×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Utopia Parkway
     

Utopia Parkway

by Fountains of Wayne
 

See All Formats & Editions

On their follow-up to 1996's self-titled alterna-pop hit, Fountains of Wayne turn in another shimmering collection of "meta-rock" teen dreams. This New York band took the name for UTOPIA PARKWAY from an anonymous stretch of freeway running through Queens, but the territory it covers sounds more like one of John Hughes's archetypal suburbias. Ace song craftsmen Chris

Overview

On their follow-up to 1996's self-titled alterna-pop hit, Fountains of Wayne turn in another shimmering collection of "meta-rock" teen dreams. This New York band took the name for UTOPIA PARKWAY from an anonymous stretch of freeway running through Queens, but the territory it covers sounds more like one of John Hughes's archetypal suburbias. Ace song craftsmen Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger renovate such classic pimple-pop themes as proms, malls, and laser shows in songs that sound like anything from the Beatles to .38 Special (who the band fondly references on the euphoric rocker "Red Dragon Tattoo"). Yet the Fountains are hardly kistchy or retroactive, and songs like "The Senator's Daughter" and "Hat and Feet" undercut their saccharine tunes with thoughtful, often ironic sentiments. They may take off for "The Valley of Malls," but their spin down the consumer culture super-highway is full of frightening turns and harsh bumps. "My baby doesn't understand why I never turned from boy to man," sings the arrested rocker in "Utopia Parkway," setting the tone for an album about lost youth and recycled fantasies that sounds like a late-'90s Big Star. Anybody searching for an intelligent, infectious alternative to Matchbox 20 and Third Eye Blind need look no further.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There's no denying that Fountains of Wayne know how to craft a great pop record. They know how to write a hook, they can pull of mild rockers and sweet ballads with equal aplomb, and they write melodies that feel like half-forgotten favorites. They have all the elements of a classic power pop band but they suffer from that peculiar '90s ailment -- detachment. For all their flair, talent, and craftsmanship, the band don't really dig deeper than the surface. Of course, that doesn't mean they make bad records, and their second album, Utopia Parkway, is, if anything, every bit as good as their fine debut. All the songs immediately make a connection and all of their melodic attributes simply strengthen with repeated listens. However, those repeated listens reveal that Fountains of Wayne don't have a lot to say. That's not a cardinal sin in guitar pop, since most bands simply recycle the same lovelorn themes, but Fountains choose to have fun with clichés, throwing in goofy asides even in their ballads. Throughout the record, they seem like the well-read, pop culture-saturated kids who sat in the back of the classroom, cracking jokes that only they can understand. Depending on your view, this either enhances the fun or keeps the record at a distance, because if you don't share their disdain for hippies, laser shows, proms, malls, and bikers, it will be a little hard to sing along with those glorious melodies. For some, this may be a minor point, but consider this: emotional depth is what lifted Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend to classic status and what keeps Utopia Parkway from truly soaring, despite its many virtues.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/11/2012
Label:
Yep Roc Records
UPC:
0634457226210
catalogNumber:
2262
Rank:
60424

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Utopia Parkway
  2. Red Dragon Tattoo
  3. Denise
  4. Hat And Feet
  5. The Valley Of Malls
  6. Troubled Times
  7. Go, Hippie
  8. A Fine Day For A Parade
  9. Amity Gardens
  10. Laser Show
  11. Lost In Space
  12. Prom Theme
  13. It Must Be Summer
  14. The Senator's Daughter

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews