Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Fountains of Wayne: Sky Full of Holes [Yep Roc, 2011]
This leads mean, devastatingly so. The family who own "The Summer Place" is tragic and/or pathetic while "Richie and Ruben" and their "bar called Living Hell" are comic and/or repugnant, but both portraits feed off a dismay with the affluent professional world genius hookmeisters are privy to. Eventually the album warms up--"A Road Song," from a tour bus out of Green Bay, is the most touching love song yet from guys who've written more than you think, and "Workingman's Hands" dares Alan Jackson to cover it. What's missing is any sense of why these four songs are on the same album. Genius hookmeisters can do what they please, but here the genius has holes like the sky of the title, which were put there by a 21-gun salute it shouldn't have taken me 12 plays to notice. A-