Fountains Of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers

Disappointing return for literate New York quartet

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Richard Thompson on the flowering of Fairport Convention

"There was a musical explosion – you could play almost anything and be accepted"

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Alan Horne on the resurrection of Postcard Records

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Introducing the Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide to Neil Young

Updated with a deep dive into Archives II and more

It’s taken four years for FOW to resurface following the acclaimed (but meagre-selling) Utopia Parkway. In the interim, something seems amiss. The lyrics are sly dissections of US life (this time swapping shopping mall hell for big business emasculation), but the fizz seems to have flattened. If Utopia Parkway was the finest power pop action since The Posies’ Frosting On The Beater, here they’re diminished by trying to touch too many bases, often lapsing into sub-Oasis stodge. And ironically, despite the spunky “Bright Future In Sales”, it’s the deviations that work best: the lazy disco groove of “Halley’s Waitress”, or the countrified “Valley Winter Song”.


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The Velvet Underground, The Black Crowes, Bunny Wailer, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Rhiannon Giddens, Laurie Anderson, Blake Mills, Postcard Records, Mogwai and The Selecter