Published on July 30th, 2011 | by Clara Cullen
Fountains of Wayne: Sky Full of Holes
The fact that the majority of the music consuming world has overlooked Fountains of Wayne for the best part of 10 years should be the textbook definition of criminal neglect. However, this shouldn’t be seen as any sign of the times. Commercially manufactured bands will always sell stupendously more albums and be more popular than stupendously deserving bands like Fountains of Wayne. The music industry has long been a crafty machine, pumping out teen dreams from The Osmonds to Justin Bieber, and who can argue: cute sells. The real damage in this however is that there is a large proportion of the music demographic, that doesn’t go and search for new music, dredging through pages and pages of online forums, and as such they’re cut off from incredibly good, if not equally catchy music.
Now one can be as high-minded and pretentious as they like, but the fact that they’re is a wealth of creatively on “Sky Full of Holes” that may well never be heard outside Fountains of Wayne’s cult following is damn near depressing. So while yes, most will say Fountains of Wayne don’t really have that “cute appeal” so often needed to break the mainstream, nor do they have major label backing and juggernaut amounts of money to spew at a media campaign. Despite all this, I still believe “Sky Full of Holes” could be the power pop push needed for the public to be reminded just why they initially fell for Fountains of Wayne.
It may be that I have a ridiculous amount of faith in the general music listening public, or it may just be that I’m completely deluded. Either way, when I hear a song such as “Richie and Ruben” a song that tells an all too relatable tale of misjudged business ventures told through the eyes of their weary financial advisor. It has such charm that I can’t help but feel that Fountains of Wayne can do it again; after all they’ve done it before. The year was 2003 and the song was “Stacey’s Mum” it was propelled to the top of the charts by its singable chorus and music video featuring super model Rachel Hunter. It seems a shame that Fountains of Wayne’s only calling card will for many be that song. This is because effots on their 5th album comes mighty close. “Some Ones Gunna Break Your Heart” is an instant Fountains of Wayne classic, with lyrics to live by “Should we take this town, do we want to, tear the whole thing down”
What Fountains of Wayne do so well in songs such as “Action Hero” is create instantly recognisable characters. First only the sheer melodic intensity hits you, but then as you listen again, the often touching lyrics, that are able to somehow comment on life and loss with such subtly, makes it all but impossible not to be invested in these characters.
There are very few bands that not only produce such colourful bursts of power pop perfection but make it seem so easy. Fountains of Wayne have long been seen to be the successors of the power pop throne first pioneered by The Cars and later Jellyfish. Albums like “Sky Full of Holes” should be instant classics. Will this be? Well my hope is that its accessibility will carry it onto be. But then again, maybe Fountains of Wayne don’t need the adulation and obsession that comes with such heady success. They’re probably happy enough with making consistently good music, and for that we should all be thankful.
By far one of the best albums you’ll hear all year.
Foutains of Wayne: http://www.fountainsofwayne.com/home/
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