This Real Gone Music reissue in association with SoulMusic Records marks the worldwide CD debut for both albums, featuring liner notes by noted American journalist Rashod Ollison.
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.