FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE Welcome Interstate Managers (S-Curve/Virgin) Rating: NN Rating: NN
As the primary writers for Fountains of Wayne, Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger have unwisely tried to break away from the MOR power pop of their last two albums. The first three songs on Welcome Interstate Managers offer the sort of catchy chord progressions and witty lyrics they're known for. It's when they venture into acoustic folky songs that the problems arise. A big, bold hook can hide weak lyrics, but when backed by mellow acoustic strumming, the lyrics better stand up. Unfortunately, with the exception of Valley Winter Song and Hung Up On You, they don't. It's as if they're lyrically stuck in grade nine, talking about getting drunk or getting it on with a girlfriend's mom, and to top it off, there's one about a quarterback making the big play. Oooh. The songs are delivered in a high-pitched whine that comes off as less juvenile than infantile.