Fractured Life Review

artist: Air Traffic date: 04/23/2010 category: compact discs
Air Traffic: Fractured Life
Release Date: Jul 2, 2007
Label: EMI
Genres: Indie Rock
Number Of Tracks: 12
Air Traffic's Fractured Life is a debut album of brilliant, occasionally brutal, mood music.
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 7
 Overall Impression: 8
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reviews (2) 3 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7
Fractured Life Reviewed by: cravincatz, on april 23, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Fractured Life, Air Traffic's debut album is a fantastic combination of fast paced pop melodies and piano ballads. The album not only showcases Chris Walls ability to produce foot tapping melodies, but the band's skill level as musicians. Many a time I have found that bands first albums showcase potential but do not feel comfortable.There is an tension behind many debut albums that fractured life does not showcase in any way. Air Traffic surpasses my expectations, playing beautiful piano melodies and throwing down killer drum beats I find they know what they are doing. While their are no musical innovations there are some great songs that will get your foot tapping. When listening to Charlotte, which made #33 on the UK charts in the year 2007 you'll find your self starting to nod and trying to catch every word that comes out of his great almost Cockney like accent. Just Abuse Me, the first song I owned by them before I purchased the album put me in a whirl wind of piano and lyrics. The piano solo is to die for and showcases Wall's ability to play. // 8

Lyrics: One of the greatest thing about this band is Chris Wall's voice. The problem with many indie bands today is that they can't sing well. Air Traffic sure doesn't have to be worried about that. Wall has a smooth voice which can hit many different pitches, and his accent compliments the music extremely well. Even though the album is fantastic the lyrics are probably Air Traffics Achilles Heel. They don't seem to be able to come up with lyrics that have substance. Every song's words sound the same and leaves the listener unimpressed. The Cliche choice of words and the fact that every song is about love can get old, quickly. // 6

Overall Impression: Many band's have trouble overcoming the success of their debut album. I think this will be the case for Air Traffic. Even though Fractured Life shows signs of talent and great ability, I don't think Air traffic will be able to find a new sound or a new approach at the old sound. Not to say I am not looking forward to the next album, but I don't want to get the hopes up. This album would be a great purchase for someone who is in to indie music but not into the abstract sounding bands. Air Traffic Produces a great debut with some beautiful tracks but in the end it leaves you wondering if it was really that great or if the catchy melodies and cheesy lyrics played a trick on you. // 7

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overall: 8.7
Fractured Life Reviewed by: sweetpeasuzie, on april 02, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Air Traffic's debut album Fractured Life is a blend of euphoric synth-threaded rock, introspective acoustics with Celtic-soul, and a tinge of nu-shoegaze atmospherics reflective of Test Your Reflex. Their track Shooting Star is a refined piano melody sandwiched by passages of engorged guitar chords and fluttering synths which thicken the atmosphere of the song's chorus parts. The band's melodic rock composites create beautifully hued keyboard channels and sensually moving guitar silhouettes floating along billowing rhythmic swells like in No More Running Away, which moves intermittently between moments of slow and high winds. The cabaret-rock style of the piano struts of Just Abuse Me is fattened up by palpitating drum kicks and flashy guitar riffs imbibed on expressive showtunes-like theatrics. The mellow piano pumps of Empty Space are filled with sorrow as the vocal melody gets strapped in creating melancholy grooves that show human vulnerability in a clear light. Come On commences with warm Celtic-like acoustic strokes that are layered in rock-driven guitars and rhythmic drumbeats that project a resemblance to Kasabian, while the track Charlotte delivers folksy quivers with catchy rhythmic steps and swerving guitar chords that show reflections of The Kooks. The album conveys personable stories shown in melodically toned atmospherics that make them more than just listenable, the songs actually make for great power-boasters. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are reflections about real-life dilemmas and situations like in the band's song Charlotte with words showing someone standing on the edge of a precipice: Losing, am I losing all my fame/ I can't stand the days that I'm alone/ Tell me, do you feel the same/ And are you glad I came/ Can I walk you home/ Cause I'm wasted/ Face down on the floor/ Can't take anymore/ Give it all away/ Lately I can't find the eyes/ Help me realize that I am in love/ Am I in love, am I in love? And then sometimes, the lyrics are a confirmation of love like in Shooting Star which tells: I'll be coming up to meet you/ I'll be there to make you mine/ Pretty, if the rain will pour/ I'll be knocking at your window/ I'll be begging you for more/ It's as if you've come along too soon/ And I'm trying to fit you in, but I can't seem to find the room/ Cutie, if it all falls through/ We can piece it back together/ I can learn to trust you too/ You're just too good to lose and I can't refuse/ So don't make me choose between the two/ I'm better in here in my atmosphere/ Don't you know who you are, you're my shooting star. // 8

Overall Impression: Air Traffic's album Fractured Life is an album so worth keeping. It puts into music the cycles of highs and lows that transpire through one's life. The band is a product of Bournemouth, England, a Wessex border town that they say has no rock heritage whatsoever, although the members certainly show a keen instinct for melodic rock fumes. The group's singer and main songwriter Chris Wall said about the band's hometown in a press release; "There are no music venues, and absolutely no pressure to sound like anyone else. So you have the potential to develop your own style." Wall's expressive singing attracted the attention of his bandmates, drummer David Jordan and guitarist Tom Pritchard, and rounding out the band is bassist Jim Maddock. For a debut album, it has given Air Traffic their first victory, and they got it on their first run out of the gate. // 9

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