Sky Full of Holes

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Sky Full of Holes
Sky Full of Holes.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 20, 2011
Genre
Length45:05
Label
ProducerAdam Schlesinger, Chris Collingwood
Fountains of Wayne chronology
Traffic and Weather
(2007)
Sky Full of Holes
(2011)
Singles from Sky Full Of Holes
  1. "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart"
    Released: July 18, 2011

Sky Full of Holes is the fifth and final studio album by the American rock band Fountains of Wayne. It was released on July 20, 2011 in Japan, on August 1, 2011 in Europe, and on August 2, 2011 in North America. It debuted at number 37 on the US Billboard 200, giving Fountains of Wayne their first Top 40 album on that chart, and debuted at number 16 on the UK independent chart.

Reception[edit]

Jody Rosen, writing in Rolling Stone, had high praise for the album, and said the storytelling was "sharp" and the guitar hooks "crunchy," with the overall direction of the album darker than previous outings.[2] Jill Menze of Billboard called the album "excellent", describing it as "a new minimal sound with a poppy, folk-leaning flair."[3]

Spin gave the album a score of 7/10. Critic Stacey Anderson writes, "'Sky' eschews the occasional decade-hopscotching of 2007's Traffic and Weather, reaching a new, raw sincerity and cohesiveness: 'Hate to See You Like This' is an anxious entreaty to a depressed girlfriend exquisitely framed by a dramatic backdrop of electric and acoustic guitars."[4]

Chris Willman of Reuters also strongly recommended the album, but cautioned listeners: "It may be a moot point that the new effort is FOW's least airplay-friendly, since neither radio nor MTV would likely play this kind of stuff anymore even if the group did manage to come up with a 'Stacy's Mom II.' But fans who prefer an abundance of power in their power-pop may worry about what the lopsided spunk-to-sadness ratio portends for the beloved band."[5] He called "Action Hero" the best track on the album.[5] Matt Diehl of the Los Angeles Times lauded the album. "Sky teems with immaculate power pop, spanning jangling Beatlesque rockers like “The Summer Place” through the bittersweet balladry of “I Hate to See You Like This”... It’s a remarkably consistent album, full of snappy arrangements, surprising chord changes and tasteful instrumentation, but Collingwood’s voice embodies its true appeal," he wrote. "That storytelling depth raises Fountains of Wayne to the apex of their genre, imparting a wry, cynical worldview that lingers well after the snap, crackle and fizz subsides."[6]

Allison Stewart, reviewing the album for The Washington Post, was more mixed in her assessment. She said, "Sky, with its carefully detailed stories of suburban schlubs, feuding bar owners and luckless Acela riders, hits all the right notes, but something feels off. Slow and sentimental, more wistful than droll, Sky is as interested in loping, acoustic country-folk songs as it is in vigorous pop. If the band’s last album, 2007’s Traffic and Weather, was a Cars homage, Sky is an unofficial tribute to the Jayhawks. It’s not a misfire — one of its gentlest songs, “A Road Song,” is also one of the band’s all-time finest — but those who expect the usual gimlet-eyed power pop (that is to say, most everyone) will be left wondering where it went."[7]

In the United Kingdom, The Guardian critic Michael Hann described the album's music as "a more sedate sound, the dominant texture being acoustic guitar overlaid with muted electrics."[8] But the sound was a good one for the band, he said, and named the final track, "Cemetery Guns," the album's best for being "beautifully arranged and written with calm understatement".[8]

Covers[edit]

America covered "A Road Song" on their 2011 Back Pages album.[9][10]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger, except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."The Summer Place"3:31
2."Richie and Ruben"3:32
3."Acela"3:13
4."Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart"3:54
5."Action Hero"4:00
6."A Dip in the Ocean"3:35
7."Cold Comfort Flowers"4:26
8."A Road Song"3:04
9."Workingman's Hands"2:39
10."Hate to See You Like This"4:14
11."Radio Bar"2:56
12."Firelight Waltz"3:14
13."Cemetery Guns"2:54
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic68/100 link
Review scores
SourceRating
Americana UK10/10 stars link
The Guardian4/5 stars link
Robert ChristgauA− link
The Irish Times4/5 stars link
Melodic.net3.5/5 stars link
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars link
AllMusic3/5 stars link
Slant Magazine3/5 stars link
Entertainment WeeklyA− link
Spin7/10 stars[4]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
UK Indie Chart 16
US Billboard 200[11] 37
US Billboard Alternative Albums 4
US Billboard Independent Albums 3
US Billboard Rock Albums 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lojinx, Sky Full Of Holes
  2. ^ Rosen, Jody. "Fountains of Wayne Go Dark and Rootsy on 'Sky Full of Holes.'" Rolling Stone. August 2, 2011.
  3. ^ Menze, Jill. "Fountains of Wayne Move Past 'Stacy's Mom' With Fifth Album." Billboard. July 30, 2011. Accessed 2011-08-03.
  4. ^ a b Anderson, Stacey. Fountains of Wayne, 'Sky Full of Holes'. Spin.
  5. ^ a b Willman, Chris. "Review: Fountains of Wayne More Rueful on Fifth Album." Reuters. August 1, 2011. Accessed 2011-08-03.
  6. ^ Diehl, Matt. "Album Review: Fountains of Wayne's 'Sky Full of Holes'." Los Angeles Times. August 1, 2011. Accessed 2011-08-03.
  7. ^ Stewart, Allison. "Album Review: Fountains of Wayne, 'Sky Full of Holes'." Washington Post. July 29, 2011. Accessed 2011-08-03.
  8. ^ a b Hann, Michael. "Fountains of Wayne: Sky Full of Holes – Review." The Guardian. 28 July 2011. Accessed 2011-08-03.
  9. ^ Moore, Rick. "America: Back Pages". American Songwriter. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  10. ^ Rowe, Matt. "Classic Songs Take On New Sound on Back Pages, A New Album From America". The Morton Report. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Fountains of Wayne Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.

External links[edit]