Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Belong


Released March 29, 2011 / Slumberland

Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now
Heart In Your Heartbreak
The Body
Anne With An E
Even In Dreams
My Terrible Friend
Girl Of 1,000 Dreams
Too Tough

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have done it again. Belong is a lovely album, yet different from their first self-titled release in 2009. I like to think of this album as a slight makeover, a solid expansion of sorts. The formula is still all there, perfect love songs for any stage of a relationship. ‘Girl Of 1,000 Dreams’ has the intensity and flair of The Jesus & Mary Chain, while the weakest moment ‘Even In Dreams’ isn't all that bad with it's lush daze, the band is able to pull these tracks off while still sounding delightfully refreshing. Because rather than churning out an album that sounds like it’s predecessor, they have expanded their sound with the help of producers Alan Moulder and Flood. The fuzzy blur has diminished in favour for a clearer sound while Peggy Wang’s keyboards have been given a new lease on life. Thus making songs such as ‘Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now’, ‘My Terrible Friend’ and ‘The Body’ synth-happy indiepop gems.

Each time you listen to this album the haze will pull you in. From the opening title track ‘Belong’ where lead singer Kip Berman sings “I know it is wrong, but we just don’t belong, in their eyes, in the sun, no we just don’t belong,” to the brilliant blissful closer which you don't want to finish ‘Strange’, the effect of this album doesn't seem to wear thin. Much like their first album, this is the type of record you'll be playing at any time of the year, no matter what the season and no matter what your mood. Belong is a swoon of sugary hooks and lush guitars evoking dream pop sensibilities. The Pains have delivered another perfect album for awkward people; an album that is reminiscent of clumsy adolescence and broken dreams, while still being an album that celebrates spinning around in your bedroom until the dizziness brings you to fall on your bed in a fit of laughter.