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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Traffic

Traffic

1968

Traffic
Album Summary

Traffic is the second studio album by the English rock band of the same name, released in 1968 on Island Records in the United Kingdom as ILPS 9081T (stereo), and United Artists in the United States, as UAS 6676 (stereo). The album peaked at number 9 in the UK albums chart and at number 17 on the Billboard 200. It was the last album recorded by the group before their initial breakup. The album was somewhat of a departure from the psychedelia of Traffic's debut, featuring a more eclectic display of influences from blues to folk and jazz. It was voted number 312 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.08

Votes

8701
Genres
Rock

Reviews

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Wed Jul 26 2023
3

I have very important announcement to make: Traffic is the band that Grateful Dead fans think the Grateful Dead is.

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Tue Apr 11 2023
2

Traffic dares to beg the question: "What's worse than 70's boomer rock?" It's 60's boomer rock. I could see any one of these tracks being used in a movie that somehow makes it enjoyable. This is old bar music through and through. Another case of "It's not terrible, but not good either" This album started off ok, but it just keeps getting worse further in. I could listen to this if it was playing on a speaker in a building, but probably wouldn't like to be stuck in a car playing it on a road trip This is a strong 2/5 I think I'm becoming more jaded as this goes on...

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Sat Apr 15 2023
5

Had expected to see Mr Fantasy in this list butthen we got JB Must Die, and now their second album appears. All three albums are 5 stars, but Mr Fantasy impressed me the most and hope it is still included in the list.

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Sat Apr 22 2023
5

10/10 all of Traffic’s albums are so creative and good, but done in such a fun, easy-listening kind of way

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Fri Jun 02 2023
5

Uskomaton albumi.. raskas....

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Fri Aug 04 2023
5

Great, great album. I’m starting to love this band so much! Very good mix of classic rock with a dash of prog and folk. And Steve Winwood is crazy talented. 8,5 out of 10

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Wed May 24 2023
4

And the award for the worst band name ever goes to… Traffic! I haven’t heard of them before, but why would you name a band after rage-inducing street congestion? Each to their own, so let’s find out if the music is good. Songs I already knew: none Favourites: Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring, Vagabond Virgin This was really good! It reminded be a fair bit of a lot of southern rock bands like 38 Special, so I was surprised to see they’re from Birmingham. To my ears they sound very American, but that would be me being wrong! The music is enjoyable here. There were no songs at all that I didn’t enjoy, but there were only a few that stood out as fantastic. Overall, a good album. Give it a try.

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Sat Jun 10 2023
4

This was a very well produced album featuring mostly blues rock. There were tinges of jazz and folk influence as well giving the music a more sophisticated sound. The songs felt balanced, well layered, and had an almost Grateful Dead like feeling of spontaneity though Traffic are a much tighter band (at least in the studio). Overall, the album was very light and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Sat Aug 26 2023
4

I've always liked Traffic quite a bit, but not quite as much as my friend Mike who was in a band with me. Mike played keyboards and tried to sing like Steve Winwood. His favorite song to play was Low Spark of High Heeled Boys. One day Mike met this girl and fell in love. I can't remember her name but she was pretty wild. Mike would have threesomes with her and another girl and tell us all about it when we would get together for jam sessions. One night, Mike's girl showed up and hung out with us during our jam session. When she left to go get us some beer, Mike lashed out at our drummer, claiming he was flirting with Mike's girl and was planning to sleep with her. It put a damper on the whole evening and ultimately broke up the band. Mike got engaged to this girl but the morning of the wedding he called me up to tell me the wedding was canceled because they had gotten into a big fight and broken up. I haven't really talked to Mike much since then, I hope he's doing okay. Anyway, I've always liked Traffic but hadn't really listened to this album much. I honestly thought the song "Feelin' Alright?" was by Buffalo Springfield or CSNY - had no idea it was Traffic. This was good, but I think the following two albums - John Barleycorn Must Die and The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys - are better. Still, I'm giving it 4 stars.

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Sat Apr 15 2023
3

Quel plaisir de voir que tout est rentré dans l'ordre, et que Robert nous propose de nouveaux albums insipides. C'est important de revenir aux bonnes vieilles habitudes !

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Sat Apr 15 2023
3

Traffic était déjà venu nous laisser un souvenir des plus périssables et remet le couvert avec ce projet déjà oublié.

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Wed Jul 12 2023
3

Ah, UK rock. Surprisingly I liked this album, songs did not sound the same which was a huge plus. But still felt like something that you'd just see in the clearance section. Not sure why it's on here.

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Fri Jul 14 2023
3

Traffic is a band that I'm aware of and could name one track from the band (not on this album), but I haven't listened to them much. I have seen others refer to Traffic as a band that they have enjoyed exploring, but I haven't been able to catch that spark to ignite my personal interest. I feel like my understanding of the band hasn't found its context in my personal listening experience or my understanding of where their music fits within pop culture. Overall, the album was okay. I listened to the extended version of the album and was fine with that. I think Joe Cocker has ruined "Feelin' Alright?" so that track is a drawback to the album. As long as I don't have to think about the lyrics to "Vagabond Virgin" I can round to 3 stars.

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Sun Apr 09 2023
5

Not sure why this particular Traffic album was chosen - hopefully some of the others will make an appearance later on. Very 1960's but hints of what's to come.

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Sat Apr 15 2023
5

For some reason never checked out this band, but this album sounded great. Good mix of rock, funk, and folk, and even some progressive rock that reminded me of early Genesis (especially on No Time to Live).

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Mon Aug 07 2023
5

early pysch rock with some super solid jams.

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Mon Aug 14 2023
5

Amazing blues rock album with the right amount of folk mixed in. Great range of instruments including flutes and organ add a unique sound that I think is quite ahead of it’s time. 9/10 but rounds up.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
5

I have never heard about Traffic more than a few words, and I don't think I listened to more than 1 or 2 songs. Now I'm in love with this album. It started so "standard", sounding like any other rock band from the '60s/70s, but it increased and doubled the bet on a strange (and familiar at the same time) mix of blues, classic rock, and a bit of experimentalism that really catches me. I hope to see more Traffic on the list since I got "John Barleycorn Must Die" some months ago, and it was far from the work I see here at this album.

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Sun Oct 22 2023
5

Rootsy and bluesy compared to the debut. Love the piano and winds playing.

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Fri Nov 03 2023
5

Well, Traffic rock. Loved it.

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Tue Apr 11 2023
4

Shorter and poppier songs. Enjoyed it

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Tue Apr 11 2023
4

Certainly, some very strong tracks here. While there are also a few fillers. I think the overall sound of the band is ambitious and well balanced. Lots of tasty guitar riffs, piano Melodies and synchronized voices. The lyric writing is fun and the singing style commands attention at its best parts. There are some songs where all the weirdness, pop, and rock come together properly, but it appears they threw a little too much quality on this record and there’s no real need to stay spinning past the flip unless you’re a true fan on the jazzy, folksy, bluesy jams. Shanghai Noodly Factory is fun though.

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Fri Apr 14 2023
4

Traffic accident. No survivors.

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Fri Apr 14 2023
4

congratulations on making a harpsicord fit seamlessly into a modern format. the standard 60s fare is a bit boring but the rest of this is actually pretty strong.

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Sat Apr 15 2023
4

Some fun songs, some slightly duller ones

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Tue Apr 18 2023
4

Surprisingly jolly sounding album that doesn't blow you away but instantly put me in a good mood

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Thu Apr 27 2023
4

Some good songs. A few missses

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Thu May 04 2023
4

like listening to an easy listening oldies radio station. pretty cool how many genres this album represents, and there's some catchy stuff here! 3.75/5

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Sun May 21 2023
4

Tiene aaaltos temas la primera mitad del disco, seleccione como 5, despues decae un poco pero es muy bueno. Es como un rock-country.

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Sat Jun 10 2023
4

Switch to the non-album single “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” was like a splash of cold water in the face, in how different it was to the actual album 💿 Two of these 60s albums back to back (following Chelsea Girl)- and aside from ripping off the brilliant Was (Not Was) to make “Pearly Queen”, this one is also more enjoyable than expected. More sweet, sweet harpsichord to be found in “Cryin’ To Be Heard” Less waffling here than in John Barleycorn Must Die HL: “Feelin’ Alright”, “Don’t Be Sad”, “Cryin’ To Be Heard”, “No Time To Live” June 9, 2023

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Sun Jun 11 2023
4

It seems I haven't given this band enough of a chance. I've thoroughly enjoyed both of their albums on this list. Need to do a deep dive on them. Best track: Cryin' to be Heard

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Wed Jun 14 2023
4

Blues folk rock. Un megahit. Un 4.

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Sun Jun 25 2023
4

Like this! Esp the tracks for the soundtrack from 'Here we go round the mulberry bush!

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Wed Jul 05 2023
4

Cool mix of 60's blues and British rock. I miss the psychedelic aspects but this is still really cool. Has a nice variety of sounds.

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Wed Jul 12 2023
4

Jolly music :) Great drumming going on too

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Fri Jul 14 2023
4

A funky blend of rock, funk, prog, psychedelia, folk, etc. that all feels way ahead of its time. A fun time! Definitely surpassed my middling expectations. I would listen to this again, and even seek out more tracks from Traffic.

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Sun Jul 16 2023
4

Un bon album rock j aie la voix de winwood et les chansons en général sont top c'est pas loin du 5 mais 4.85

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Fri Jul 21 2023
4

Really enjoyed this one - the opening track was particularly fun but the rest was still a great mix of folk, prog, and blues

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Thu Jul 27 2023
4

Some really great slightly country-inflected classic rock!

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Sat Jul 29 2023
4

The eas way better than I thought it would be. Amazing, soulful blues rock

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Thu Aug 10 2023
4

Extremely well-done album. Each song is memorable in its own way and they all stick out. After all the repetitive albums I've gotten on this website, I"m so happy I got something genuinely original and exciting with each new song.

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Fri Aug 11 2023
4

first listen great stuff man

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Mon Aug 14 2023
4

The second half of this LP made for one of the more interesting musical sound-scapes I've been immersed in lately. Not my genre but definitely see why it made the list

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Sun Aug 20 2023
4

Surprisingly good. Nice psychedelic solos, all tracks are good

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Thu Aug 24 2023
4

One of the five best Brit bands of the era. Another case of almost too much individual talent and not enough room per album to showcase it. Solid delivery of a great product

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Thu Aug 31 2023
4

A weaker 4 perhaps, but a 4 nonetheless.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
4

Folky group hit home with this CCR lover.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
4

I can't come up with a reason to make this album 3 stars. Great guitar playing. Educated writing. It's good stuff.

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Wed Sep 06 2023
4

Un álbum sumamente interesante que se adelantó a las tendencias del rock fusión de las siguientes décadas. Con una duración precisa y canciones atrapante, el homónimo de Traffic es sin duda un imprescindible de la música.

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Thu Sep 14 2023
4

I never heard of them and I admit I came in skeptical, but this band captures a lot of what I love about 60s music: poetic lyrics, good vibes, harmonies, creativity, harpsichord… I enjoyed it!

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Fri Sep 15 2023
4

I really like Traffic because I've always felt they were unique and smart in their instrumentation and song craft. This self titled album was one I had placed on a list of music to check out and purchase years ago back before streaming had really taken off. I had forgotten about this and I'm glad I had the chance to check it out. Only really being familiar with John Barleycorn Must Die and onward, I was a bit surprised by how their sound had evolved. Dave Mason providing more psychedelic pop with Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood focusing more on moody, introspective jamming. What I loved was hearing how these two dynamics (including voices) began to converge and take shape into places I didn't expect. It's a bit long winded, but this is a great collection of songs. For some reason this made me think of Robert Wyatt a little.

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Sun Sep 17 2023
4

honky-tonk beatlesque soft-rock? yes please

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Thu Sep 21 2023
4

Traffic shreds in the beginning of this album before it cools down before Feeling Alright, which I didn't know was by Traffic and is a jam. The whole album is some great rock with a little bit of trippiness sprinkled in. I really want some Medicated Goo. It sounds delicious and that song was a bop

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Thu Sep 21 2023
4

This album just sounds great! Almost sounds like Grateful Dead in a way. Love the keyboard and the vocals. Never hit a low point in this album. Nice variety throughout the album. I would definitely listen to this one again.

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Wed Sep 27 2023
4

I'm impressed by this, from the very first notes the album is hooky and groovy. Occasionally the lyrics veer into eye rolling hippie stereotypes, but the vast majority was simply enjoyable. The one I recognized, of course, was "Feelin' Alright?", but there were other standouts for me, including "You Can All Join In" "Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring" and "Cryin' to be Heard." The bonus tracks made the album much too long but there were a couple good songs there too.

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Thu Sep 28 2023
4

I got a Jethrow Tull and Almand Brothers vibe.

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Mon Oct 02 2023
4

This was a really solid blues/folk rock album. Though for some reason like a lot of other great albums has a very meh opening song. "You Can All Join In" is a fine song but nothing mind-blowing. They then follow it up with two of my favorite songs on the album "Pearly Queen" and "Don't Be Sad". "Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring" is another solid track and then you get into the really good stuff. "Feelin' Alright", "(Roamin' Thro' The Gloamin' With) 40.000 Headman", "Cryin' To Be Heard", "No Time To Live" and "Means To An End" are all great tracks. "Vagabond Virgin" is good too but not on the level of the other tracks I mentioned. I knew this album was going to be good just by looking at the members of the band and the other groups they were a part of. My only other criticism is at times this album can be a little obvious in the decisions it makes. Still it is really good but even some of the better tracks on here feel like they could have been made by plenty of folk/jazz/psych. rock bands from this era and some probably could have done it better. Still though it is good enough to be a 9/10

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Sun Oct 15 2023
4

Easy listening. A decent amount of songs I saved but a decent bit that were kinda forgetful. Rating: 3.9

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Fri Nov 03 2023
4

Great Album, lots of varied styles of music. Every track enjoyable. Favourite tracks. No time to live and Crying to be Heard.

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Sun Nov 12 2023
4

Lots of quality catchy tunes on this album. I think I accidentally listened to this one twice and enjoyed it both times. Outside my usual taste, glad this album was on the list!

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Fri Nov 17 2023
4

This has surprised me, I definitely hear the influence this band's sound must've had on music in general, especially some of their guitar riffs

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Fri Nov 24 2023
4

Really good album. Never listened to Traffic much before but was definitely missing out. Lots of the aspects similar to Cream and other major blues inspired rock bands.

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Mon Nov 27 2023
4

Very solid, John barleycorn must die is better but still great stuff

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Tue Dec 05 2023
4

Traffic’s first lineup was falling apart behind the scenes while this was being recorded, but hearing these songs you’d never know it: the band is tight and harmonious, their jazz and prog flourishes a joy to hear. Steve Winwood is one of the most soulful white boys in music for a reason.

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Thu Dec 07 2023
4

A great 60s album by a band id honestly never heard of - Steve Winwood bringing a great sound for nice casual listening.

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Mon Dec 25 2023
4

An album that has everything the sixties can offer, save for a hit single.

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Mon Dec 25 2023
4

I've always found Traffic to be one of those bands best experienced by way of a greatest hits collection. They have some outstanding songs, which unfortunately are scattered among half a dozen or so albums. This album is like much of their discography, flashes of brilliance but with a dose of filler. The band's folk infused sound is soulful, earthy, a bit jammy, and amiable across the board. Always a solid listen. The tracks with Winwood on vocals are generally superior to Mason's, although "You Can All Join In" happens to be my favorite. Fave Songs: You Can All Join In, Roamin' Thru' the Gloamin' with 40,000 Headmen, No Time to Live, Pearly Queen, Means to an End, Feelin' Alright?

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Wed Jan 03 2024
4

Wow. No time to live is great. This album is good. 4/5

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Thu Jan 11 2024
4

Traffic were an interesting band with an equally interesting history. In their last album before their initial dissolution, the band splits into a tale of two cities largely basing themselves on what was possible and what ended up becoming. The soul influence and pure rock and roll seesaw is what balances Traffic, bringing along realization amongst the familiar and shining a light towards the new. They'll be back soon enough. Favorites: You Can All Join In, Don't Be Sad, Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring, Feelin' Alright?, Vagabond Virgin, Cryin' to be Heard, No Time to Live, Withering Tree, Medicated Goo.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
4

Surprisingly fresh 60s folk rock!

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Sat Jan 13 2024
4

This record really highlights Traffic’s blend of jazz, folk, soul, and psychedelia. This was the last album they would release before their first breakup. It feels like a band on the verge of quitting in places. All the songs are strong, but the record lacks cohesiveness.

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Mon Jan 15 2024
4

They are classics, but I was never as much a fan of Steve Winwood/Blind Faith or Traffic as Eddie V was

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Wed Jan 17 2024
4

El blues rock de Steve Winwood i cia començava a agafar embranzida. Havien de millorar-lo en posteriors treballs, però aquí la barreja poderosa d'arrels britàniques i sons nordamericans, juntament amb el talent de Winwood, Jim Capaldi i Dave Mason, arriba ja a quotes de qualitat molt rellevants

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Fri Jan 19 2024
4

Traffic is one of those bands I really like, they have a couple songs that are classics and I own a couple of their better albums (John Barleycorn.../...High Heel Boys), but I always felt there was something holding them back from being truly a great band. The early albums are good, but they also released several sub-par later records amongst many lineup changes. What elevates Traffic over other bands of the era is the sophisticated level of their musicianship. These were talented players and Steve Winwood and Dave Mason wrote some fine songs with Traffic (their second album) and their debut, Mr.Fantasy showcasing this best. Lots to love on this album with an eclectic mix of jazz, folk, rock and blues. A good, enjoyable listen!

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Sun Jan 21 2024
4

Un buen álbum con tres o cuatro canciones estelares.

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Sun Jan 28 2024
4

Wunderbar vielseitig, verschiedene Genres. Nur unklar, ob ein Song tatsächlich so gut ist, dass er im Gedächtnis bleibt.

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Wed Jan 31 2024
4

Introduction: Released in 1968, "Traffic" is the second studio album by the British rock band Traffic. Comprising Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason, the band blended various genres, creating a distinctive sound that incorporated rock, jazz, folk, and psychedelia. This album, often referred to as the "Mr. Fantasy" album due to its iconic opening track, showcases the band's musical versatility and experimentation. Lyrics: The lyrics on "Traffic" demonstrate a fusion of introspective themes and psychedelic imagery. Steve Winwood, the primary lyricist, crafts poetic verses that delve into personal reflections and existential musings. The opening track, "Heaven Is in Your Mind," sets the tone with its dreamy lyrics, inviting listeners to explore their inner thoughts. The lyrical depth is evident in tracks like "Dear Mr. Fantasy," where Winwood and Capaldi delve into the complexities of life and the elusive search for meaning. However, one potential drawback lies in the occasional vagueness of the lyrics, leaving room for interpretation but potentially alienating listeners seeking more direct narratives. Despite this, the poetic nature of the lyrics adds a layer of mystique to the album. Music: "Traffic" stands out for its musical diversity and proficiency. The album seamlessly weaves together rock, jazz, and folk elements, showcasing the band's instrumental prowess. Steve Winwood's soulful voice and multi-instrumental skills shine throughout the album, especially on tracks like "Coloured Rain," where his Hammond organ playing takes center stage. The dynamic interplay between the band members, particularly the jazz-influenced flute of Chris Wood, adds a unique texture to the music. The use of unconventional instruments, such as the sitar on "Dealer," reflects the band's willingness to experiment and push musical boundaries. The instrumental sections are both intricate and spontaneous, giving the album a sense of improvisational freedom. However, some may find the extended instrumental passages a bit indulgent, potentially detracting from the overall cohesiveness for those seeking more concise arrangements. Production: The production of "Traffic" is a testament to the era's evolving recording techniques and the band's willingness to embrace studio experimentation. The album's sonic landscape is characterized by a warm, analog feel, with a notable absence of overproduction. The decision to record much of the album live in the studio contributes to the organic and authentic sound that captures the essence of Traffic's live performances. However, the production does have its imperfections. At times, the mix can feel uneven, with certain instruments overpowering others. This may be a deliberate choice to emphasize the spontaneity of the recording process, but it can be a drawback for listeners who prefer a more polished sound. Themes: "Traffic" explores a range of themes, from introspection and self-discovery to societal commentary. The title track, "Mr. Fantasy," is a standout with its exploration of escapism and the desire to transcend the mundane. "Dealer" delves into the complexities of addiction, offering a poignant portrayal of the struggles associated with substance abuse. The thematic diversity adds depth to the album, inviting listeners to engage with its content on multiple levels. However, the lack of a cohesive overarching theme may lead to a somewhat disjointed listening experience. While the individual tracks excel in conveying specific ideas, a more unified thematic thread could have enhanced the album's overall impact. Influence: "Traffic" is a pivotal album in the late 1960s rock scene, influencing subsequent generations of musicians. The band's ability to seamlessly blend genres and experiment with unconventional instruments paved the way for the progressive rock movement of the 1970s. The album's impact on the psychedelic rock genre is evident in its creative use of studio effects and ethereal atmospheres. Despite its influence, "Traffic" did not receive immediate commercial success. However, its critical acclaim and subsequent cult following solidified its place in the annals of rock history. The band's willingness to defy musical norms and explore uncharted territories set a precedent for future artists seeking to push the boundaries of genre conventions. Pros and Cons: Pros: Musical Diversity: The album's fusion of rock, jazz, and folk creates a rich and diverse musical landscape. Instrumental Proficiency: Each band member's instrumental skills contribute to the album's overall excellence. Experimental Approach: The willingness to experiment with unconventional instruments and recording techniques showcases the band's artistic courage. Influence: "Traffic" left an enduring impact on the rock genre, influencing subsequent generations of musicians. Cons: Vague Lyrics: The occasional vagueness of the lyrics may alienate listeners seeking more direct narratives. Extended Instrumental Passages: Some listeners may find the extended instrumental sections indulgent, potentially detracting from the album's cohesiveness. Uneven Mix: The mix can feel uneven at times, with certain instruments overpowering others. Lack of Cohesive Theme: While individual tracks excel thematically, the album lacks a cohesive overarching theme, resulting in a somewhat disjointed listening experience. Conclusion: "Traffic" is a landmark album that captures the spirit of the late 1960s, showcasing a band at the height of its creative prowess. Its blend of genres, instrumental proficiency, and experimental approach make it a timeless piece of musical art. While it may have its imperfections, the album's enduring influence and critical acclaim solidify its status as a classic in the rock canon. For those willing to embark on a musical journey that transcends boundaries, "Traffic" remains a must-listen, inviting listeners to explore the depths of its poetic lyrics and intricate musical arrangements.

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Thu Feb 01 2024
4

Interesting. I know Steve Winwood. I got Dave Mason confused with Mason Williams.

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Sun Feb 04 2024
4

i was expecting a more classic 60s type album but this was way better. kind of like if King Crimson decided to be radio friendly for an album

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Thu Feb 08 2024
4

This really isn't what I was expecting to hear from a Traffic album. Nicely varied, some good tunes and I was expecting a great performance. Good stuff.

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Thu Feb 08 2024
4

Si bien es cierto, combina las influencias del blues con el rock y el folk. Los arreglos son bastantes sencillos donde se cuentan historias cortas y precisas, la integibilidad de todo el disco es optima. Tiene una sonoridad muy estadounidense a pesar de ser británicos.

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Wed Feb 14 2024
4

I like the psychedelic feel on a lot of the songs. 3.9*

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Wed Feb 14 2024
4

3.5** I enjoyed this one a lot! It showcased a decent range of musical styles from a band that I’m not too familiar with

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Fri Feb 16 2024
4

Side A was incredible, but Side B slowed down significantly.

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Wed Feb 21 2024
4

As I was listening to this album, I kept thinking "these dudes have to be American." It's got that CCR, Three Dog Night, Lynyrd Skynyrd southern rock vibe. Apparently, they're British and their lead singer is "one of the most gifted interpreters of American music around..." It shows. The songs a little long, but most of them are lyric heavy. The high pitch guitar riffs fit in perfectly. I didn't know that "Feelin' Alright" was their song! I only knew the Joe Cocker cover. A big hell yeah to this album, muted southern rock as presented by a bunch of brits.

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Mon Feb 26 2024
4

I love some blues rock. Will probably turn this on to rock out sometime

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