Song of the Day #1,503: ‘Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart’ – Fountains of Wayne

Fountains of Wayne is the first ‘Pure Pop’ representative in my personal musical genome project. They have pretty much perfected the art of power pop, synthesizing a host of influences into a supremely pleasing package.

My daughters are particularly drawn to Fountains of Wayne’s music. It started with ‘Hey Julie’ and ‘Stacy’s Mom’ then expanded to include ‘Troubled Times,’ ‘Hackensack’ and ‘Bright Future in Sales.’ And they didn’t know at first that all of these songs were by the same group.

They had the same reaction to The Beatles — especially the early stuff — and I think that’s a comment on the instinctive of appeal of expertly crafted pop music.

Fountains of Wayne is another group that fits pretty much in only one of my genome categories. They rarely feature a piano, have dabbled in country once or twice but only on a lark and don’t demonstrate any folk rock influence.

The one category where they’ve made a bit of a showing is ‘Melancholy.’ On songs such as ‘Valley Winter Song,’ ‘A Road Song,’ ‘Hackensack’ and ‘Everything’s Ruined’ they tap into a downbeat vibe that suits them quite well.

Staring at the sun
With no pants on
High round and rosy
She thinks she knows me
Fighting off a cold
Murdering a campfire song

Spitting in the wind
From out a fast train
Or on a causeway
Trying to catch a bus
Swear I gotta move
Sufferin’ the radio crime

So whistle in the sweet pine trees
The imaginary airport breeze
It flickers and flows
Fans fires in the road and
All we want to do is go home

Someone’s gonna break your heart
One cold gray morning
But she sings:

Oh-whoa-oh
Oh-whoa-oh
Oh-whoa-oh
Whoa-oh-whoa

Oh-whoa-oh
Oh-whoa-oh
Oh-whoa-oh
Whoa-oh-whoa

Should we take this town?
Do we want to
Tear the whole thing down
Paint the rubble all tangerine
Shimmer in the gas main fires

We don’t promise and we tell no lies
Learn to paddle when the waters rise
Melancholy comes like the robin at your window

Whistle in the sweet pine trees
The imaginary airport breeze
It flickers and flows
Fans fires in the road and
All we want to do is go home

Someone’s gonna break your heart
One cold gray morning
The kids sing:

Oh-whoa-oh
Oh-whoa-oh
Oh-whoa-oh
Whoa-oh-whoa

Oh-whoa-oh
Oh-whoa-oh
Oh-whoa-oh
Whoa-oh-whoa

And the traffic goes round and round
Swallowing the road and spitting out clouds
And the spirit she hides on a damp path of moss and stone
From a fear we are born with and never outgrow

And what else you can keep
Your American cash and smile
And the suits sing:

Oh-whoa-oh
Oh-whoa-oh
Oh-whoa-oh
Whoa-oh-whoa

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4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,503: ‘Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart’ – Fountains of Wayne

  1. Dana says:

    Somehow, I have a viceral negative reaction to the category of pure pop, and yet I can’t really argue that FOW belongs in that genre and I generally like their music. I would suggest though that the “plus” factor applies here in that the lyrical content and subject matters are less vapid than, say, your typical Justin Bieber or Katy Perry song. Am I rationalizing here? Maybe 😊

  2. Clay says:

    I don’t know if you’re rationalizing or just tarring the ‘pure pop’ category with its worst examples (not that I think Katy Perry is necessarily bad). I think you can do the same with any genre.

    My guess is that the worst examples of pure pop are overexposed and dominate the charts and that’s what bothers you. The worst folk rock bands out there are probably off your radar.

  3. Andrea Katz says:

    Yep.

  4. Amy says:

    I agree with Clay. I think a song like “Firework” is a great example of a wonderfully crafted “pure pop” song that becomes annoying after you’ve heard it 1000 times. Same with “Payphone.” I love both of these songs, as well as FOW, so I guess this category would show up on my Pandora for sure.

    Train is the recent group that can take credit for one song after another that surprises me. Every time I hear “Drive By” or “Marry Me,” I’m always incredulous that it’s by the same group that performed “Hey Soul Sister.” Not to mention “Drops of Jupiter.”

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