Fountains of Wayne has come a long way since lusting after "Stacy's Mom.” While the 2003 hit gained them airplay and a following, since then the power–pop band has crafted several albums of irresistibly catchy, unexpectedly poignant tunes. In Sky Full of Holes,Fountains of Wayne dials down the loud, lively choruses and synth–driven melodies in favor of a cooler acoustic vibe that suits the  more somber content of their songs. While the change in tone may be a bit unsettling for loyal fans, for the most part Fountains of Wayne sticks to what they do best: storytelling.

Weaving in the themes of in–transit troubles and suburban frustration explored in previous albums, Sky Full of Holes tells tales of boredom and boozing on the train (“Acela”) and sweet, long–distance pining on the road (“A Road Song”). As usual, the album is full of Fountains of Wayne’s characteristically quirky lyrics, peppered withreferences to Cuisinart, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and Will Ferrell movies. Intricately mundane, uber–specific details bring to life the diverse cast of characters that populates “Sky Full of Holes”, from the hilariously bumbling entrepreneurs in “Richie and Ruben” to the overstretched, ailing father in the mellow, melancholy “Action Hero.”

But every once in a while, Fountains of Wayne abandons their trademark quips and character sketches for more serious subjects, beautifully displayed in the wistful, haunting “Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart.” While these songs mark a departure from Fountains of Wayne’s generally light–hearted tone, their endearing and aching honesty is a testament to the band’s maturity and growth.

Four years after their last release, this massively underrated band still possesses an unmistakable lyrical voice and an uncanny knack for expertly narrating everyday experiences, set to a tune you'll find yourself inadvertently humming all day.

4/5 stars

Fountains of Wayne Sky Full of Holes Sounds like: your super–observant neighbor with a guitar Good for: traveling, especially in trains and cars 99-cent download: “Acela”