After a four-year hiatus notable for some film and television soundtrack work, a lapsed contract, and a relaxed songwriting schedule Fountains of Wayne return with their third and best CD to date. The New York-based power-... more »pop quartet delivers a diverse feast of infectious melodies and endlessly clever lyrics. Songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood still slide on a sweet scale between the Beatles and the Monkees, but they've branched out from '60s sounds to include bona fide alt rock ("Little Red Light," "Bought for a Song"), orchestrated pop ("Halley's Waitress"), a country lark worthy of Dwight Yoakam ("Hung Up On You"), and hints of psychedelia ("Supercollider"). The Cars-flavored "Bright Future in Sales" and "Stacy's Mom" warrant heavy-rotation airplay. Following their acclaimed eponymous debut and the vastly underrated Utopia Parkway, Welcome Interstate Managers leaves no doubt that Fountains of Wayne are gaining strength. --Jeff Shannon« less
After a four-year hiatus notable for some film and television soundtrack work, a lapsed contract, and a relaxed songwriting schedule Fountains of Wayne return with their third and best CD to date. The New York-based power-pop quartet delivers a diverse feast of infectious melodies and endlessly clever lyrics. Songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood still slide on a sweet scale between the Beatles and the Monkees, but they've branched out from '60s sounds to include bona fide alt rock ("Little Red Light," "Bought for a Song"), orchestrated pop ("Halley's Waitress"), a country lark worthy of Dwight Yoakam ("Hung Up On You"), and hints of psychedelia ("Supercollider"). The Cars-flavored "Bright Future in Sales" and "Stacy's Mom" warrant heavy-rotation airplay. Following their acclaimed eponymous debut and the vastly underrated Utopia Parkway, Welcome Interstate Managers leaves no doubt that Fountains of Wayne are gaining strength. --Jeff Shannon
Melanie W. (novelwriter) from SURFSIDE BCH, SC Reviewed on 12/22/2007...
This cd is a mixture of upbeat and happy songs with some more heavier and alternative. This is a good cd. I seems that I should try listening to it to get my creative writing juices going.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jessica T. (jessicatok) from LINCOLN, NE Reviewed on 4/23/2007...
In the vein of their contemporaries, the Barenaked Ladies, Fountains of Wayne manage to catch the attention of America with their catchy, "Stacy's Mom." Though this isn't the first disc for FOW, it is certainly the one that brought them the most attention. With silly lyrics and catchy pop-rock, this disc is worth a listen. Personal favorite track: "Bright Future in Sales."
One of the Year's Best
CCRCAR | Austin, Texas United States | 06/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Power pop has long taken a backseat to other genres and that's a real shame, especially when you consider that Fountains of Wayne is one of the best in the business. "Welcome Interstate Managers," the eastern coast quartet's third album, is easily one of the year's top albums.The disc is full of sparkling, tuneful gems that just don't seem to stop. Stand-outs include the CD's impossibly catchy first three songs, "Mexican Wine," "Bright Future in Sales," and the first single, "Stacy's Mom," which deserves to be a #1 hit. The Fountains also shine on softer ballads like "Valley Winter Song," and "Hackensack." Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood might well be this decade's Difford and Tilbrook; Collingwood has some of the sweetest vocals this side of Chris Stamey.Although the band is less successful on songs like "All Kinds of Time," and "Peace and Love," they don't distract from the disc's overall quality. I thought their last release, "Utopia Parkway," was one of the best cds of the last 10 years...what a shame it didn't get the attention it deserved. Here's hoping the band gets more notice on this one... buy it, you won't be sorry...and you'll probably end up buying their other two albums as well. They're really that good."
Worth the Wait
Steve Neuman | St. Cloud, MN United States | 06/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's been four years since Fountains of Wayne graced us with Utopia Parkway, which is right behind the Replacements' Tim in the "Why The Hell Didn't This Album Make Them Huge?" line. Pop hooks that hit you like Mike Tyson in 1986, lyrics about .38 Special CD collections and Bactine to prevent infection, and it sold diddly. Further proof, if you needed any, that the world is a dull, dirty place. Well, they're back with Welcome Interstate Managers, and it is good. The first three tracks would be the best 1-2-3 punch of any album this year if the White Stripes didn't exist. That the subject matter includes cell phone explosions, a booze-addled salesman and lust for someone's mom both proves their genius and shows a tin ear for commercial prospects. Thank God. A lesser band would have taken the Cars-y riff on "Bright Future in Sales" and attached it to a song about a girl who needs love in the worst way, a way that only the lead singer can provide. I'm not saying we don't need those songs, but we do need to right the balance between boy/girl songs and soul-deadening career options songs. I think we're at one trillion to seven right now.After you've played this troika over and over and get to the rest of the album, you'll notice that they show equal facility with the down tempo numbers as well. "All Kinds of Time," "Hackensack" and "Fire Island" have a wistfulness that Paul Simon used to conjure, and you will hum them for days. Please, buy this record. Your summer depends on it."
Pop returns to the top
Steve Neuman | 08/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD has had me astonished for two months and I'm not sick of it at all yet. It has an overall feeling of catchy, absorbent and clever music so strong that makes you not want to listen to anything else. The band's sound is reminiscent of classic pop-rock, but no one else today makes this kind of music more cleverly and tastefully than they do.
A first listen is enough to realize that you are in front of a top quality album, highly catchy and smart, but it's after repeated tries that you finally lose all doubts that this is not less than a big pop masterpiece. Personally, perhaps I prefer the slower and more intimate songs (gems like 'Hackensack', 'Valley Winter Song', 'All Kinds of Time', 'Hey Julie' or 'Fire Island'). But on the other side, the more electric stuff is also brilliant: 'Mexican Wine', 'Stacy's Mom' and 'Bright Future in Sales' are perfect, unsurpassable catchy power pop songs. Then you have the sweet mid-tempo extravaganza ('Halley's Waitress'), the lovely country ballad ('Hung Up On You'), the tasteful, slightly psychedelic number ('No Better Place')... truly, it would be quicker to tell which kind of great pop song is not on this album than to go over all the gifts it contains. And this perfectly written tunes are also so smartly arranged that you can enjoy finding all the lot of musical layers that support and embellish the songs while they always remain fresh and true. I know someone may find all this praise exaggerated; but not someone who loves great pop music -basically, great melodies and great lyrics- and has listened to this CD (both conditions must hold). This latter one knows what I'm talking about (and so will you if you buy this glorious CD)."
Third try is yet another charm
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 11/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fountains of Wayne has been one of the great power-pop bands of recent years, and while they have managed to attract a significant following, they still haven't achieved the kind of success that they deserve. WELCOME INTERSTATE MANAGERS definitely expanded their audience, and actually gave them a bit of a hit with the single "Stacey's Mom," not least because of the video featuring Rachel Hunter. This is hardly an album with a single stellar cut surrounded by filler. In fact, the disc contains a host of superb pop songs. The first several cuts, in fact, are an unrelenting delight.
Fountains of Wayne is a magnificently melodic quartet, and all of their songs are driven by great pop hooks. I love the band just as much for their clever and quirky lyrics. For instance, the first song on the album, "Mexican Wine," begins:
He was killed by a cellular phone explosion They scattered his ashes across the ocean The water was used to make baby lotion The wheels of promotion, were set into motion
But the sun still shines in the summertime I'll be yours if you'll be mine I tried to change, but I changed my mind Think I'll have another glass of Mexican Wine
Many of the songs more or less tell stories, if not out and out narratives, at least of the shape of individual human lives. Unlike other bands, in which the protagonists are romantic suffering heroes, these songs are filled with somewhat nerdy losers. The second cut features a guy who has a 'bright future in sales," the third tells the story of a guy who has the hots for his female friend's mom, while in another the singer fantasizes about a former classmate who has gone on to celebrity in Hollywood returning to be his back in Hackensack.
Because so many of the songs are stories and because the lyrics matter, the mix brings the voice far more to the forefront than in frequently the practice these days. I love this attention to words. As much as I adore bands like Built to Spill and Modest Mouse, the voices sometimes fade into the background, become merely another texture in the music. But here the voices are brought unmistakably to the front. You really don't want a line like:
And the bourbon sits inside me Right now I'm a puppet in its sway And it may be the whiskey talking But the whiskey says I miss you every day
Few recent albums give me as much overall joy as this one. I should also add that one of the great things about the songs on the album are their instant accessibility. Much like a band like The Smithereens, these songs can be loved the first time you hear them. Luckily, they stand up to repeated hearings as well."
The perfect anesthetic for trying times
chbloom | Chapel Hill, NC USA | 06/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On their third release, Fountains of Wayne again reminds us what we love most about beautiful pop music. This is, in short, a truly stunning album. It's all here - immediately catchy hooks, smart lyrics, and an almost uncanny melodic sensibility. The 1-2-3 punch of the opening tracks, "Mexican Wine", "Bright Future in Sales", and "Stacy's Mom" alone is worth the price of admission. Pop in the CD, press play, and from the moment you hear that wistful first line about an exploding cell phone, you'll find yourself unable to stop smiling and singing along. Highly, highly recommended."