‘Hate to See You Like This’ is a sweet plea to a loved one who is suffering from depression. I like that the music is more power pop upbeat than you would expect from the lyrics.
They write about people who might live in your neighborhood, pass by you on the highway, sit in the cubicle next to yours at work.
But today’s random SOTD, ‘Cold Comfort Flowers’ from the band’s last album, Sky Full of Holes, is a different ballgame.
It seems 85% of songs I hear these days are about finding love or losing love. Worthy topics, no doubt, and topics that have resonated since a caveman wrote the first song and will resonate when we’re writing songs in space.
But I like character sketch songs just as much, the kind Ben Folds, Randy Newman and, yes, Fountains of Wayne write so well.
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.
Fountains of Wayne has been churning out pitch-perfect pop songs for 15 years now, and in 2011’s Sky Full of Holes they might just have released their best collection yet.
This was a more tightly focused effort than their previous albums — less of a kitchen sink approach — and as a result, more satisfying overall.