Air Traffic - Fractured Life (Cover Artwork)

Air Traffic

Fractured Life (2007)


Did someone order another typical rock album? 'Cause Air Traffic have just delivered one. And it's a shame, really, considering that there are some elements here that could have added up better. See vocalist Chris Wall's operatic pipes, some hooks the Killers would be proud to call their own, and more energy than most run-of-the-mill-rock groups, for example. The problem is that the band are often content to dish out the sort of lazy head-in-the-clouds numbers that fellow Brits, Coldplay, have built a career around.

If Air Traffic could have cut this album down to an EP we might have been alright. See songs like "Charlotte," "I Like That" and "Get in Line" recall bands like Blur and Symposium thanks to their addictive bounce, fuzzy guitars and impassioned delivery. They are the sort of tracks you can tap your foot to, and while that may not be anything revolutionary, it's a fantastic feat compared to the other dull piano-led numbers here.

Songs like "Shooting Star," "Empty Space" and "I Can't Understand" are blatant stabs at arena ballads. The problem is, I don't want to raise my lighter. The music is bland, generic, and unmoving, like the members of Air Traffic locked themselves in a room with a Keane record and weren't allowed out until they wrote a song that sounded like it could have been on there.

Ambitions run high on Fractured Life, but Air Traffic sound at their best when they are merely trying to rock, not change lives or score dramatic love scenes.