Plain White T's - Every Second Counts (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Plain White T's

Every Second Counts (2006)

Fearless / Hollywood

I'm willing to forgive most of the shortcomings pop-rock bands bring to the table. I don't expect much creativity, I don't expect earth-shattering lyrical revelations, and I don't expect instrumental mastery. What I do expect is catchy and succinct music with lots of replay value, and for reasons to be named shortly, Plain White T's have never made that grade.

Sure, most bands of this ilk could be written off as corny, hokey, or any number of colorful adjectives. Plain White T's are on a different plain, though. They're able to take those corny qualities that can often be endearing and take them to a ridiculous level, such as is heard on "Hate (I Really Don't Like You)":

You were everything I wanted, you were everything a girl could be / You left me broken hearted, now you don't mean a thing to me.
Blink-182 caught a lot of flack during their tenure as a band for sophomoric lyrics, but if there's ever been words taken straight off a Sharpie-covered middle school locker, it's those. I don't want to feel dumber just by hearing lyrics, but that's a foregone conclusion with the all the trite thoughts this band has penned. When people listen to bands like PWT's, they want to be able to sing along, they want to have some sort of connection to the lyrics, however minor they may be, and it's hard to imagine that happening anywhere on Every Second Counts.

In their favor is the fact that they were able to write some definitively catchy hooks, and it's shown right out of the gate with "Our Time Now," a mid-tempo track with extremely simple chord progressions and an infectious chorus. It's the way anyone who likes pop-rock wants songs to be constructed -- easy to follow and easier to enjoy. There's not much to invest in a song you've likely heard before played slightly differently by another band entirely. They also fire off some real missteps, thoughl; "Making a Memory" is that down-trodden, ‘introspective' effort that's as token as it is disjointed. The punchy chorus is accompanied by some weak instrumentation that doesn't fit at all, and as if you had to ask, the lyrics are equally as disappointing. Even in a genre as welcoming to break through in as pop-rock, there's pitfalls to avoid, and Plain White T's step right into all of them.

Well I guess this is growing up.