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4.2 out of 5 stars6
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on 27 July 2014
I loved their first two albums and was hoping for something really special on this, their 3rd.
Although they have retained their knack of writing gorgeous pop songs they do seem to have reined in some of their more noisier elements which is really a shame.
It's definitely a more mature offering but is more subdued, in an Ultra Vivid Scene type of way, and lacks just something indefinable that their earlier albums contained.
However, that said there are still some wonderful songs on here. Kip as usual gets most of the vocals but Jen does get two leads and the 3 ultra catchy more upbeat numbers 'simple & sure', 'eurydice' (with a lovely interjected short frenetic vocal from Jen) and 'until the sun explodes' make this album very desirable on their own.
The quieter tracks just didn't do it for me although the opener 'art smock' is the exception. There's some nice brass included in the final 2 tracks and 'beautiful you' includes some shimmery/sparkly guitar to die for but there are just a few too many ok tracks to give them another 5 star classic.
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I had a bit of a soft spot for The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's 2011
album 'Belong'. I still play two songs from it often : 'Heaven's Gonna
Happen Now' and the rumbustious 'Heart In Your Heartbeat'. It had a big
dense sound and memorable tunes and choruses you could sing along to.

'Days Of Abandon' is a collection of ten new numbers and Kip Berman
leads the band into somewhat more transparent sonic territory; he
still has a penchant for a romantic epic ('Coral and Gold' is a beauty!)
but overall things have lightened up a tad and breathe more easily.

Opening track 'Art Smock' is a perfect example of this new luminosity;
a gentle, largely acoustic composition with some lovely vocal harmonies.
The splendid 'Simple and Sure' is just that; a crisp pop-friendly arrangement
which rattles along without a care in the world. Mr Berman's slightly effete
but eminently lovable vocal delivery has never sounded better. 'Eurydice',
too, is a real cracker; the band pulls out all the stops and fills the sky with
multi-coloured stars. Musical fireworks of the very best kind! For my money
however the gorgeous final track 'The Asp At My Chest' seems to have come
closest to stealing my heart with its very pretty melody and unaffected charm.
(The quasi-Mariachi brass in the final bars came as a nice surprise too!)

A fine musical offering. (I'm not quite convinced by the album's artwork however....)

Recommended.
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on 29 December 2014
This took a long time to grow on me, but after a quite a few listens I'm now really enjoying it and think it might be their best album.
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on 25 September 2014
Prefab Sprout meets The Dream Academy, this is one of those albums that makes your heart soar on first listen. It's melodic and enchanting. So rare to find an album like this, heck even a group like this still making music, they give us all hope......
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on 19 October 2015
Ok
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on 9 July 2014
it is so nice!
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