Is there such a thing as a perfect pop song?
If so, Fountains of Wayne has nailed it with "Maureen," one of two original songs on their frikkin brilliant new 2 CD collection of mostly unreleased tracks, "Out of State Plates."
FoW has long been my favorite band and the rare occassions when they release a new album (this is just their fourth) is a wonderful moment. Though this compilation does have a few not so great songs, it's consistently very good and had a few gems, like "Maureen," "The Girl I Can't Forget," a slow and depressing cover of "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and "I Want An Alien for Christmas."
If you appreciate popwer pop (Weezer, etc.) or just good songwriting with great, hook-y music, you must must buy this album. Download Maureen and give them a try. If you hate it, e-mail me and I'll paypal you the 99 cents for your trouble.
Robert Christgau, who I gather is a very famous rock critics, aptly calls FoW "apparently facile, actually painstaking popmeisters" in this dead on Village Voice review.