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Plain White T's went conceptual with new album

of the Oakland Press

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011

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A trip to Cirque Du Soleil’s “O” show at the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas inspired the concept behind Plain White T’s latest album, “Wonders of the Younger.”

“It just blew my mind,” says Tom Higgenson, the frontman and chief songwriter for the Chicago rock group best known for its 2007 Grammy Award-nominated hit “Hey There Delilah.” “The thing that really got me was the images, people dressed up as clowns and pirates, and they had carousel horses ... it was all these youthful images set to this very mature, adult, big production. It reminded me how much I loved watching movies like ‘The Goonies’ and ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Stand By Me,’ with all these young kids doing these adventurous, grown-up things.

“It just totally flooded me with nostalgia, and it made me feel like, ‘Man, I want to write an album that gives people this same feeling.’ So that’s what we went after.”

Ironically, the new album’s first single, “Rhythm of Love,” is actually written and sung by guitarist Tim Lopez. But Higgenson, 31, has no problem with that.

“We tried it a few different ways,” Higgenson recalls. “I tried singing it, and we thought, ‘I’ll do the first verse, you do the second verse,’ stuff like that. We fought with it for a while. But the first time he played it for me, I knew I loved it and it was going to be on the album.

“In the end it just sounded more real and more sincere with Tim singing it. He wrote the song. It’s about a real situation for him. So the more we thought about it, the more it went along with the whole point we were trying to make with this album, anyway, trying to be more adventurous and thinking outside the box and doing things we haven’t done before. This was one more way of doing that.”

Plain White T’s, Parachute and MIGGS perform Saturday, Feb. 26, at Clutch Cargo’s, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 at the door. Call 248-333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.

Web Site: www.clutchcargos.com

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