Review of Big Bad World Album by Plain White T's

Album review for 'Big Bad World' from Plain White T's

Plain White T's Big Bad World Album

For any band toiling away and waiting for their big break, they can take heart from the fact that all you need is one mega-hit to open the world up to you. Plain White T's are testament to this, who four albums into their career, took over airwaves with 'Hey There Delilah' and have been riding of the crest of that wave ever since. This release is the follow-up to 2006's 'Every Second Counts'.

Having finally made a mainstream breakthrough, it would have been easy for this quintet to take the easy route and stick to solely to the formula which brought them success. Whilst not a complete departure from the pop-rock of their previous album, 'Big Bad World' does seem expanding their soundscape, most obviously on 'Serious Mistake' which takes a big band styling. The title track is rhythm-heavy and bounces along inoffensively, topped off with a touch of brass, while 'Rainy Day' is a passable formulaic ballad complete with sweeping strings. The record rarely breaks mediocrity, summed up very much by the soft-rocker 'Meet Me In California', but 'Someday' is an impressive finale displaying a maturity to patiently develop a grand track with a warming positivity.

Where PWT's irk members of the rock fraternity is that at times they come across as being too nice and lacking in attitude. This characteristic rears its head on occasions, like the harmonious 'Sunlight' which could be a boy band number. '1, 2, 3, 4' is this album's '.Delilah', a mid-paced acoustic sing-a-long that will have their female fans swooning, but leave the rest of us wondering quite how they landed themselves on the bill of rock festivals such as Leeds and Reading. Still, you've got to hand it to this Chicago outfit, they definitely know how to bridge the gap between pop and rock and this will do no harm to their popularity.

Alex Lai

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