Plain White T's

A release worth waiting for

A brand-new band doesn't usually wait a couple of years to follow up a debut, unless we're talking about Audioslave or some other aggregation that's got a lot of lazy supergroup money lying around. But Chicago's Plain White T's managed to let two and a half years go by between their first Fearless disc, Stop, and the just-released All That We Wanted. Okay, so a lot of people who weren't there from the beginning aren't counting the band's self-released 13-songer, Come On Now, which is lucky for the T's because it means they dealt with all that sophomore-jinx stuff earlier in their career than people give them credit for. That also goes for the obligatory near-death car accident, which singer-songwriter Tom Higgenson got out of the way in 1999, two years before Come On Now ever reached the shops. Actually, All That We Wanted is their junior effort, and it was delayed only because the band has tirelessly toured the U.S. and Canada with the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Sum 41, Yellowcard, and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes in that time. If you ever wanted to hear emo played like a Poptopia band, go no further than the album opener for a Tom Petty "American Girl" homage so delightfully blatant that Roger McGuinn might've covered it 30 years ago.

 
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