Baby One More Time

Peerless pop band Fountains of Wayne maintain a market profile till the revolution comes

After giving too much time to competing tunecrafters and forgetting Schlesinger's dreamy side project Ivy every time I wake up, I've learned two things. First is that Fountains of Wayne are not only exceptionally clever melodists, they also understand rhythm sections—Welcome Interstate Managers rocks, and the newer songs rock more. Second is that hook fiends can come in from the cold. No longer do arch young bands of small countercultural loyalty grapple their way into 15 weeks of fame by tweaking five notes from somewhere you can't quite recall. Boy groups behind us, we've attained the American Idolera, when heatseekers make no attempt to conceal their crassness because crassness itself is now a selling point. Until the revolution comes, Fountains of Wayne will qualify as full-fledged art heroes. Two discs of outtakes is the least they deserve.

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