#112 ‘Radiation Vibe’ by Fountains of Wayne (1 Sep)

Album: Fountains of Wayne, 1996

Justification: So, are Fountains of Wayne a joke band that people took too seriously, or a serious band who never could shy away from a joke? Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger are both great jobbing songwriters (Schlesinger was nominated for an Oscar for writing the title song for the film That Thing You Do!) and their band, named after a New Jersey lawnware store, has released four albums that mix the too-wacky with the too-sincere; but when they nail it, they’re pop geniuses (cherry pick three or four songs from each and you’d have nature’s greatest album). One of those moments of genius is this, their debut single, which manages to make a line that reads as vapid as “Baby, baby, baby – c’mon, what’s wrong?” sound goofily genuine.

‘Stacy’s Mom’, however, is shit. That much is beyond question.