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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 2 August 2010
More brilliant hook and harmony laden suburban New Jersey power-pop from Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood. Forget Stacy's Mom, brilliant as it is, and get into the other treasures on this fabulous record. "A nearly flawless collection of hummable overtures." Bright Future In Sales is like a tribute to The Cars and follows the escapades of a hapless salesman. Valley Winter Song is a gorgeous nostalgic ballad. All Kinds Of Time takes you into the mind of a quarterback about to make a key pass. Halley's Waitress, the album highlight, laments the state of a crap waitress using a jazz ballad as its vehicle; its amaxing. Fire Island betrays their love of Revolver era Beatlres while Supercollider sounds like them having a go at being Oasis.
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on 15 June 2007
A lot of people talk about FOW's power pop/rock and for sure a number of tracks here fall into that category and they are fantastic. But what strikes me about this CD is how much variety there is on it. If all you want is power pop/rock you'll be disappointed, if you want power pop/rock, country, slow or medium paced ballads, striking melodies, rhythms, arrangements and not a dud track in sight, then this is for you !
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on 25 May 2014
I bought this album because I enjoyed listening to the song 'Stacy's Mom'.

Along with Wheatus, Fountains of Wayne were part of the slightly 'dweeby' but irresistible teen Americana of the early noughties. If you loved 'Teenage Dirtbag', you'll probably be humming along to this album...
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on 13 June 2003
This instalment of the Fountains Of Wayne story finds our heroes continuing their blissful evocation of the catchiest themes of '60s, '70s and '80s pop. Their contagiously hooky melodies are complimented by their post-modern lyrical stance. Beneath the jokes and irony, Collingwood and Schlesinger reveal themselves to be observational songwriters par excellence, equalling the heights reached by the likes of Ray Davies, Paul Weller or Squeeze in their heyday.
It is difficult to say what would constitute musical growth for this band, beyond the fact that they rock with more conviction than ever before (check out the rhythm section breakdown on "Bought for a Song"). On this album, the Fountains introduce a few more styles into their pop melange. "Hung Up on You" is faux-country, and a twangy detour. Bacharach worship is in evidence on the sublime "Halley's Waitress". They turn their attention to neglected teens on "Fire Island", with sombre piano, describing a party while the parents are away. The brilliant "Bright Future in Sales" rides a tough Cars-type riff (a la "Denise" on the previous album) and tells the tale of a chap who is up to his neck at work and is about ready to go under. "Stacy's Mom" is similar to "My Best Friend's Girl" in its post-modern Buddy Holly stutter riff. It's the story of a high school kid with a hankering for his girlfriend's mother, misreading every thing she tells him as a sign of interest.
At 16 tracks, perhaps this album could have been pruned a bit, though true fans will savour every note. With three albums under their belt, all of them of the highest quality, Fountains of Wayne have established themselves as one of the top power-pop bands of today.
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on 21 November 2013
A pal did me a compilation CD some time ago and I was surprised how little air play they had received over here. They are a clever team of writer/musicians. As for Stacey's mum, a great video and a great song. I just like this lot.
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on 20 September 2003
Although they might often sound like the worst excesses of Britpop combined with Grandaddy, Fountains of Wayne are truly kings of the three minute pop song. I dare you to listen to "Bright Future In Sales" and not break out into a smile. In their latest installment they seem to be tentatively sounding more emotional depth, and the results are, on the whole, pretty good. "Hackensack" is a brilliantly pathetic tale of a small-town loser hung up on the girl who hit the big time, and in "Hey Julie" they allow humanity to shine through a saddened corporate pawn.
However, the album taken as a whole is patchy. For every seamless slice of summery power pop ("Stacy's Mom"), there's an averagey midtempo effort ("No Better Place"). The lyrics are always a joy ("I just want some coffee/Is that so much to ask?/Halley's waitress/Is not up to the task" Collingwood sings bitterly) but even that can't save mid-tempo country slush like "Hung Up On You". And, inexplicably, someone's recorded over some Oasis B-sides on track 14 and 15. Early Oasis, exuberant Oasis, but, nonetheless, Oasis.
FoW are resolutely aiming to sound like the thoughts of American Everyguy, Averageville. This works to an obvious advantage, but it has a down side, too. Good songs like "All Kinds Of Time" are rendered well nigh incomprehensible to people living outside the US. Do even Canadians know what he means when he sings "Sitting in traffic on the Tappan Zee"? So, in trying to sound like the small town little guy, they've succeeded in alienating a vast audience, which is a crying shame.
Fountains of Wayne are creeping towards that album which is going to touch all the bases that make them great, and one that ditches all the stuff that's holding them back. This isn't it, but it gives the impression that they're getting closer.
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on 19 March 2004
I heard Stacey's Mum on the radio and bought this album a few days later. The rest of the album is nothing like this track, well, not after the first 3 anyway. Mexican Wine and Bright Future In Sales are sort of rock(ish) but the rest are totally differnt, but equally excellant. After listening to the album several dozen times I've come to the conclusion that every track is first rate. But, as I say, dont expect an album full of rock tracks that sound like Stacey's Mum, cus they don't, some are slow, some fast, one is even a red-neck blues song. It makes such a change to find a group with some talent these days and I've not stopped playing it since I bought it.
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on 25 November 2004
i honestly think FOW are the greatest band in the history of the world. On any of their albums their is an incredibly large varity of music, ranging from rock to country. All the songs are superbly written and sung. BUY THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on 17 November 2003
I've been waiting a helluva long time for this. FOW's first two albums were both nigh on perfect, hardly a dud on them. Their debut, the eponymous 'Fountains of Wayne' was a wonderfully concise slice of power pop, weighing in at just over half an hour. There second, 'Utopia Parkway' was a slightly more slushy, but nonetheless cracking followup. Now they've released their third after a 4 year hiatus, and, well, results are patchy. It starts fantastically. 'Mexican wine' doesn't really break new ground, but it's still a brilliant pop song. Single Stacy's Mom and 'bright future in sales' are some of the best songs they've ever written. But after 'Hackensack' and the absolutely gorgeous 'Hey Julie' (I challenge anyone to write a simpler but more effective pop song) things go pear shaped very quickly.
The last 5 or 6 tracks on the album are rubbish. and this is coming from a huge fan of the band. They do oasis. badly. They do something on 'Halley's waitress' that defies definition. If you already love the band, then rush out and buy this, on the most part you shouldn't be disappointed. If you haven't really heard them before then do yourself a favour and buy their excellent debut.
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on 14 August 2005
Great Album, but beware the copy protected discs. They skip when you rip them into iTunes, for example.
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