Ok, so this is not exactly my scene, but this piece is musically provocative (and not just because of the lyrics)…I realize that the vignette portrayed in this song is a bit too realistic (AKA raw) for many, but you know, if nothing else, it is an honest portrayal of a side of life that (thankfully) most of us don’t have a whole lot of experience with. I’ll leave it to you to read the rest of the lyrics.
Cause we’re rolling in heavy traffic
Judy’s in the jump seat and Jody’s in the bucket
Billy likes to drive and Jackie’s just high
And Cindy thinks we’re all gonna commit suicide
‘Cause we’re rolling in heavy traffic
Yeah we’re rolling in heavy traffic
EJ (or should I say Reg, given the title of the album?) sounds like he’s having fun singing this song…(“Ahhhh yeahhhh…” as he transitions to the instrumental interlude)…and the background vocals are fun – and catchy, too. (My son loves these). But the best part is the jazzy, breezy piano. Oh yes, and the pauses. I never knew a musical pause could express so much, perhaps even more than a note or a riff or a drumbeat…cool.
Is there meaning in the pause(s)? I like to think so…I liken it to a missed heart beat…or a life stopping in a millisecond…apropos, perhaps…
Be that as it may, this is another one of those tunes (like Club at the End of the Street) that you just can’t help but notice…you’ll either be bopping your head, singing along, snapping your figners or something…whatever, You.Will.Notice.It. Listen to it loud sometime, you’ll understand.
One last thought: This song is reminiscent of The House Fell Down, which also describes a very heavy subject (Elton’s own drug abuse) but has a very light musical tone to it. Unexpected but effective.
And with all the names in this song, do you think Bernie could’ve written in a “Kim”? He at least mentions Cindy (which happens to be one of my sisters’ names).
Heavy Traffic (Reg Strikes Back – 1988)