(Slumberland; US: 29 Mar 2011; UK: 29 Mar 2011)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Everything about the Pains of Being Pure at Heart is perfectly indie-hipster, all the way down to their name. While their debut relied heavily on the now-popular tradition of emulating New Wave fundamentals, follow-up Belong found itself more atoned to the early ‘90s. Belong finds the Pains at their most consistent, with the opening three tracks, “Belong”, “Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now”, and “Heart in Your Heartbreak” comprising the band’s most solid run yet. The influences are all over the place, from Smashing Pumpkins, the Jesus and Mary Chain and even Violator-era Depeche Mode. The Pains stick to their “adolescence and naivete” schtick, but producers Flood and Alan Moulder flesh out the group’s sound to match their lyrical daydreaming. There are few points where that daydreaming sounds more akin to whining, but the Pains are getting better at writing pop songs about being young and sort of in love. Belong is proof of that.