Open main menu

Wonders of the Younger

Wonders of the Younger is the sixth studio album by American rock band Plain White T's. It was released by Hollywood Records on December 7, 2010[2] and was produced by Ian Kirkpatrick. The collection of the songs was designed to evoke the feeling of awe and the yearning for adventure remembered from youth.[2] On September 9, the album art was revealed on the band's official MySpace account.[3] On September 13, the album finished up with mastering engineer Brian "Big Bass" Gardner at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood.[4]

Wonders of the Younger
The wonders of the younger.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 7, 2010
GenreAlternative rock, indie rock, emo pop[1]
ProducerIan Kirkpatrick
Plain White T's chronology
Big Bad World
Wonders of the Younger
American Nights
Singles from Wonders of the Younger
  1. "Rhythm of Love[2]"
    Released: October 3, 2010
  2. "Boomerang"
    Released: April 5, 2011


Frontman Tom Higgenson says of the album, "It's still very much a Plain White T's album. The songs are sincere and melodic, no matter what the subject matter. We want to create an experience that takes our fans to an unexpected place while still giving them songs to sing along to."[5] In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Higgenson said that: "The name of the album is 'The Wonders of the Younger.' We were in Vegas last year around Valentine's Day and saw the Cirque du Soleil show 'O.' The show had clowns, pirates and a bunch of crazy stuff and I walked out thinking 'I've got a great idea for our next album.' From that point on, my mind went wild."[6]

In regards to Wonders of the Younger: "The scope is a lot bigger than anything we've done before," Higgenson says. "We definitely tried to get out of our comfort zone. Not that we wanted to sound like a different band. But we wanted to push ourselves outside of what the Plain White T's are accustomed to--exploring different arrangements and striving to be more adventurous and exciting lyrically, musically and thematically. It all has to give you that epic feeling that we wanted the album to have. Even the performances that we're doing and the video we made has to have that slightly surreal, slightly fantastic kind of vibe to it." Higgenson built and decorated the recording studio in the basement of his Chicago home with Wonders of the Younger as his thematic inspiration.[2]

The album gets off to a faster start with "Irrational Anthem," a sort of thematic overture for the record. "Lyrically," says Higgenson, "I think it says exactly what I want the album to say. I think the line that sums up the whole album is Let your mind go anywhere it wants to. Don't lose your imagination. Don't get so wrapped up in your day-to-day life that you forget to dream or be creative, or forget to recapture those things or at least remember them. That's the beauty of life. I'm a very nostalgic guy, so a lot of where my head lives is in memories. I spend a lot of my time looking back and smiling at past things that have happened in my life."[7]


"Rhythm of Love" is the first single from Plain White T's' upcoming studio album. Higgenson noted that the song is all about pushing the boundaries of their creativity and musical imagination combined with a dose of nostalgia.[4] On this single, the lead singer Tom Higgenson was on harmony vocals only, with guitarist Tim Lopez taking the lead vocal duties.

Tom Higgenson said during a live chat on Stickam that the second single off Wonders of The Younger would be "Boomerang".

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [10]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[11]
Rock Sound6/10[12]
Slant Magazine     [13]

Wonders of the Younger received generally mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 57, based on 8 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews".[8] Andrew Leahey of AllMusic praised them for experimenting on different styles of instruments and vocals, and not relying exclusively on the midtempo songwriting that made them famous saying "As far as pop albums go, this one strikes a rare balance between familiarity and novelty".[10] Amy Bangs of Rock Sound gave note that the band stuck with their sound as a response to the detractors. She concluded by saying "For the rest of us, there’s no denying that ‘Rhythm Of Love’ and ‘Killer’ are guilty pleasures in the making – consider us thoroughly killed with kindness."[12] Jon Dolan of Entertainment Weekly gave credit to Tom Higgenson for sticking with his priorities but found the album a bit dreary.[11]

Track listingEdit

International edition[14]
1."Irrational Anthem"Tom Higgenson, Adam Watts, Andy Dodd3:37
2."Boomerang"Higgenson, Jeremy Smith2:57
3."Welcome to Mystery"Higgenson, Chris Tompkins4:27
4."Rhythm of Love"Tim Lopez3:20
5."Map of the World"Higgenson, John Feldmann3:39
6."Killer"Higgenson, Marty Dodson2:38
7."Last Breath"Higgenson, Feldmann3:46
8."Broken Record"Higgenson, Zac Malloy, Tompkins3:31
9."Our Song"Higgenson, Shakur Green3:15
10."Airplane"Higgenson, Mike Retondo2:18
11."Cirque Dans La Rue"Higgenson, Marty Dodson3:57
12."Body Parts"Lopez3:35
13."Make It Up as You Go"Higgenson, Dave Tirio3:44
14."Wonders of the Younger"Higgenson, Sean McConnell5:08
15."Thanks for Nothing (Bonus)" 3:01
16."Hollywood Love (Bonus)" 3:42
United Kingdom bonus tracks[15]
15."1, 2, 3, 4"Higgenson3:18

Credits and personnelEdit

Adapted from the Wonders of the Younger liner notes.[16]

Plain White T's
  • Tom Higgenson – vocals (lead on all tracks except 4 and 12), guitar, keyboards, celeste, percussion
  • De'Mar Hamilton – drums, percussion, vocals
  • Dave Tirio – guitar, vocals
  • Tim G. Lopez – guitar, lead vocals on tracks 4 and 12, keyboards
  • Mike Retondo – bass, vocals, keyboards, celeste, accordion, horns, woodwinds
Additional musicians
  • Dan Monahan – celeste, guitar, accordion, bouzouki, drum programming
  • Augie Schmidt – keyboards, synths, drum programming, strings, horns
  • Nick Rucker – additional instrumentation on "Rhythm of Love"
  • Jeremy Smith – piano on "Boomerang"
  • Mike Daly – pedal steel on "Killer"
  • Matt Rohde – piano on "Killer" and "Make It Up As You Go", B3 organ on "Make It Up As You Go"


Chart (2010) Peak
Top Rock Albums[17] 23
U.S. Billboard 200[17] 149


  1. ^ "Plain White T's: Wonders of the Younger". Slant Magazine. Dec 3, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "Plain White T's announce 'Rhythm of Love' single release and reveal video". August 26, 2010. Archived from the original on August 31, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
  3. ^ "The Wonders of the Younger - album art revealed". September 9, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Plain White T's Has Finished New Album 'Wonders Of The Younger' At Bernie Grundman Mastering @ - Songs & Videos from 49 Top 20 & Top 40 Music Charts from 30 Countries". 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  5. ^ (August 24, 2010). "Plain White T's announce 'Rhythm of Love' single release and accompanying video!". Glasswerk. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  6. ^ Graves, Shahlin (July 14, 2010). "Welcome: PLAIN WHITE T'S". Coupdemain Magazine. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  7. ^ "Wonders of the Younger: Plain White T's: Music". Capital Group Companies. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Reviews of Wonders of the Younger by Plain White T's". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  9. ^ "Plain White T's - Wonders of the Younger - Album Review". AbsolutePunk. July 8, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Leahey, Andrew. "Plain White T's - Wonders of the Younger". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Dolan, Jon (December 1, 2010). "Wonders of the Younger Review". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  12. ^ a b Bangs, Amy (December 13, 2010). "Plain White T's - Wonders of the Younger". Rock Sound. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  13. ^ Cole, Matthew (December 3, 2010). "Plain White T's: Wonders of the Younger Music Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  14. ^ iTunes: Wonders of the Younger album
  15. ^ "iTunes - Music - Wonders of the Younger by Plain White T's". iTunes Store (GB). Apple. December 6, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  16. ^ Wonders of the Younger (Media notes). Hollywood Records. 2010.
  17. ^ a b "Plain White T's".