Plain White T’s are a multi-platinum act whom need little introduction due to a Grammy awards nomination and many numerous hit songs; including the 18th most downloaded song of all time ‘Hey There Delilah’ with over 63 million youtube views.
The latest album “American Nights” is the bands first independent release since 2001, due in UK stores April 28th 2015.
The Chicago pop rock quintet made up of Tom Higgenson, Tim Lopez, Dave Tirio, De’Mar Hamilton and Mike Rentondo have stated their sense of freedom across the writing and recording of this album, quoting Tom: “We weren’t worried about doing too many acoustic songs or too many rock songs. We just wanted to do the ones that told our story. We wanted to be honest, because that’s always been what’s connected us the most to our fans.”
“American Nights” is rammed full of catchy summer anthems, which will see crowds singing along even on the first listen! The Plain White T’s are masters at curating hooks in pop rock songs, with this album giving up plenty of “wooaaah’s” designed for maximum stadium-size crowd chant participation.
From the outset, the anthemic title track ‘American Nights’ sets the standard for the album. Great production, a streamlined pop rock song, hand claps, catchy melodies and lyrics – the listener knows exactly what to expect from this song immediately. The opening track culminates in a final 30 second classic ‘woooah’ sing along section, from which everyone can instantly grab onto.
The sing along theme continues through into track 2 with the albums lead single “Pause”
Pause by Plain White T’s
The album journeys through its highly polished course; weaving through acoustic love songs, melodic-rock ballads and general upbeat / foot tapping / subliminal hook line implanting / pleasing tunes.
A different sound is explored on the track ‘Dance Off Time’; the band still holding their inherent sing-a-long vibe, but this time with a hint of a Mumford & Sons acoustic shuffle and the utilisation of a more folk-based Accordion instrument, noticeable in the doubling up of another ‘wooah’ chorus melody.
The following track ‘Someday You’re Gonna Love Me’ takes another brief diversion, this time with a distinct reggae feeling to the verses. The well produced track cleverly drops back into a half-time feeling / anthemic chorus line … just one out of many memorable melodies which could be plucked from the album.
“American Nights” should be the staple diet of any Plain White T’s / pop rock music fans collection. Every track delivers a sing-along catchy hook and its very pleasing and care free to listening to. If to raise a critical ear upon the record, it would cross reference the albums actual strongest points (every tracks strong melodic hook, well crafted lyrics and polished production) and use this against it, in potentially saying that some of the tracks are hard to differentiate between each other because of these factors.
Either way, “American Nights” is a solid record by the Plain White T’s. Fans old and new will be singing, humming, whistling and tapping these songs for many months to come, a songwriting craft well honed due to a decade of experience.
Reviewer: David Smith