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Fountains of Wayne

music reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Fountains of Wayne

Artist: Fountains of Wayne
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: October 1996

Review by LarryG
3 stars out of 4

The debut from Fountains of Wayne was pop perfection from beginning to nd. The music was written, produced and almost completely performed by Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger and has the unpolished exuberant sound of two guys excited about the idea of making music others might actually want to listen to. They consistently communicate a sense of fun and a love of music. The music is layered and enjoyable like on the well constructed Radiation Vibe, which explodes into a chorus. They use a variety of pop settings, from cheesy keyboards and a big, slower beat on Sink to the Bottom and She's Got a Problem to the fast exciting power pop of Joe Rey and Survival Car. The lyrics have a youthful, but not stupid, perspective.  Collingwood often seems like a recent college graduate, reveling in his independence and all the pleasures his new New York home has to offer. The complexity of the lyrics is appropriate to the subject of each song. Survival Car is a joyfully mindless ride but Barbara H. and She's Got A Problem are nicely sympathetic stories about troubled women. Collingwood and Schlesinger show a nice sense of humor throughout. Leave the Biker is a humorously self pitying piece of jealousy. Please Don't Rock Me Tonight is a mock serious tale where he's "not in the mood' to rock. Fountains of Wayne is largely about growing up, whether in the self criticism about screwing up his relationship with a girl on I've Got a Flair or telling someone else to be more mature on You Curse at Girls. Fountains of Wayne have since released Utopia Parkway, another fun, celebratory pop record. But it's hard for them to replicate the innocent joy of their debut.

Here's what others reviewers have to say:

4 Stars - "...Fountains Of Wayne offer up a debut brimful of character...upbeat and infused with a dry lyrical wit..." Q Magazine 6/97, p.132

quot;...Their hook-reverent, nice-guy rock has a melodic poignancy reminiscent of mid-'60s Kinks tinged with a postmodern Weezer-esque malaise. As safe, pleasant, and nondescript as a prefab suburban hamlet." - Rating: B  Entertainment Weekly 11/1/96, p.70



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