Fountains of Wayne, 'Welcome Interstate Managers' (S-Curve/EMI)

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Welcome Interstate Managers
Critical Mass
Label: S-Curve/EMI

by Andy Greenwald

Here's to the artisanal-cheese-makers, the carpenters, the cobblers, the power-pop songwriters--dedicated craftsmen who still make high-quality products for an ever-shrinking clientele. Case in point: Fountains of Wayne.

Welcome is the quartet's third album, yet Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood's shimmering songs are evergreen, perpetual No. 1 hits on Matthew Sweet's iPod. The lyrics explore suburban everyguyism (mowing the lawn, subpar waitress service), but the choruses ("Stacy's Mom," "Mexican Wine") explode like fireworks over a church picnic.

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