The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s newest album, Belong, comes out tomorrow (March 29, 2011), their second album after their self-titled debut album in 2009. The sugary ten-track record is definitely a coherent, listen-through-the-whole-thing ordeal, which differs from their last album, peppered with hits. Overall, the album has a London-rock flavor to it, though a little more poppy and a little less leather jackets and Ramones-mullets.
This isn’t entirely relevant, but I like the names of the songs a lot. And I know, don’t judge a book by its cover, but you know a song called “Anne With An E” is going to be good, and it is. It’s so relatable, because it must be so hard to be named Anne and then everyone is like, “With an E or without,” and you’re just all, “Ugh, with an E.” Right? This is the stuff that makes up our day, people. It’s great. Kip Berman’s fluttery vocals against Kurt Feldman’s persistent drums creates a strong contrast that carries through the album. Title track “Belong” unfolds the album slowly, until we are up to faster songs with more hit-potential, like “Girl of 1,000 Dreams” and “Too Tough” (my personal favorite).
The Pains (what a LONG band name you guys) stay true to their tempo, watered down Lou Reed vocals. It’s a fun, spring-is coming- album whose pace is perfect for this in-between weather. A few songs have the potential to make it to your beach playlist for the summer. But for the most part, what the songs lack in longevity they make up for in cuteness.