This week, I’m taking another look at reviews I wrote of various Adam Schlesinger projects, when my Quick Spins column ran in The Kenosha News. Adam’s recent passing due to the pandemic has really impacted me, so I’d really like to be a part of people discovering what made him such a special guy.
Fountains Of Wayne
Sky Full Of Holes (Yep Roc)
The guys from Fountains Of Wayne sure do take their own sweet time releasing new music. Although Adam Schlesinger often keeps busy scoring T.V. shows and movies, it’s been nearly four years since the band produced Traffic and Weather. While that release left critics underwhelmed, their latest should allay any fears that they are in a downward spiral.
If you only know Fountains Of Wayne by their breakthrough single “Stacy’s Mom,” then you’ve only seen a small potion of what this band can do. Their speciality is writing clever character vignettes that somehow manage to describe an entire lifetime in a quirky, four-minute pop song.
Best among this batch is “Richie and Ruben,” a tale of two friends who go into business together, without two ounces of business acumen between them. Another is “Action Hero,” the account of a decent regular guy who gets some unfortunate news about medical test results. Lightening up the mood is “A Road Song,” in which singer Chris Collingwood admits his song is just as cliche as Journey’s “Faithfully,” but he’s going to sing it anyway.
What I really like about this band is that with each track, you almost feel as if you’re listening to a close friend describe his most important relationships. It’s as intimate and personal as music can get. Too bad this doesn’t happen more than once every four years.