Recommended Tracks: Light Up The Room, Your Body, End Of The World
Artists You May Like: All Time Low, The Ready Set, The All-American Rejects
The Plain White T’s are back and are possibly better than ever with the release of their eighth album, Parallel Universe. The band has tweaked their signature pop rock sound on this album by adding in some new effects, giving most of the songs more of a dance pop feel. I was not expecting the boys to go this route, but I am happy that they did and I am happy that they were confident enough to experiment. Don’t worry, though, we still have some all-too-real lyrics and awkward stories on this album. The boys may have revamped their sound, but they have not lost their charm!
I was intrigued by the album’s first track, “Light Up The Room.” It starts off with a repeating bass riff and an abstract sound clip that dances around the riff. I felt like I was drifting away into space until Tom’s voice came in and brought me back down to Earth. Right before we got to the chorus, I could tell this was going to be a different song for the band and I started wondering if the whole album was going to proceed in this fashion. We really had entered into some sort of parallel universe and I was excited to find out what more it had to offer.
The album consists of 14 tracks, which is slightly long. I was nervous that I might not make it all the way through. However, the band kept things interesting by creating these elaborate, energetic choruses that transformed any idea we might have had about a song. For instance, the third track, “Call Me,” sounds like it is going to be an emo pop rock anthem, but then the song builds up and breaks into electronic dance music. Once I started to notice this trend, I wanted to go through each song and discover all of their surprises.
One of the stand-outs on this album is the track, “Your Body.” It is a love song and, since we all know that the band specializes in these types of songs, it is no surprise that I was drawn to this track. The song is a little slower than the other songs on the album, but it comes at an appropriate time, appearing halfway through the album. It is a little more stripped-back, consisting of a simple melody, acoustic guitar, and some light drumming in the background to fill out the sound. It is a relaxing escape from some of the more energetic songs on the album.
We hear some more experimental sounds in the rest of the tracks. There are a few songs that sound like they could be from the 80s, such as “Lying About Me And You” and “I Should Be Dead Right Now.” We don’t hear it until the second half of the song, but I definitely think there is some keytar happening in “Lying About Me and You.” If it is the keytar, I really commend the Plain White T’s for making such an interesting choice.
As you can infer from the titles of the aforementioned tracks, the songs on the second half of the album are a little dark. The frustrations and the anger all build up until we get to the last track, “End Of The World.” This might be my favorite song on the album, as it turns out, because it reflects some of my thoughts and fears about life and the world. On this track, Tom wants us to just put all of our worries and doubts aside and live in the moment. He sings, “This might be the end of the world, so it’s time to take some chances.”
Overall, I think this is a great addition to the Plain White T’s repertoire. It might not have been what I expected, but it was still a really fun album. There was never a dull moment and the more I listen to it, the more I don’t want it to end.
Parallel Universe is available on sites like Apple Music and Spotify.