The Best Singles of 2009

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – "Young Adult Friction"

by Dave Heaton

10 December 2009

 

From its title to its punchline, this song is clever, a coming-of-age-in-a-library tale with bodies pressed against the spines of books. Not just clever, though. The puns barely cover the tangible feeling of excitement turning to disappointment (a.k.a. growing up). Musically, it captures both the rush of feeling loved and its come-down. It’s a firecracker with an air of sadness: the perfect metaphor for the way hot new bands like the Pains of Being Pure at Heart are treated as superstars one day, then yesterday’s news. They seem to be powering right through that cycle, however, on the strength of songs like this.

 

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