- Audio CD (28 Mar. 2011)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Play It Again Sam
- ASIN: B004NBY21K
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,969 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|Price:||£8.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details|
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As every sound from the past 50 years becomes reimagined by contemporary bands, it was only a matter of time before somebody decided to create an act that recreates the sound of the 1994 movie Dumb and Dumber. The soundtrack to the Farrelly brothers’ movie is a template which The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, from New York City, have absorbed; and seeing as the people who saw that film as kids are entering adulthood around now, they may not be the last.
In particular, late-80s/early-90s bands The Primitives and the Crash Test Dummies’ sunny pop sound is mined to the effect of creating records, like their 2009 self-titled debut, that are as nostalgic as an old college sweater. But where they stray ever so slightly from the honey-sweet sound, we get a taster of a band that sounds exciting, if not exactly revolutionary. On the title-track opener what sounds like a tribute to the gentle balladeers Keane gets ripped apart by a grungey guitar, which suggests that Pains… are 80s fans whose record collection extends beyond feel-good movie soundtracks.
But from the hushed, harmonic boy/girl vocals to the big choruses, their sophomore effort doesn’t stray beyond the college radio sound of their debut; in many ways, it has less variation in its template, with fewer experiments with heavy or distorted guitars. The difference, however, is that their debut seemed to be pinning all of its hopes on its singles – plus the band’s best song to date, Contender, which was mysteriously never released as a single – becoming a smash as big as The Primitives’ Crash or the Violent Femmes’ Blister in the Sun. But Belong, while certainly not having anything that sounds like it could be such a big hit, has the consistency to keep you interested after track number four due to the quality of songwriting, if not the variation in sound.
Who knows, maybe there is a film director working on a genre piece inspired by Dumb and Dumber, and is looking for a contemporary band to launch into the mainstream with their soundtrack. If they are, there is only one place to look.
--Lewis G. Parker
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Top Customer Reviews
Belong is ambitious and divisive album, but it works. Its like taking a time machine back to the days of Shoegaze, C86 and the early days of Creation Records. Brooding drones and cavernous vocals with the grungy riffing to create a dreamy landscape. The album is undoubtedly a grandchild of the 1980s that sound like it was recorded in a cathedral. This sense of distance and mysticism permeates the entire record. Atop densely woven atmospherics, vocal melodies weave to and fro, rarely touching ground, glued together by lengthy chord progressions within which listeners lose their sense of time and direction.
Despite their influences the band pull it off so well that one can't help but forgive it. So say what you will about the music sounding dated, it isn't easy to do what The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is doing. Merely appreciating music from another era is one thing, but creating highly detailed and decidedly tasteful reproductions of music from another era, replete with splashes of modern flavour, is quite another.
This is good stuff and its sad to say they will be largely undiscovered by the majority.
This is a fine CD but one that will not get that many plays. It needs to be a little more infectious
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Their 2009 eponymous debut
was a rough and ready but engaging affair which flew somewhat
low under the radar on our shores and disappeared almost without
trace into that place where worthy but underexposed art goes.
The new album is served well by producers Flood and Alan Moulder
who know a thing or three about how to build a big, buxom sound.
There are ten tracks in the set and collectively they pack a
phenomenal punch. The dense and occasionally dreamy quality of the
band's muse is pretty much intact but some of the new songs
have sharper edges and more immediate impact than of yore.
'Heart In Your Heartbreak' is an especially good example of their
refined melodic and rhythmic self-confidence. There's something
of The Psychedelic Furs 1984 'Mirror Moves' era about it which
I find curiously stirring. (I can be a bit moist-eyed and sentimental
when remembering The Furs - I am an old softy despite my hairy heart!)
Singer Kip Berman has a strangely affecting voice. Despite its limited
range and prominant sibilants it stands up to the task very well.
There's a lot going on in these arrangements. Strong melodies and
harmonies abound; dense ringing chords weave a rich tapestry of sound
and drummer Kurt Feldman deserves a special mention for his forthright
skill in keeping the whole big grinding machine anchored to the rails.
There are some great tunes here. 'Even In Dreams' is a real cracker!
It's got the kind of uplifting chorus which comes along once in a
while and sweeps you away (hands in the air!) with its joyous energy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have to say that I'm surprised by the gushing praise that this album has garnered from other generous reviewers. Read morePublished on 6 May 2011 by Stagger Lee
..of the album but that is because the first 30 seconds are just amazing and I am just playing it over and over again. Read morePublished on 28 April 2011 by Blue Naters