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Boomkat Product Review:
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are (along with Vivian Girls and other Brooklyn-based operatives) at the center of an American indie revolution. A revolution that seems somehow to have set its sights on the most unlikely of targets – British twee pop. The band’s self-titled debut was a triumph of classic indie songwriting, and had more in common with Heavenly, The Wedding Present and the Sarah Records catalogue than with the rest of the Brooklyn scene at the time. Now they’re back with sophomore effort ‘Belong’, and the winsome jangle and innocence of their debut has been shaken off in favour of high production values and a near alt-rock sheen. Thanks to producers Flood and Alan Moulder the band now sound like they would be right at home on a car radio at some make-out spot in the early 90s – the opening bars of album opener and title track ‘Belong’ wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a Smashing Pumpkins album, even. This might sound horrible in theory, but The Pains of Being Pure at Heart show a remarkable versatility, and their quirky and insanely memorable songs still shine through. When you’re on your fourth, fifth or six consecutive play through you almost wonder where the time went. A lean ten tracks clocking in at just under forty minutes, this is a pop album through and through, and rarely is pop approached with such skill and pure enjoyment as on ‘Belong’. Swallow your pride and let yourself go for a change, you won’t regret it.