Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review: Fountains Of Wayne - Sky Full Of Holes


This is a power pop blog. Did you really think I could not review the latest Fountains of Wayne album? Its inevitable, just like death, taxes and Beatles re-releases.

Luckily, for us, Sky Full Of Holes is inevitably good.

If you have heard any of the previous FoW albums, nothing here should surprise you. For all of the talk of "new found" maturity and "serious subject matter" you could read about in the mainstream music press, FoW fans will see more continuity than change. This is fine with me as Collingwood and Schlesinger are about as consistent a pair of tunesmiths as are working today.

OK, to say the album is good is no great surprise either. The question is how good is it? For my money, pretty damn good. I would certainly rate it higher than their previous effort Traffic & Weather. In fact, there are a couple of songs here (namely "A Dip in the Ocean" and "Acela") that come off as "improved" versions of tracks off that earlier effort. It is almost as if they weren't quite satisfied with what they had done, and they wanted to nail it this time.

Mission accomplished.

There is probably a solid half dozen songs here that can rank with the best of their career output. "Action Hero" and "Hate to See you Like This" cranks up the pathos to eleven, but work beautifully. "Richie and Reuben" and "A Road Song" display their customary wit, with the latter's reference to Steve Perry generating a guffaw from your truly. "Cemetery Guns" continues FoW's run of interesting and lovely album enders.

My advice is to enjoy the hell out of this.

Grade: B+/A-

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