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Plain White T’s reviewed

| December 12, 2007 | 0 Comments

Plain White T’s
Stop
(Fearless)

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Given how loosely the Grammys regard the “Best New Artist” category — four of this year’s five contestants have been nominated for a second or third album — it was quite a surprise Lombard’s Plain White T’s didn’t get the nod. Fearless Records publicizing a reissue of the band’s second album might have gummed the works.

Stop, originally released in 2002, is a lively mix of traditional Midwestern power pop and high school notebook scrawlings that probably whipped many a VFW hall into a frenzy. Frontman Tom Higgenson’s sense of melody is slightly hampered on the opener/title track and “Please Don’t Do This,” unable to catch onto a levelling hook, yet the band’s energy and the absence of the sheen on last year’s Every Second Counts (Hollywood) carry the day.

The painfully sincere “Shine,” however, shows just how raw the T’s were at this stage. Over a subdued arrangement, Higgenson attempts to assauge a friend’s depression with cliché after cliché (“I wish you saw how great you were/I wish you saw what life was worth” — barf), nearly driving the rest of us to do ourselves in. In a poor bit of sequencing, “Your Fault” joltingly turns the tables on “Shine,” essentially pointing the way off the pier. Fortunately for T’s fans, there are no piers in L-bard.

3

— Steve Forstneger

Category: Spins, Weekly

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