Traffic and Weather
Label: Virgin Records
Though it doesn't have the sugar-sweet genius of Welcome Interstate Managers, Chris Collingwood's keen aptitude for writing with sharp wit makes this record as clever as it is catchy. There's nothing too challenging about the music -- most tracks bounce between teen-movie pop rocks and shuffling ballads -- but the formulas seem fresh through Collingwood's winning characters. Meet Yolanda Hayes ("Yolanda Hayes"), the DMV clerk lookin' good under fluorescent lights, or Seth Shapiro ("Someone To Love"), the malcontent food industry lawyer, and just try not to fall in love.