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CD Review: Fountains of Wayne - "Sky Full of Holes"

With their first new release since 2007’s Traffic and Weather, Fountains of Wayne carries on its critically acclaimed brand of shimmery pop.

Fountains of Wayne
Sky Full of Holes
Yep Roc Records

With their first new release since 2007’s Traffic and Weather, Fountains of Wayne carries on its critically acclaimed brand of shimmery pop. Formed in New York in 1996 and named after a garden store in neighboring New Jersey, this two-time Grammy-nominated band was formed by songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood. Interestingly, bassist Schlesinger penned the title song for That Thing You Do, a 1996 Tom Hanks film about a 1960s one-hit-wonder band. The title track became a hit (unlike the film), and the band has continued to churn them out ever since. FoW’s original lineup, which also includes guitarist Jody Porter and drummer Brian Young (formerly of the Posies), has remained unchanged since their first tour.

Full of blazing power pop and acoustic-driven ballads, Sky Full of Holes comes just in time for late-summer fun. The stories remain great, and the songs have the same feel that longtime fans expect (check out “Road Song”), with a gentle, lap-steel love song quickly being taken over by a happy and quacky pop song with a big horn section. The different styles work well with this fun and sometimes-clever group of tunes, many of which sound destined for Top 40 radio. The album doesn’t have all the scrap and surliness of their earliest stuff—this outing has its share of Hollywood gloss—but then what is crunchy power pop all about, anyway? Fun, that’s all. So if you’re into Big Star, Evan Dando, and Weezer, Sky Full of Holes is definitely worth a listen.
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