Fountains of Wayne

Welcome Interstate Managers

“Power pop,” as a sobriquet, can be the kiss of death. But when the music is done really, really well, it’s easy to see why some people get rather worked up over the stuff. This East Coast band, built around songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood, may not be the Beatles reborn; on their third album, Fountains are all over the map, sounding like the Cars with sugar-coated harmonies one minute (“Mexican Wine”) and urbane Ivy League folkies the next (“Valley Winter Song”). The common denominator is the intrinsic smartness of the material. Top-notch is “Bright Future in Sales,” essentially Office Space set to chugging guitars, with a winning “gotta get my shit together” chorus. If you’ve lost faith in the state of modern popular music, here’s a place to get it back.