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Plain White T’s – Wonders of the Younger

January 6, 2011 by  

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Plain White T’s – Wonders of the Younger

NAME: Plain White T’s
ALBUM: Wonders of the Younger
DATE: 6December2010

LABEL: Hollywood Records / Island Records


FIVE WORD REVIEW: Hit And Miss Whimsical Pop


LINE UP: Tom Higgenson — lead vocals, acoustic guitar, De’Mar Hamilton — drums, percussion , Dave Tirio — rhythm guitar, backing vocals , Tim G. Lopez — lead guitar, vocals , Mike Retondo — bass, backing vocals


WHAT’S THE STORY?: A couple of years ago, ‘Hey There Delilah’ gave Plain White T’s that most miraculous of things: the monster hit. Beloved by one and all, the song clogged up radio playlists and found it’s home as the soundtrack to heartfelt moments on TV shows and films alike. After this, you’d be forgiven for dismissing these plucky fellows as wimpy one hit wonders, but this would be unfair. Shame on you. Sure, they’ll never be held as warmly to the heaving and fickle bosom of the public as once they were, but following the path laid out before them by erstwhile hit-makers Panic! At The Disco, they’ve created a quirky little album that may bewilder some. It’s guaranteed to make less of a splash than their last effort but will still endear fans to them. And that is ample.

SOUNDS LIKE: This isn’t to say they’ve taken a completely different route and made, say, a heavy metal record. ‘Wonders of the Younger’s’ valliant aim is to capture the feeling of innocent amazement we experience as children. However, the feel of ernest Pop-Punk in the vein of Saves The Day remains strong, and much like Saves The Day, the singer’s nasal whine can get slightly grating after 14 tracks of whistful sighs and lyrical clarity. (Lyrical clarity which may be regretful given some of the appalling throw-up-in-your-mouth sincerity here – ‘Our Song’ is an endurance test of how long your face can cringe for) but the songs are heartfelt and some are almost lovely in their unashamed twee-ness. Granted, sometimes the whimsy smacks of trying too hard. In ‘Welcome To Mystery,’ written for the recent CD accompanying Alice In Wonderland, you can almost hear Tim Burton pulling strings and forcing the issue behind them. The slower, sparser tracks are indeed difficult to stomach in one setting and the circusy music sounds tacked on and clumsy. The more upbeat songs break up this monotony though, with interesting time signatures and instrumentation. ‘Map of the World’ and ‘Last Breath’ are shining examples of what the band can do when not trying to be ‘weird.’

All in all, the album can’t be faulted for it’s production. It is polished and smooth, throwing up many a tuneful surprise which will admittedly be guilty pleasures for many. *cough cough* To be fair, they really do manage to capture the ‘wonders of youth’ they aim for despite the lack of oomph and ambling into straighforward pop territory. This is an odd little album but worthy of investigating for the few gems snuggling alongside the cack here.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You spend at least half an hour a day on Cute Overload looking at photos of puppies and kittens and going ‘daaawww’ to yourself.


Submitted By Nadia



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