I defy anyone to not feel happy after enjoying the smart power-pop genius of Fountains of Wayne.
A dozen FoW songs would fit this category, but one in particular comes to mind. “Red Dragon Tattoo” is the second song on 1999’s Utopia Parkway. All of the classic Fountains of Wayne calling cards are present – bright guitars, swooshy synths, stomping drums, handclaps, unison vocals on the choruses, and a brilliant middle eight.
The subject matter is wonderful, too. Imagine a first-person tale of a young buck who decides to get a red dragon tattoo so that a girl he fancies will take him seriously. To a nineteen year old with raging hormones, this undoubtedly sounds like a foolproof plan. Our protagonist imbibes in some ‘liquid courage’, then brings a variety of artifacts with him to the parlour so that he doesn’t chicken out. In hand is a .38 Special CD collection, some Bactine (to prevent infection) and a photo of Easy Rider. And the middle eight?
Will you stop pretending I’ve never been born
Now I look a little more like that guy from Korn
If you came a little bit closer you’d see it isn’t painted on
If that doesn’t make you happy, then I guess you’ve never been nineteen and stupid 🙂