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MUSIC REVIEW (Alternative)
Fountains of Wayne
Utopia Parkway

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Check price in US$ at Amazon.com
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Label: WEA/Atlantic Released: 6/6/1999


The human race, being a sad, sarcastic bunch, deserved to die. I received permission from the planet elders to single-handedly destroy all of them. As I descended from my hovering planetary assault craft and was about to start my rampage, I stumbled upon a boy with some sort of audio transfer devices on his aural receptors. Out of curiosity I took a quick listen. I was enthralled. Amused even. Could a race as dark and destructive as you humans be capable of creating such a thing? Pretty, slick music to sip your iced tea-based beverages by at sunset?

From the opening title track, Fountains of Wayne clearly establish their pop sensibilities and 80's influence in both melody and production. There are nods to the Cars and their ilk at every turn. I dare say they even get a little too nice on such selections as "Hat and Feet" and "Laser Show" but the rest of this collection is consistently strong and repeatedly listenable.

The addition of Ron Sexsmith on backing vocals on "Fine Day for a Parade" only adds to the cool vibe throughout, while songs like "It Must Be Summer" remained stuck in my massive cerebrum for minutes (weeks to you humans).

Overall the album manages to be melancholy yet uplifting, a strange but impressive feat.

Fountains of Wayne has proven that the human race is capable of something good. You humans may live to see another day. But I shall return on the eve of The Spice Girls reunion tour to wreak havoc.

Gruntar (Contributing Alien) Email WWW

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