Big Bad World

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Big Bad World
Plain White T's- Big Bad World.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 23, 2008 (2008-09-23)
RecordedGroovemaster Studios (Chicago)
GenrePop punk,[1] indie rock[1]
LabelHollywood, Fearless
ProducerJohnny K
Plain White T's chronology
Every Second Counts
Big Bad World
Wonders of the Younger
Singles from Big Bad World
  1. "Natural Disaster"
    Released: August 8, 2008
  2. "1, 2, 3, 4"
    Released: January 16, 2009

Big Bad World is the fifth studio album by American rock band Plain White T's. It was released on September 23, 2008 by Hollywood Records.[2] The creation of this album was a follow up album to Every Second Counts in hopes of breaking free from being the "Hey There Delilah" Band.[3] To promote the album, the Plain White T's launched a few webisodes, which together form the series Meet Me in California. The majority of the album was written while on the road, in planes, in hotels, and on buses.[3]


The producer of this album, Johnny K [4] and mixer Andy Wallace[4] approached the recordings as if it were an old recording. Typically, a recording studio would "layer the guitars," by recording everyone separately. Instead, Tom Higgenson revealed his ultimate goal: that he would rather the band "reflect back onto The Beatles to 'bring that back- the real songs, the classic kind of feel.'"[3] Both producers decided to let the "ambiance of the room fill out the recording rather than layer the performances." To produce this kind of sound, the album was recorded in one room with the P.A. monitors and wedges, and no headphones.[3] They even decided to use live drum recordings, rather than fiddling with the artificial sounds of an electric set.


The clothing store Aéropostale started selling the album. Buying it from there includes a limited edition Plain White T's T-shirt; also trying on a pair of jeans there gets you a code to type on Aeropostale's website for a free song download titled "Love at 10th Sight". This was also done with the latest Fall Out Boy album to increase awareness of the Aero brand. The free download is no longer available due to it being limited until midnight of the album release.[5]

The single "Natural Disaster" is featured as downloadable content for the Rock Band series.

  • Natural Disaster
  • Hey There Delilah
  • Hate (I Really Don't Like You)
  • Our Time Now
  • Making Of 'Big Bad World'
  • UK Tour Footage
  • Making Of 'Natural Disaster'
  • Rodders

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[8]
Blender3/5 stars
Entertainment WeeklyB[9]
Kerrang!2/5 stars
Rocklouder!1/5 stars[11]

The album received mixed reviews, with The Album Project giving the album a score of 2/5 and saying; "the new Plain White T's seem to be making music with the intention of not simply becoming a one hit wonder ("Hey There Delilah") and "making it big" but in the process have watered down everything."[12] reviewer Chris Fallon gave the album a score of only 24%, saying "the band continues their steep decline by writing some of the cheesiest, most gimmicky songs even Kidz Bop wouldn't consider covering".[7] AbsolutePunk later lampooned the record by claiming that album had sold 10 million copies, as their April Fool's Day joke of 2009.[13]

However, the album also gained a positive reception from critics. AllMusic reviewer Andrew Leahey gave the album 3 and-a-half out of 5 stars, saying "the[y] [Plain White T's] never attempt to recreate the magic that fueled "Hey There Delilah," focusing instead on slick, sunny songcraft with nary an acoustic guitar in sight," calling it "a refreshingly smart release that emphasizes the band's pop/rock leanings" and that they "deserve points for remaining grounded after a meteoric year."[8]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Tom Higgenson except for when noted

Standard edition
1."Big Bad World"Higgenson, Chris Tompkins3:07
2."Natural Disaster"Higgenson, Ian Kirkpatrick, Tim Lopez, Mike Retondo3:40
3."Serious Mistake" 3:32
4."Rainy Day"Higgenson, Tompkins3:11
5."1, 2, 3, 4" 3:18
6."That Girl" 3:07
7."Sunlight"Higgenson, Lopez, Reed Calhoun3:50
8."I Really Want You" 2:58
9."Meet Me in California"Higgenson, Tompkins3:34
10."Someday"Higgenson, Lopez, Evan Frankfort3:40
Total length:33:57
Bonus Track
11."Love at 10th Sight" (UK/iTunes Bonus Track)2:59
12."I Get Screwed" (iTunes Bonus Track)3:02



  1. ^ a b "Plain White T's: Big Bad World". The A.V. Club. The Onion. September 29, 2008.
  2. ^ "Big Bad World". Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Halbersberg, Elianne. "Plain White T's - Pop Band Moves Past "Delilah"" MIX Nov. 2008: 61-63. Print.
  4. ^ a b Anonymous. "Grammy Nominees Plain White T's Put Finishing Touches on Highly-Anticipated New Album BIG BAD WORLD." NewsRX [Atlanta] 4 Aug. 2008, Entertainment Business Weekly ed.: n. pag. Print.
  5. ^ "Aeropostale Gives Away Plain White T's". Archived from the original on 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2009-06-29.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  6. ^ "Big Bad World by Plain White T's". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b Fallon, Chris (September 21, 2008). "Plain White T's - Big Bad World". Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2008.
  8. ^ a b Leahey, Andrew. "Plain White T's - Big Bad World". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
  9. ^ Wood, Mikael (September 16, 2008). "Big Bad World Review". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on April 25, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
  10. ^ Langager, Ross (January 8, 2009). "Plain White T's: Big Bad World Review". PopMatters. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
  11. ^ May, Phillip (November 12, 2008). "Plain White T's - Big Bad World". Rocklouder. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
  12. ^ "Full Review: Plain White T's - Big Bad World". The Album Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved September 23, 2008.
  13. ^ "Plain White T's Go Diamond - News Article". Retrieved January 9, 2012.