Out-of-State Plates

Out-of-State Plates

by Fountains of Wayne
     
 

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Unlike so many of their lackadaisical peers, these too-witty-for-words Jerseyites seem to have trouble staying out of the studio, which has created quite a backlog of little-heard (or never-heard) material. This breezy two-disc set airs a good bit of that archival accumulation -- and it's every bit as memorably melodic as the Fountains' "official" releases. FOW's… See more details below

Overview

Unlike so many of their lackadaisical peers, these too-witty-for-words Jerseyites seem to have trouble staying out of the studio, which has created quite a backlog of little-heard (or never-heard) material. This breezy two-disc set airs a good bit of that archival accumulation -- and it's every bit as memorably melodic as the Fountains' "official" releases. FOW's stock in trade is oddball character studies wrapped in a cloak of shimmering guitars. Whether waxing poignant (as on the wistful "Karpet King," which comes across as a sort of power-pop Death of a Salesman) or snarky (as on the snippy, snappy "California Sex Lawyer"), they always manage to craft pieces that work equally well as short stories and dance-floor fodder. Like most clever guys, they've got an affinity for covers, and Out-of-State Plates is studded with 'em, ranging from the somewhat conventional (a run through ELO's regally infectious "Can't Get It Out of My Head") to the knowingly offbeat (a lovingly skewed romp through Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time"). They're at their best, covers-wise, when delving into obscurities that make melodic sense -- like a poignant rendition of Aztec Camera's "Killermont Lane" or a version of the Bachrach/David chestnut "Trains, Boats and Planes" that'd surely make a Vegas lounge lizard smile. The set is rounded out by a pair of new tracks that reflect the band's punkier side -- especially the punchy "Maureen," which channels lovestruck Jersey-guy angst through a filter of Undertones-styled riffs. A must-have for the Fountains fan, and a nice refresher for anyone looking to get drenched in good old-fashioned power-pop.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Most bands wouldn't follow up their long-awaited commercial breakthrough with a double-disc rarities collection, so it's hard not to see Fountains of Wayne's 2005 odds-n-sods comp, Out-of-State Plates, as either a contractual obligation or a way to buy time as the group works on the real sequel to 2003's Welcome Interstate Managers and its surprise smash single, "Stacy's Mom." Either way, it doesn't change the fact that Out-of-State Plates is a ragged collection of hits and misses that will satisfy FOW completists, while being of intermittent interest to recent converts or general power pop fans. Like most '90s bands, Fountains of Wayne were required to fill out multi-part CD singles with non-LP material and had a tendency to contribute to soundtracks, benefit albums, and tribute albums, plus they had a handful of unreleased cuts as well, so they had a surplus of stray tracks uncollected on a proper album prior to this comp. To sweeten the pot for fans who kept up with European singles, there are two brand-new recordings (one for each disc) added to the mix: "Maureen" and "The Girl I Can't Forget." Considering the number of different sources for these tracks, it shouldn't be surprising that this plays like a hodgepodge, bouncing between live tracks, jokes, covers, musical allusions, full-fledged forgotten gems, radio interview snippets, and utter throwaways. Unlike such '90s B-side comps like Suede's Sci-Fi Lullabies or Oasis' The Masterplan, this isn't a consistent collection of songs that could have shown up on proper albums; this is a clearing-house and only the devoted will find something to love in all 30 tracks (well, it's really closer to 28, since both discs begin with brief spoken introductions that aren't songs). The less forgiving will find this to vacillate between fizzy fun and incomplete recordings, sometimes sounding cloying and sometimes a little dull, due to its sprawling length and wildly inconsistent nature. Even the best of the songs carry the smirky humor that made "Stacy's Mom" a novelty hit: the speedy, trashy new single "Maureen" is about a guy whose female friend tells him all about her sex life in excruciating detail; as catchy as "California Sex Lawyer" is, it's as obviously jokey as the title; the holiday single "I Want an Alien for Christmas" tries a bit too hard to be seasonal novelty; the ripping Oasis parody "Elevator Up" is irresistible, even if it's too knowing in its drug references; and while the group claim that their crawling, guitar-driven cover of Britney Spears' ."..Baby One More Time" is not ironic, it's hard not to take the song that way, given the band's somber treatment. While this may not bother some listeners, particularly those who found the MILF anthem hilarious, it does tend to undercut the group's quite genuine pop gifts, since their humor is always smug; instead of having fun, they're making fun. That's been true on all their albums, but here it seems even stronger since the best songs are also the smirkiest. Again, this is something that wouldn't bother most fans, particularly those with the patience to sit through a double-disc set of rarities, but for the power pop fan who appreciates the tunes and craft of FOW, if not the attitude, it makes this grab bag of gems and duds a frustrating journey, because even when a song sounds right here, it doesn't necessarily feel right.
Rolling Stone - Brian Hiatt
The thirty tracks are packed with prime material.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2005
Label:
Emi Europe Generic
UPC:
0724357698726
catalogNumber:
5769872

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Number 45 Sunblock  -  Fountains of Wayne
  2. Maureen  -  Fountains of Wayne
  3. California Sex Lawyer  -  Fountains of Wayne
  4. Janice's Party  -  Fountains of Wayne
  5. Karpet King  -  Fountains of Wayne
  6. Baby I've Changed  -  Fountains of Wayne
  7. I Know You Well  -  Fountains of Wayne
  8. You're Just Never Satisfied  -  Fountains of Wayne
  9. I'll Do the Driving  -  Fountains of Wayne
  10. Night Light  -  Fountains of Wayne
  11. I Want You Around  -  Fountains of Wayne
  12. Trains and Boats and Planes  -  Fountains of Wayne
  13. Places  -  Fountains of Wayne
  14. Can't Get It Out of My Head  -  Fountains of Wayne

Disc 2

  1. City Folk Morning  -  Fountains of Wayne
  2. The Girl I Can't Forget  -  Fountains of Wayne
  3. ... Baby One More Time  -  Fountains of Wayne
  4. Elevator Up  -  Fountains of Wayne
  5. Comedienne  -  Fountains of Wayne
  6. Kid Gloves  -  Fountains of Wayne
  7. Today's Teardrops  -  Fountains of Wayne
  8. She's Got a Problem  -  Fountains of Wayne
  9. These Days  -  Fountains of Wayne
  10. I Want an Alien for Christmas  -  Fountains of Wayne
  11. The Man in the Santa Suit  -  Fountains of Wayne
  12. Chanukah Under the Stars  -  Fountains of Wayne
  13. Killermont Street  -  Fountains of Wayne
  14. Half a Woman  -  Fountains of Wayne
  15. Small Favors  -  Fountains of Wayne
  16. Imperia  -  Fountains of Wayne

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Fountains of Wayne   Primary Artist
Alan Bezozi   Drums
Melora Creager   Cello
Brian Young   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Ronnie Buttacavoli   Trumpet
Adam Schlesinger   Guitar,Drums,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Chris Collingwood   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Kris Woolsey   Guitar
Jody Porter   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Jackson Browne   Composer
Jeff Lynne   Composer
Gene Pitney   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Neal Casal   Drawing
Hal David   Composer
Mike Denneen   Producer,Engineer
Roddy Frame   Composer
George Marino   Mastering
Aaron Schroeder   Composer
John Siket   Engineer
Joseph Cultice   Drawing
Adam Schlesinger   Producer,Audio Production
Frank Olinsky   Art Direction
Max Martin   Composer
Chris Collingwood   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Tim Speed   Engineer
John Travis   Engineer
Ward Sutton   Drawing
Alan Miller   Engineer
Gary Maurer   Engineer
Geoff Sanoff   Engineer
Giles Duley   Drawing
Audrey Marpol Jackson   Drawing
Jef Mallett   Drawing
Jean-Pierre Sluys   Engineer

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