Two Hours Traffic has achieved considerable success with their previous releases, including a Polaris Prize nomination in 2008 for their second full-length album, Little Jabs. Their latest release, Foolish Blood, continues the trend they have set for catchy, unique, power-pop singles.
The Charlottetown quartet utilizes a standard guitar, bass, vocal and percussion line-up, but their songs are carefully crafted to remain distinctive and memorable. The album opens with “Magic”, followed by “Audrey”, both fantastically buoyant, love-oriented singles. The guitars are bright, the vocals are clear and the performance as a whole is well polished.
Not all the tracks are so blatantly romantic, though. “I Don't Want 2 Want U” and “Amour Than Amis” both tackle the more difficult aspects of love. The latter song struggles with a one-sided romance between friends, full of longing, but ultimately without resolution. This is one of the reasons that Foolish Blood stands out from other pop music; there is depth to the lyrics and subject matter beneath the standard upbeat hooks.
Many of these tracks bring a somewhat nostalgic element with them, hearkening back to earlier pop groups. Two Hours Traffic takes what works from the past and makes it relevant in the present day. The songs are therefore familiar and easy to get into, while simultaneously being memorable and new. This album is definitely worth a try for anyone who wants an up-tempo, catchy love song (or 11 of them), and delivers exactly what fans should expect.
Be sure to catch Two Hours Traffic on tour, including a stop at the Gateway in Calgary on April 17, and just about everywhere else in the meanwhile.
– Aaron Swanbergson