The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart / Belong

BelongThe Pains of Being Pure at Heart are an indie pop band from New York City.[1] Their first album was a self-released EP which came out in 2007 through the Painbow label.[2] Their debut self-titled full length album was released on February 3, 2009 via Slumberland Records.[3] The band name comes from an unpublished children’s story of the same title that a friend of singer Kip Berman wrote.[4][5] The group’s self-titled album peaked at #9 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.[6] On September 22, 2009, they released Higher Than the Stars, their second EP.[7] The band released their second album, Belong, on March 29, 2011.

The Analysis:

Belong—-I am a bit surprised at the onset of the song…the sound a bit more electronic and bombastic than I expected. The vocal enters and sets everything right in my brain….this is so serene underneath the sound that you are lulled into a comfortable spot almost immediately. This is classic…..reminding me a lot of Silversun Pickups on this song…just enough reverb and psychedelia to allow me a smile.

Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now—-Still surprising me with the urgency of the music that the band is producing on this release, the vocal again settles my irritation and allows me to realize how beautiful the song s actually are. there are such pleasant harmonies on this…I am swept up in the continuing chapter of this band. This is more metallic but still has a remnant of peaceful joy to the whole damn thing. Brilliant!!!

Heart In Your Heartbreak—-Sounding like London 1983, this is a favorite track of mine!!! This is wonderfully layered pop that manages to make you feel euphoria despite the entire meaning of the song. This has such a great rhythm section…I’m blown away by the talent of this band…I will listen to this just as much as the debut….perhaps even more!!!

The Body—-Continuing much in the same vein as the previous track, this reminds me of New Order so much for some reason. The vocal is so sedate…once the layered chorus enters you are swept up in the mood of the track and the band can do no harm. this is exquisite, beautiful pop. I have been waiting and waiting for this release and I could not be happier!!!

Anne With An E—-This begins as I expected this entire release to begin…calm…sedate and serene…reminding me of broken hearts and overwhelming loneliness. Brilliant sadness that somehow allows an undercurrent of hope…all magically wrapped up in beautiful vocals and a soundtrack that I would love even without words. This is fantastic!!!

Even In Dreams—-Again, the band has an introductory bass line that reminds me again of Silversun…..the tradeoff of vocal duties is wonderful…allowing the entire release to sound fresh and unexpected. The reverb on this track is exquisite…the urgency and the noise is a nice surprise but fits the style of the band better than I ever imagined possible. Once again….I am in love!!!!!

My Terrible Friend—-Once more….reminding me of classic old school New Order……this is fantastic…..!!!! The odd keyboard sound carries heavy references to NO and The Cure, but the vocal is so much like Sumner I am almost stunned. The chorus hits and the song becomes even larger. Just magnificent….I am so happy with this release……this band can do no wrong!!!!

Girl Of 1,000 Dreams—-Returning to a full on throttle pop/rock sound, this is fantastic. This has a nice attitude to it that causes me a smile and a huge euphoric feel. There is an energy to this band that really propels me to seek them out live. I must experience this all in a live setting. A truly magnificent collection of songs, this is another of those that has become an instant favorite!

Too Tough—-Deeper in sound and again featuring the male counterpart of the band, this might almost be too much of a good thing for me. Perhaps the placement should have been a bit different? The chorus is a nice blend of voices though…allowing you a full feeling of the band. This is excellent…there is an almost JAMC layered sound of reverb that makes me smile even as I think about forgetting it. It won;t leave your head…here to stay….happily!!!

Strange—-Ending this release far too soon, the band delivers a deeply layered song that again only produces a huge smile from me. I am so pleased with this effort that I’m still puzzled why this is not being played everywhere. This has exquisite layering…a magnificent bass line and just enough electronics to keep you entertained. the lyrics on the entire CD cause you to stop and think about life, cry about life and ponder the meaning of it all. Just fantastic!!!!

****3/4 out of 5


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