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Buy Welcome Interstate Manager

Fountains of Wayne
Welcome Interstate Managers
label: S-Curve Records / EMI
released: 06.10.03
our score: 4.5 out of 5.0

Get Fountains of Wayne sheet music and guitar tab!

Pop Perfection
by: bill aicher

Ever since their first self-titled album in 1996, Fountains of Wayne have been masters at the craft of perfecting the pop song. Not only have their lyrics continually walked the fine line between humor, poignancy and "hummability," but they've also continually mastered the musical end as well. Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood (the founding members of Fountains of Wayne) possess a set of ears tuned into what has made pop music endure throughout its history, and incorporate these bits thoroughly in their work, ultimately combining the best of 60's pop harmony, 70's rock sensibility, 80's production gloss, and 90's "alternative" rock into what are quite possibly the epitome of pop music. And they have done this with every album.

Yet, popular embracement has continually eluded the band. Sure, some people might remember "Radiation Vibe" and "Sink to the Bottom" - but you're more likely to find recognition with the casual listener by mentioning the fact that they are the ones behind the theme to Comedy Central's "Crank Yankers" show, or that Adam Schlesinger is the guy who wrote "That Thing You Do" for the Tom Hanks film of the same title.

Still, four years since the release of their last album, Utopia Parkway, Fountains of Wayne still remain extremely relevant in the music scene - perhaps even more so now than ever. With artists like Eminem and The Streets providing the voice for the disillusioned young adult, Fountains of Wayne continue to offer the same voice - but for the everyman.

That being said, Welcome Interstate Managers is as musically relevant as The Streets, only Fountains of Wayne speak for the rest of us: the lovers and dreamers who occupy most of everyday life. Where Original Pirate Material focused on the grit of life through an equally gritty garage sound, Welcome Interstate Managers, like most Fountains of Wayne, visits the sunnier side of an overwhelmingly bittersweet life. This is especially true on ballads like "All Kinds of Time" (which uses a football quarterback's time between the snap and the impending tackle as a metaphor for life) and the R.E.M.-esque piano of "Halley's Waitress" (which also ventures into Ben Folds Five "Regrets" lounge territory).

Musically Welcome Interstate Managers closely follows Fountains of Wayne's earlier work on their self-titled debut and Utopia Parkway, although there are instances where they've encountered minor expansions as well - like the country-influenced "Hung Up On You" (featuring some excellent lap-steel work to boot).

Still, when all's said and done, Welcome Interstate Managers isn't really a bold move from Fountains of Wayne, and if you didn't get them before you probably won't get them now - which is unfortunate. Because honestly, if all pop music were this good, there'd be no reason to bitch about pop music ever again.
09-Jun-2003 4:45 PM

Download Fountains of Wayne Sheet Music, Guitar Tabs, or Lyrics at musicnotes.com!

If you liked Welcome Interstate Managers...


1. Mexican Wine
2. Bright Future in Sales
3. Stacy's Mom
4. Hackensack
5. No Better Place
6. Valley Winter Song
7. All Kinds of Time
8. Little Red Light
9. Hey Julie
10. Halley's Waitress
11. Hung Up On You
12. Fire Island
13. Peace and Love
14. Bought for a Song
15. Supercollider
16. Yours and Mine