Release Date: Sep 23, 2008
Record label: Hollywood
Genre(s): Rock, Pop, Alternative, Punk
This pop-punk quintet hit it big last year with ”Hey There Delilah,” an acoustic ballad clearly modeled on Green Day’s ”Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” Here the Plain White T’s sound eager to duplicate that success with a handful of cutesy campfire jams clearly ? modeled on ”Delilah.” (”1, 2, 3, 4” even has sweet strings.) Big Bad World also features some cranked-guitar rockers seemingly designed to prove the band hasn’t gone (totally) soft, but even those ring with echoes of ”Delilah” — on ”Natural Disaster” singer Tom Higgenson falls for a lady who saw him singing his heart out on MTV. BDownload This: Listen to ”1, 2, 3, 4” on the band’s MySpace page .
After "Hey There Delilah" turned the Plain White T's into 2007's most unexpected success story, the band decamped to Malibu to dream up a proper follow-up. Arriving one year later, Big Bad World is a refreshingly smart release that emphasizes the band's pop/rock leanings. Slower songs dot the set list, but the Plain White T's never attempt to recreate the magic that fueled "Hey There Delilah," focusing instead on slick, sunny songcraft with nary an acoustic guitar in sight.
It’s easy to dump on the Plain White T’s. It’s even easier to read as someone else does it. Please join me. The blandly-named band’s breakthrough hit “Hey There Delilah” was, it needs to be said, one of the worst songs to ever hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the chart’s long and checkered history.