My Top 1000 Songs #411: No Better Place


[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

Fountains of Wayne had so many equally splendid songs that it feels a little artificial singling out a favorite or two. If I'm being honest, it does feel a little like I've once again landed on a spot in my Top 1000 where I feel a burning need for a FoW track and I'm just gonna randomly select one off my home-made Fountains' Greatest Hits mixtape.

Still, there's something about "No Other Place," from 2003's career-peak Welcome Interstate Managers, that rises above even such fellow contenders from that record (like the almost comically perfect pop song "Stacy's Mom" (which seems almost too obvious to include on the list), the darkly funny "Bright Future in Sales," the sweet (and also darkly funny) "Hackensack," etc.). Many of their songs highlight lyrical turns that are so striking you find yourself rewinding just to hear them over again, but "No Other Place" is packed with them. Me, I've always found the line "It may be the whiskey talking, but the whiskey says I miss you ever day" just astounding. Throw in a few more--"You're wrapped around your pillow like a prawn" has always stuck with me--and the bittersweet lament of a lover leaving town takes on surprisingly affecting gravitas.

Of course, lyrics alone can't make a song, and the music here walks a line between jangly, gentle pop and the band's more rocking, post-new-wave influences (particularly with that punchy synth-bass sound). It's a great joinder of the band's lyrical showmanship and captivating power pop.
Live 2006: