Welcome Interstate Managers - Fountains of Wayne

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 100
    A nearly flawless collection of hummable overtures. [#17, p.138]
  2. 100
    The lyrics explore suburban everyguyism, but the choruses explode like fireworks over a church picnic. [Jul 2003, p.109]
  3. 100
    Welcome Interstate Managers is a watershed accomplishment, surpassing the band's debut in terms of whimsical pop songcraft, lyrical astuteness and blind melodic ambition.
  4. Not only their crowning achievement to date but also one of the year's finest albums, period.
  5. Their tunes have always seemed too facile, but seven years divided by three albums doesn't equal glib, especially with those years deepening their lyricism rather than their cynicism.
  6. Parkway didn't take Fountains of Wayne to the charts, but let's hope the Interstate will. [13 Jun 2003, p.92]
  7. This is exactly the album that should be blasting from car radios all summer.
  8. Welcome Interstate Managers is stone-cold great.
  9. The record is sprawling and beautiful, a genuine pop masterpiece through and through.
  10. Such moments of wry genius make a very special record. [Oct 2003, p.104]
  11. The group encapsulates the Atlantic seacoast just as 1980s twangers the dBs embodied the South and the Beach Boys captured California.
  12. Welcome Interstate Managers is the welcome aural equivalent of a great collection of short stories, each song offering a little snippet from a life, and presenting a range of characters to fill this musical spectrum.
  13. Even at their most piercingly observant, Collingwood and Schlesinger never lose their warmth for their subjects, and their lack of condescension comes through in the music, as well.
  14. Carved into the glittering surface of its obsessively polished pop jewels are the biographies of horny schoolkids, laid-off airline pilots, aspiring salesmen reeling from scotch and soda -- in short, credible characters sculpted with music.
  15. 80
    Celebrates the little people with full powerpop majesty. [Jul 2003, p.108]
  16. For people friendly to western pop traditions, there is little or nothing in the music to dislike, and lots to sing along with.
  17. This time, the one flaw may simply be that the group doesn't know when to say when.
  18. No doubt, the music that falls between the Beatles and Bacharach extremes suffers slightly from adherence to formula, but few can boast such immediately memorable melodies. What surprises, though, is the care that they take with the lighter side of their music.
  19. The secret to Fountains of Wayne's genius is the ability to infuse personality into a typically personalityless segment of America, making sadness and mundanity both interesting and deceptively fun.
  20. Despite its obviously short shelf-life, Welcome Interstate Managers is delicious power-pop, unpretentious, loose and perfect for teenagers driving down to Ocean City for the weekend.
  21. The songs are more laid-back than the band's earlier work, but they're still catchy enough to rattle around your brain for days. [12 Jun 2003, p.94]
  22. 40
    They're diminished by trying to touch too many bases, often lapsing into sub-Oasis stodge. [Oct 2003, p.114]
  23. Sadly, much of Welcome Interstate Managers is bogged down by forgettable midtempo slush. [Aug 2003, p.104]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 105 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 82
  2. Negative: 6 out of 82
  1. Sep 24, 2010
    Great! This is one of the best albums of the last decade. If you don't own it buy it now. Every song is well written and performed. It says a lot for an album when you know the next song is really good, but you can't hit the skip button because the one playing is just as good. Full Review »
  2. Jun 1, 2012
    Still laugh like a drain every time I hear this! And in Hackensack they've written one of the great plaintive songs of impossible yearning. Wonderful stuff! Off to check out their other releases. Full Review »
  3. Apr 26, 2012
    Wow this is a great album. "Mexican Wine" is a great opening tune, other notable songs include "Hey Julie" "Stacy's Mom" "Hackensack" "Bright Future In Sales". The songwriting here is brilliant. Catchy tunes and nothing too light and fluffy. It's really a damn shame this band didn't get more popular in the airwaves. A true gem. Full Review »