Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE
Traffic and Weather
Virgin

"Stacy's Mom" guys suffer charmingly

The big problem with anointing Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger the great standard-bearers of modern pop song is that there's no one else like them. Really, who? Max Martin? John Mayer? The Blur guys when they got along? If Fountains of Wayne resemble anyone, it's Randy Newman, who also escapes contract work with tunefully insouciant albums now and then. Difference is, Newman sounds as sour as he is, while Fountains of Wayne don't let on. Here they fail to provide the elusive novelty follow-up to "Stacy's Mom" but nonetheless invent many dandy new ways not to be in love. Two lonely young professionals don't meet cute (she beats him to a cab in the rain); anchorpersons reveal their undying mutual attraction to fans awaiting the ball scores; a single proves so jaded she'd rather move back to Canada than pursue true romance with a Liechtensteinian in Bowling Green. Wasted potheads, doomed gamblers and, oh yes, touring musicians also make their appointed rounds. On the rare occasions when love does rule, it's nine hours away on I-95 or has just lost its luggage. But with that DMV clerk they might just have a chance. You'll hope so.

Rolling Stone, Apr. 19, 2007