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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Sky Full Of Holes
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 6 August 2011
This album follows the previous successful pattern; well executed, upbeat power pop, clever lyrics and warming harmonies - but even better than ever. Sky Full of Holes is just what the world needs in these dark times, summer smiles on a cd. Like their other albums, I will enjoy listening to every song on this album over and over again (i hope it isn't 4 years before the next!)
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VINE VOICEon 2 August 2011
I discovered Fountains of Wayne back in 2003. Their single Stacey's Mom made the UK radio play lists and chart, but beneath this `power pop' hit (a uniquely US genre?) was a band that could pen a lyric as a well observed short story and match it to a catchy tune. Their Welcome Interstate Managers album was Q magazine pick of the year, and it was well worth the price on the sticker.

The band is named after a New Jersey store that sold garden statues (sadly now defunct), and they formed in the mid nineties.

They subsequently released Traffic and Weather in 2007 and went on to do some unplugged gigs and write more new material. Their latest album Sky Full of Holes appears to have grown from this.

It's less power pop and more mellow pop than previous releases. More acoustic than electric. They can still write a good lyric with an eye for detail and a sense of humour. Their songs aren't about glitz, glamour and love omnipotent; they are about those people coping with everyday life.

I think it's their best yet. Cold Comfort Flowers, Action Hero, A Road Song and the single release Richie and Ruben set the tone for me.

The perfect sound for summer.
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on 1 August 2011
Since their fine debut back in 1997 each FOW release has shown a growing maturity lyrically amd musically. Four years since the last record 'Traffic & Weather' this new reocrd has been garnering excellent reviews in the UK (always a danger) as this means nobody will buy it. As with all great reords it's all about the songs & melodies which FOW have in abundance. Maybe a bit too American for us this side of the pond - but as a fan since 97 I can recommend this and all their records. BUY WITHOUT HESITATION.

After 3-4 weeks this record gets better, confirmed by one of FOW's best ever songs as the last track 'Cemetery Guns' - a tour de force. No longer just power pop - adult pop.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 August 2011
I almost didn't buy this, even though I've been a fan since the 90's, simply because I found their previous album so dull and uninspired. Thankfully, this one's a big step up from 'Traffic and Weather', and has a handful of songs on it that are as good as anything they've ever done. 'The Summer Place' is a really strong opener, and it's immediately followed by the wry comedy of 'Richie and Reuben' - a perfectly judged first two tracks. For me, the album then sags in the middle, with a few so-so numbers filling it out to an over-long 13 songs. Better editing down to a 35 minute running time could have kept up the momentum of the first two tracks and would made the album a real power-pop masterpiece. As it is, it's still a solid and entertaining record, and it's definitely well worth buying if you like this sort of thing.
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on 2 August 2011
This record is the best thing Fountains of Wayne have done since Welcome Interstate Managers. The band is back on form! The most consistently great of all their albums, there's not a dud track on here. It might be there best album. People often to ask me which Fountains of Wayne record to start with if they hadn't heard anything, I could never answer. This is the record. Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 4 January 2012
Fountains Of Wayne are one of those bands that you won't come across on mainstream radio a great deal. They've had a couple of blockbuster hits, notably Stacy's Mom, but most of their popularity has grown through fan word of mouth.

This is their fifth studio album (not counting the B-sides collection), and having listened to it many times, I can say it is my fifth favourite.

The style is all there: the stories of quaint couples doing strange things, road trips, being lost on tour, and the tunes are all there: powerpop foot tapping, slow melancholia, bit of country. It's all a little formulaic, but when you compare Fountains of Wayne work to the rest of the world, it's still great music. Few bands still create this much quality on their fifth album, hell, some barely make this much on their second.

Just because it doesn't hit the dizzy heights of Radiation Vibe or Red Dragon Tattoo (or Maureen, my guilty pleasure), that doesn't make it a bad album. There is much to enjoy on this album, it's just that their back catalogue has much more to love, and it's hard to match that level evvery time.

If you've just come across Fountains of Wayne, and you're thinking of buying this album, then buy it, but go and listen to their older stuff as well, including the B Sides, because nearly all of is just fantastic.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 August 2011
After what I considered to be a dip in their typically peerless quality songcraft with Welcome Interstate Managers- and more than made up for with the fantastic return to form that was Traffic and Weather- I had very high hopes for this album (the import version - of which more later) that I'd pre-ordered months ago.

As a devoted (yet not uncritical) fan it saddens me to report that Sky Full Of Holes seems a very slight - almost throwaway - effort. In many ways FoW are the victims of their own success in that they have set the bar so dauntingly high with past efforts that it might be unreasonable to expect the same creative heights to be maintained indefinitely. While all the usual indices of what make this band truly stand-out exceptional are in evidence here (uniformly excellent playing, arrangement, witty yet often moving lyrics and so on) there's an impossible-to-ignore sense of 'heard it all before' throughout (only much, MUCH better in previous outings). It's almost like the band have run out of inspiration and offers us tired re-workings of old material. Take for instance 'Radio Bar' that has more than a passing resemblance to 'The Night I Can't Forget' (from Out-of-State Plates: itself an album of flipsides and covers) yet sounds almost like some horrible and ersatz pastiche of their own material. The album opens unpromisingly with 'The Summer Place' which quickly begins to irritate with its workaday riff and melody. Other tracks follow and not once do I get the sense that Collingwood and Co are really *trying* (which I find astonishing given their previous output and their meticulous attention to detail and song dynamics). Things marginally improve with 'Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart' which teases us with hints of their sublime powerpop mastery but even that ultimately falls flat due to the poor use of dynamics and - less forgivably - just being a bit of a duff tune.

So how to rate this album? Despite all my criticisms this by most measures still merits 'three stars' in general pop terms (if that makes sense). By FoW standards though - and what a standard that is - I would probably award it at best a 'two'. I'm sincerely hoping that this album is more of the 'grower' variety (although that would be almost anachronistic for FoW music: it's usually dazzling on first listen only after which it beguilingly and slowly reveals its depths with further plays).

I held out for the import version which seems to have the exact same number of tracks, same running order and so on. It comes in a cardboard gatefold sleeve which is nice but nothing special. What may be of interest is the code that is included that gives you access to an additional bonus track via Yep-Roc records. The track is OK: certainly no worse than some on the main album.

My advice? If you're a fan buy it anyway: these are still superior pop songs after all (just be prepared for more than a pang or two of disappointment). If you've not got other FoW albums (and why not?) you'd be better off buying ANY of their previous albums (but in particular their Debut and 'Traffic and Weather' but, really, they're all pretty fantastic..)

All in all a deep disappointment (and that's coming from someone who actually went to Coney Island only because it was name-checked on Red Dragon Tattoo!)
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on 6 August 2011
Just got back to the UK after a holiday in New York with my wife and son as I write this. It was our first time to this one amazing city.

The icing on the cake for us was to see Fountains Of Wayne perform at the Bowery Ballroom in The chinatown district,a small intimate venue regarded by many as one of the best places to see bands perform in New York.
And boy! were they good, performing THE SUMMER PLACE and RICHIE AND RUBEN the first two tracks from this stunning new album,
with songs of course from their other albums.
What I can't understand, is how this band have never made it big over here in the UK, because they should be. Most people you ask
have not even heard of them and I bet we were the only three Brits at the venue that night.

A sky full of holes is as good as anything they have done in the past, and their fantastic trade mark story line songs
allows your imagination to connect with what they are conveying in their music and lyrics.

Stylistically FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE are the modern day American Beatles, an accolade I really think they truly deserve!
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on 23 August 2011
FoW are the American Squeeze, playing catchy, timeless songs with sharp, acerbic lyrics. This is a relatively low key FoW album - hugely enjoyable throughout but without the stand out tracks you find in their best work. It was a great soundtrack to a recent holiday. Be nice to see them tour the UK but since they're no longer with a major label, maybe that's unlikely.
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on 2 December 2016
These guys never disappoint with their melodic pop tunes full of great lyrics and modern culture mentions. Just a great listen, loving this immensely.
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