Fountains of Wayne – Sky Full of Holes

Fountains of Wayne wrote the soundtrack to my late teens; striking out on my own without a clue, meeting my best friend, forming a band, late nights of driving around with the stereo blasting and a “roadie” in tow (booze in a plastic cup, that is…not some fat guy who schleps gear). They have always been absurd.

Popping in their latest disc, Sky Full of Holes, instantly made me smile and I can’t help but wonder why so many recording artists take themselves so seriously these days?  You see, Fountains of Wayne are not hip. So they toured with Sloan in the ’90s. They probably got the gig because somebody thought it would be ironic to put nerds on first. They never were hip and oddly enough, that’s what made them enticing both then and now. Just like The Beach Boys, Beulah, and even Rhett Miller, there will always be a market for good pop rock and although FOW have always lived in the shadow of their self-titled release, they keep putting out albums that dedicated fans adore.

Sky Full of Holes, like all their other albums, incorporates the group’s quirky lyrics by continuing to use words that most artists wouldn’t and forcing rhymes in the most awesomely memorable ways. I loved songs like “Leave the Biker” in 1996 with lines like “He’s got his arm around every man’s dream/ And crumbs in his beard from the seafood special” so new tracks like “The Summer Place” certainly hit the mark with the lyrics “She’s been afraid of the Cuisinart since 1977/ Now when she opens up the house she won’t set foot in the kitchen.” The group also treks forward with more of their story songs – “Rachael’s Mom” anybody? The first single “Richie and Ruben” is an anecdotal tune; an oddball tale of two crazy childhood buddies who blow through dough by opening and closing a bar called Living Hell. It makes me laugh in a good way. “A Dip in the Ocean” and “A Road Song” are a bit more straightforward, but just barely.

I dig Sky Full of Holes. The band still gets away with their quirk because behind the funny lyrics and the random stories there’s actually excellent music, and the combination is what keeps me coming back for more.

Fountains of Wayne
Sky Full of Holes
[Yep Roc]