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Welcome Interstate Managers

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Album Review

Fans waiting for Fountains of Wayne to finally quit goofing around and release a sonically experimental, brooding collection of "serious music" are just going to have to keep waiting. Luckily, the number of their listeners hoping for anything besides another infectious batch of sunny singalong numbers from Adam Schlesinger, Chris Collingwood, and company is probably about the same as the number of people waiting for the White Stripes to record a smooth jazz record. On the mind-numbingly charming Welcome Interstate Managers, Fountains of Wayne do what they do best. And while they reinforce their reputation as the reigning deities of uptempo, big-guitar pop/rock with feel-good anthems like "Mexican Wine," "Bright Future in Sales," "Stacy's Mom," and "Little Red Light," they also continue their proud tradition of mellow yet equally tongue-in-cheek tunes. While their debut album had "Sick Day" and "You Curse at Girls," and Utopia Parkway featured "Prom Theme" and "The Senator's Daughter," Welcome Interstate Managers introduces "Fire Island," a plea to be left home alone when the parents go on vacation, and "All Kinds of Time," perhaps the best (and first) musical interpretation of a slow-motion football replay ever recorded. But the bouncing acoustic guitars of "Hey Julie" are definitely the high point. This time, the one flaw may simply be that the group doesn't know when to say when. Their two previous releases closed with lazy ballads, and this time they build to a perfect finale with "Fire Island." Unfortunately, they follow it with four more songs that add little to the quality of the album. Still, CD players were made with skip buttons for a reason, and too much material is usually preferable to too little. Even without the last four tracks, Welcome Interstate Managers had more than enough pitch-perfect melodies and smile-inducing lyrics to make it a defining album for the summer of 2003. And if that's not your thing, well, maybe some winter they'll finally put out that somber record you've been waiting for.

Customer Reviews

In short, Awesome

There is nothing about this album that is not fantastic! The biggest drawback is that Stacy's Mom is the only song everyone recognizes. This album has so much depth, hooks and downright great songs, they should charge twice as much. No filler here. Buy this, you won't be sorry!

A good offering to tide you over.

I wouldn’t say this is FOW’s strongest record but being that it Fountains of Wayne it has an inherent awesomeness to it that can’t be denied. Nothing about typical Fountains of Wayne is in your face. Everything is very subtle and subdued. This is nice in an arena when bombastic presentation and production typically gathers attention for itself. Fountains of Wayne shows they can play that game as well with the already famous song Stacy’s Mom. Personal favorite tracks for me are Mexican Wine, Bright Future in Sales, Hackensack, Valley Winter Song, Hey Julie, and Fire Island.

Stacy's mom

Saw the music video. Stacy AND her mom are hot.


Formed: 1996 in Northampton, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Fountains of Wayne didn't enjoy mainstream attention until the release of "Stacy's Mom" in 2003, the band had already established itself as one of America's strongest power pop acts. Based in New Jersey, the group first appeared in 1996 with a mix of British-influenced pop songs, lo-fi production, and wry lyrics about dead-end jobs and biker boyfriends. Fountains of Wayne expanded their lineup and polished up their sound during the following years, eventually hitting gold with 2003's Welcome...
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