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Sky Full of Holes (Bonus Version)

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Fountains of Wayne excel at power pop. It’s an odd genre, since its practitioners are rarely popular, aside from the occasional hit. “Stacey’s Mom” was this group’s crossover single, but, really, anyone who enjoyed that song would surely find much to like in many Fountains of Wayne tunes. Singers and songwriters Chris Collingwood and Adam Schelsinger are pleasantly clean-cut in their presentation. Guitars are carefully refined. Beats are usually a solid mid-tempo and the vocals represent earnest tunefulness. Their passion has always been tucked inside the songwriting where their topics take weird turns. Their songs feature an “Action Hero,” a “Radio Bar,” a ride on the “Acela,” time spent at “The Summer Place” with “A Dip In the Ocean.” These aren’t guys interested in baring their inner souls, but rather songwriters writing quirky, subtly humorous observational tunes. Bonus Version includes the track “Song of the Passaic,” a tribute to the band’s days in New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

One of the Year's Best!

Everyone who owned a radio between 2000 and the current day has likely heard “Stacy’s Mom.” And while that snarky, little masterpiece of a pop tune is still brilliant and timeless in its own right, Fountains of Wayne is much more than even a hit like “Stacy’s Mom” allows.

Sky Full of Holes, the troupe’s fifth official studio album, is a gorgeous collection of strikingly memorable powerpop songs. And while the Fountains have always been melodically brilliant, compositionally inventive, and infinitely witty– Sky Full of Holes is (somehow) easily their greatest project to date; and additionally, one of 2011′s best releases.

Fountain leaders Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger are the modern-day Lennon/McCartney, and that’s no exaggeration. Their uncanny ability to craft satiating singles and high-caliber pop tunes has gone nearly unmatched throughout the past decade– And though I rarely agree with the publication, Rolling Stone‘s decision to name Fountains of Wayne “‘the voice’ of Generation X upon the collapse of Nirvana” is more than fitting.

Sky Full of Holes exemplifies this “voice” even more aptly than even culturally relevant hits such as “Valley of Malls” and “Someone to Love” did previously. Two off-beat entrepreneurs attempt to overcome the waning economy in “Richie and Ruben,” the hardworking American gets an admirable nod in “Workingman’s Hands,” the overly-produced synth-pop of the the 2010′s era is astutely parodied in “Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart,” and the album’s poignant finale (“Cemetery Guns”) is a military-themed requiem for the ages. In a nutshell, Sky Full of Holes is 2011′s own personal soundtrack.

Not only is the lyrical material relevant; but also, the musical material is supreme in all respects. Production is crisp, but far from overdone (sample “Acela” for the greatest balance of raw and smooth). Arrangements are full, colourful, and appropriate (see “A Dip in the Ocean,” “Radio Bar,” and “Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart” for the prime of the prime examples). Oh, and the melodies… And harmonies… They are effortless, yet completely flawless. “Cold Comfort Flowers,” “Firelight Waltz,” and “Action Hero” are the most noteworthy exemplifications, though all thirteen tunes are rich in the melodic department.

Basically, Sky Full of Holes is a must-own. Powerpop at its best, and one of the best of the year. Don’t miss it.

Sky Full of Holes

Welcome back! Sounds fresh as hell. Well played sirs.

it's good

As an avid FOW fan, I've been excited for this album to come out for a while, and now that it's hear, I'll still listen to it every day for the next two weeks, but that doesn't mean it's flawless.

My question is, what happened to the more powerful part of their "power pop" style? Don't get me wrong, I love songs like Hackensack, Valley Winter Song, and I95, and this album has plenty of songs like those, but give me something like Mexican Wine, Denise, New Routine please. Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart is the only song on the album that really does that for me.

That being said, if you can appreciate this as a softer, more acoustically themed album, it's still wonderful. Cemetery Guns, Dip in the Ocean, Acela, these are great songs that everyone should love.


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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