Home Read Classic Album Review: Fountains of Wayne | Welcome Interstate Managers

Classic Album Review: Fountains of Wayne | Welcome Interstate Managers

For a band that identify with losers, the New York pop-rockers sound like winners.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Everybody loves a winner. Everybody, that is, but Fountains of Wayne.

This beloved New York pop-rock combo have a soft spot for those of us who just don’t have a prayer, a chance or even a clue. The cubicle drone, the alcoholic salesman, the teenager smitten with his friend’s mom, the dude who stayed too long in his home town, hell, even the guy who can’t summon a coffee-shop waitress — these are the luckless, loveless little folks who populate the smartly written landscape of Welcome Interstate Managers, the band’s appealing and long-overdue third album. But make no mistake; this 55-minute gem is no mope-pop pity party. Buoyed by summertime melodies, stacks-o-harmony and hooks so sharp they could be considered deadly weapons, irresistible singalongs Bright Future in Sales and Stacy’s Mom could be long-lost relics from the glory days of ’70s power-pop and new wave, were it not for blackly humourous lines like, “I used to fly for United Airlines / Then I got fired for reading High Times” that complement and contrast their sunny musical disposition. I’d be lying if I said this WIM was as awesome as their flawless 1999 suburbia song-cycle Utopia Parkway — but for a band that identify so strongly with life’s losers, Fountains of Wayne sure sound like winners.