About every three or four years I’ve come to count on a new Fountains of Wayne album. Here it is 2011, four years since their last record (Traffic and Weather) and they have not disappointed. Sky Full of Holes is the fifth studio release from the band.
Fountains of Wayne have a way of writing the same songs over and over again … yet remaining fresh and relevant. This is not an insult. On the contrary, I tip my hat to any artist who can remain so closely tied to their foundation after enjoying 15 years in the spotlight.
That said; Sky Full of Holes does show development and growth. “Richie and Ruben,” the lead off track, could have appeared on any of their releases. It sounds like vintage Fountains, same with “Acela,” “Action Hero” and “A Dip in the Ocean” … and they are welcome additions … keenly crafted pop ditties that draw you in and leave you with that warm fuzzy feeling you’ve come to expect from a Fountains album.
With a nod to vocalist Chris Collingwood’s penchant for country and western (he once fronted a pop-country band called Gay Potatoes); the band includes two Glen Campbell-inspired tracks (“A Road Song” and “Workingman’s Hands”) and expands its power pop leanings with the expansive “Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart” and “Hate to See You Like This.” Both are majestic in structure and lush in presentation. The greatest growth seems to be in the closing track (“Cemetery Guns”, from which the title was taken), which evokes Civil War imagery and is supported by the rat-a-tats of a tightly wound snare.
Fountains of Wayne keep on delivering, so I can’t wait until 2015 for their next release.