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Fountains of Wayne, ‘Traffic & Weather’ (Virgin)

Four years after “Stacy’s Mom” provided these power-poppers with an unexpected Top 40 hit, Traffic & Weather find them eagerly plunging into every genre imaginable, from Euro-disco (the buoyant opener “Someone to Love,” a.k.a. “Stacy’s Daughter”) to ’70s-blue-eyed pop (the Billy Joel-biting “Strapped for Cash”). Sure, it’s a lot to digest, but Traffic is populated by astutely observed characters — the lovelorn news anchor, the flirty DMV worker — who are bound by their pent-up frustrations. It’s like an alt-rock adaptation of a John Cheever anthology.

Now Hear This: Fountains of Wayne – “Someone to Love” WINDOWS MEDIA

>> Listen to Fountains of Wayne on Napster