on 6 November 2002
I've only just acquired a copy of this album, though it's been on my 'wish list' for ages - and it lives up to all the plaudits, five-star reviews and critical acclaim. It's one of those albums I'm going to enjoy getting to know better and better, but it's already a favourite!
The wonderful title track (which opens the album), the superb 'Red Dragon Tattoo' and 'Lost In Space' are the songs already buzzing around my head, but I don't think there's a duff track on here.
I think the FoW website suggests that they have another album on the way - at one time it was assumed that they'd split up - and I hope this turns out to be true...
on 11 January 2000
Following on from their self-titled debut, the New York quartet surpass all expectations with this fantastic album - more of the same Beach Boys harmonies, more of the same Beatlesesque melodies and clever,playful lyricisms, more of what sets them apart from the majority of American rock today. From the opening stomp of the title track, through the frazzled psychedelia of 'Go,Hippie' and pop-punk rush of 'Lost In Space', to the wistful piano balladry of 'Prom Theme', this is a superb second album from one of the States' most under-rated bands.
on 15 August 2000
Utopia Parkway has to be my favourate CD of all time. If I was washed on to a desert island I would be clutching this album with one hand with my CD player in the other. Fountains of Wayne are so under-rated its not true. Yet everyone who I play the album to,love it. Pure gold, there is no better album for middle of the road american rock.
on 9 September 2000
After such a good debut album, I wondered how Fountains Of Wayne would fare with their second offering. The answer in my eyes is that they have produced a classic. From start to finish they take you on another journey to American suburbia with tales of humour, love and melancholy. Powerful guitar riffs interchange with delicate piano resulting in an exhilarating 45 minutes worth of sheer perfection. Definitely essential listening.
on 15 July 2010
Geeky US alt-rock meets power-pop. Yes! Killer hooks & harmonies combine with Intelligent, wry, postmodern humour informed by life in the New York suburbs. Songwriters Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger are a modern day Lennon & McCartnery and thats how they deliver flawless gems of guitar-driven pop perfection album after album. Everythings good on this record but I'll single out a coupla favs: Valley Of Malls & Go Hippie. Valley Of Malls drops straight in on a killer riff before finding a jiggy agitated rhythm that fits well given the fact that this is about going for a wee: "And we're leaving all the road for dead, We're getting tired of the twists and turns. You gotta go when human nature calls. We're driving, we're driving Through the valley of malls." Go Hippie seems to take the piss out of a Hippy they know, but ultimately demonstrates the FOW's USP; finding the epic, the tragic and the hilarious in the most mundane of human situations. .
on 12 December 2006
In my opinion its probably the best FoW album - just pipping the first.
Theres not too many rock out songs Denise probably the only real song of this type but its a great tune. If Troubled times had been written by a boy band it would have been number one for weeks - Amity gardens, Fine day for a parade and Prom theme are also stand-out tracks on the slower side. Special mention is given to the title track and Red dragon tattoo.
Others I didnt particulary like are Lost in space - not very catchy in my opinion and the same goes for Valley of malls.
I was hoping for a few more guitar driven power-pop type tunes along the lines of Radiation vibe or Please dont rock me tonight but in general its a more sentimental gentle album and when all said and done its a great collection of songs.
on 27 August 2001
An absolute belter of an album, 'Utopia Parkway' is one of those special works which seems to improve with every listen. It's diverse themes ranging from teen angst to, bizarrely, shopping are meshed together with a reasonably consistent fast-song-slow-song-fast-song construction. It combines the cheesy euphoria of the Beach Boys and the ironically punchy indiepop of Weezer, topped off with Chris Collingwood's unique voice; anyone who has heard FOW's debut will not be able to mistake their style on this LP. The album's only (very minor) downpoint is that there seems to be little evolution from the previous album, but with songs this good, who's complaining?
on 30 March 2000
They probably get sick of hearing it, but Fountains of Wayne do sound a lot like the Beach Boys except, you know, with irony. But since when was sounding like the Beach Boys a criticism? This is one of the neatest albums you'll ever hear - and I mean neat in the sense that there are no loose ends. Every single track fits perfectly. If you're a dreamy teenager, you'll love the tales of unrequited love and wasting Summers obsessing about someone else. If you're not a teenager any more then you're pretty much in the same position as the band. Seems like a great way for middle-aged men to reminisce. It beats talking to strangers on park benches. If you're feeling down: get in a car, wind the window down, hang your arm out, put this on and wait for the sun to shine. Someone gorgeous might just pass by and hear it...
on 7 May 2016
I like Fountains of Wayne. Their upbeat, whimsical rock hides remarkably perceptive observational lyrics about ordinary people going about their ordinary lives in ordinary commuter suburbia.
Everyone has their own taste, but for me this album doesn't quite scale the heights of Welcome Interstate Managers. However, it's well worth a listen and there are a couple of tracks on it (Hat and Feet springs to mind) that will give you earworm for days.
on 12 January 2013
The Fountains Of Wayne. I just love saying their name. My favourite music is by ELO, Meat Loaf and Kate Bush. And now the FoW are up there. Melody, wit, uptempo, ballads, bittersweet, story songs, variety, intelligence, bone headed idiocy. It's all here in their second album. You can buy this on beautiful 180gm virgin black vinyl, too; and the pressing from their new record company is as perfect as I can hear. Go on - they deserve your listening pleasure.