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our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
Just as there
are times when nothing so soothes the soul as a sackful of bite-sized
sliders, there are instances when nothing so charms the heart
as 14 delectably unpretentious patties of perfect pop.
by the munchies? In desperate need of some grease? Then please
pull up to the second window: Fountains of Wayne will be happy
to serve you.
Parkway soundly surpasses the New York City-based collective's
pleasant but unassuming self-titled 1996 debut (and its toe-tapping,
MTV Buzz Bin single "Radiation Vibe"). This time out, the training
wheels are off; the Huffy's been upgraded to a Harley. Evident
again are principal band members Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood's
passion for '60s Britpop and '70s power pop (the Zombies-evocative
"Valley of Malls," the Herman's Hermits-charming "Fine Day For
a Parade," and "Laser Show," which suggests the Bay City Rollers
meeting the Beatles by way of the Beach Boys).
In a more
contemporary context, "Go, Hippie" alternately shimmers and swaggers
like grade-A Oasis, and the crack-hooky "Denise" blows away Blur.
Finally, there's the pristine "Prom Theme" - a syrupy-stringed
camp ballad guaranteed to induce bittersweet, corsage-on-crinoline
memories in former teenaged deities and dweebs alike.
If what you
seek in your music is metaphysical depth and philosophical wisdom,
then Utopia Parkway is clearly not your street. But if
you're simply searching for the perfect sonic complement to that
late-night cruise through the Jack in the Box drive-thru, then
this is your baby. With or without fries.
liked Utopia Parkway...
2. Red Dragon Tattoo
4. Hat and Feet
5. Valley of Malls
6. Troubled Times
7. Go, Hippie
8. Fine Day for a Parade
9. Amity Gardens
10. Laser Show
11. Lost in Space
12. Prome Theme
13. It Must Be Summer
14. Senator's Daughter