Fountains of Wayne is the self-titled debut album of power pop group Fountains of Wayne, released in 1996 through Tag/Atlantic Records. The album is a collection of short, catchy, hook-centered pop songs. Future Fountains Of Wayne albums showcase musicianship and production polish, but this album contains catchy hooks and fun lyrics to reel in even the most cynical listener.
Critics lauded the tight immediacy of the songs, a probable consequence of the five days it took to record, and the funny, friendly relationship of songwriters Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger was the most prominent feature of the album. The songs were written over a period of years as outlets to make each other laugh through inside jokes and references to suburban life in New York and New Jersey.
The twelve songs on this album are all concert-ready by design. "Radiation Vibe," a hook-centered song with near-meaningless lyrics, is the highpoint of the album. It received moderate college-radio airplay in late 1996, including video plays on MTV's 120 Minutes program. "Leave the Biker" details the heartbreak of a boy who's in love with a biker's girlfriend. "Sink to the Bottom," "Joe Rey," "Survival Car," "Barbara H.," and "Please Don't Rock Me Tonight" all elicit enthusiastic concert responses, although mainstream success eluded Fountains of Wayne for a few more years.