The track has a haunting quality to it, lyrics dripping with regret.

The number of namechecks above might give you the impression that this is derivative, everyman music, and it would be very easy to underestimate and dismiss this album on the first listen. But that would be doing it a disservice. There is real passion in the lyrics and energy in the music, and while it‘s easy to dismiss more mainstream fare in a fit of muso snobbery, let’s remember that it never hurt the bands above to create music that people actually like.

Amidst the usual album filler tracks, there are some real gems here, and that alone suggests good things will happen for this band in the future.

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