Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fountains of Wayne

Fountains of Wayne - Band Review

I first discovered Fountains of Wayne somtime in 2004 when they brilliant video for Stacy's Mom was doing the rounds. My initial reaction to the song was similar to the reaction I had to Bowling For Soup's "1985". I thought the song was good but nothing outstanding and left things at that. To be honest the name put me off a little, it just sounded a little too experimental.

In the summer holidays of that year I started listening to Radio 2 on a morning because I quite liked Ken Bruce's banter and a good selection of music. During the holiday months the record of the week was "Hey Julie" by FoW. That song really appealed to me. It is catchy, musically impressive and containts a good selection of funny lyrics. So on my next trip to Newcastle I bought their then current album "Welcome Interstate Managers" (for the steep sum of £12 - I never normally buy full price CD's; only those on offer but I really wanted this one). To date it is the most played CD I've ever owned, even beating Oasis's "Whats the Story...".

"Welcome Interstate Managers" really has everything. Some of the songs are slow and acoustic(Hey Julie), others have a pop-punk feel(Stacy's Mom), others have a more oasis style rock sound(Little Red Light), Zeppelin-esque riffs (Bright Future In Sales) and one track is country(Hung Up On You).

I personally played the album millions of times and since then my brother, father and girlfriend have done the same. These three people have very broad tastes in music (all rock/pop based but they are as different as Westlife and Floyd) and something in the album appeals to each of them. To me that is a marker of a great album.

During my several trips to America in the last 1.5years I have bought all of their CD's and with the help of the internet I have lots of their video's and bootlegs. Overall I would say that the order of the albums goes like this (1 being best):
  1. Welcome Interstate Managers
  2. Utopia Parkway
  3. Fountains Of Wanyne
  4. Out Of State Plates
All of the albums have great pop songs on them and are worth more than just about any of the albums you can buy from Razorlight, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand etc. (N.B. I paid for albums from all of the last 3 artists so I'm not just blindly insulting them).

I look forward to the next release and hopefully a UK tour in the near future!

I will leave you with the video for the brilliant Mexican Wine:

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