The Pains of Being Pure at Heart lit up a terribly dark first half of 2009 with their self-titled debut album, and were able to keep interest in the band high with their EP Higher Than the Stars. About 18 months later, and the band has just released what I feel to be their magnum opus, Belong. “Belong” acts as a microcosm of the different styles and feelings that are present on the entirety of the disc, while giving those that are not familiar with the band a quick introduction. “Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now” quickly ratchets things up to speed; the act is able to take on the strongest sides of alternative rock from the last twenty years, all while imbuing that sound with a fresh and vibrant tenor. “Girl of 1,000 Dreams” is another highwater mark for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, allowing for a gradual shift in the band’s sound.
What demarcated “Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now” is brought to a more Jesus and Mary Chain realm, all while the band adds a fullness to “Girl” that was simply not present during the early reaches of the title. “Strange” is the final track on “Belong”, and it winds together any loose ends created over the course of this CD; it simply succeeds when listeners have the time to properly focus on the full album.
Make sure to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart live whenever they come around your area; what sounds so neat and trim during the whole of “Belong” will undoubtedly be unraveled when they are provided a live venue. “Belong” is the band’s best album, bar-none, and it will be interesting to see where the act goes in the next few years.
Top Tracks: Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now, Girl of 1,000 Dreams
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong (CD) / 2011 Slumberland / 10 Tracks / http://www.thepainsofbeingpureatheart.com