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Belong

19 customer reviews

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Belong
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Vinyl, March 29, 2011
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$18.87 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com in easy-to-open packaging. Gift-wrap available.

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Belong + The Pains of Being Pure at Heart + Days of Abandon
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Editorial Reviews

The beginning of 'Belong'-- the title track and new single from the Pains of Being Pure at Heart's second album, which is out March 29 via Slumberland-- features the indie-pop band casually jangling along. But it's something of a red herring. Right at the fifteen-second mark, the guitars blitz out louder and harder than anything on their self-titled debut. The gargantuan distortion recalls nothing less than prime-era Smashing Pumpkins, which makes sense considering Belong was produced by Flood and mixed by Alan Moulder, aka the guys who helped craft the sounds of Pumpkins classics like Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, not to mention records by My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, U2, PJ Harvey, Depeche Mode, and many more. Basically, if you grew up in the 90s, your ears are subconsciously attuned the studio wizardry of Flood and Alan Moulder.
We recently met up with the band at the delightfully cheesy grilled-meats chain Dallas BBQ in downtown Manhattan. As lead singer Kip Berman slurped a red, white, and blue frozen drink called the 'Firecracker,' he and the rest of the group-- that's keyboardist Peggy Wang, bassist Alex Naidus, and drummer Kurt Feldman-- talked about their unlikely studio gurus in semi-shocked tones. The chummy foursome were more than happy to chat about the movie Clueless and something called a Travel Pussy, too.

1. Belong
2. Heaven's Gonna Happen Now
3. Heart In Your Heartbreak
4. The Body
5. Anne With An E
6. Even In Dreams
7. My Terrible Friend
8. Girl of 1,000 Dreams
9. Too Tough
10. Strange

Product Details

  • Vinyl (March 29, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Slumberland/Collective Sounds
  • ASIN: B004N2L7IU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,231 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Luke Robinett on March 29, 2011
Format: Audio CD
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart deliver on the promise of their sparkling debut album with their follow-up, Belong. Here the band takes all the ingredients that worked so well the first time around -- tight song structures, solid hooks, melancholy lyrical themes, healthy doses of early '90s shoegazing nostalgia -- and expands their sonic reach into the stratosphere. With heavy-hitter producers Flood and Moulder behind the boards, the band elaborates on their previously lo-fi aesthetic and introduces dense layers of distorted guitar that cut through the mix and demand your full attention. The songwriting has gotten even more refined, the hooks bigger and the songs themselves feeling more emotionally charged than ever. Where the rhythm section sounded relatively compact and unassuming behind the fuzzy guitars on their first album, the drums are huge, propulsive and thundering throughout the album as the bass lines rumble with a U2-style sense of anthemic grandeur. All of this could have spelled disaster for a band whose charm seemed in part indebted to its vintage-sounding production style, but instead, the band smartly utilizes this broader sonic palette to bring their ideas and moods to life in a new way. While a few fans might not dig the big-and-shiny bombast, most should find this a very satisfying listen, and surely this will be the album that brings them more mainstream attention, as well. While heavier tunes dominate the set list, there are some welcomed tamer moments, such as the New Order-inspired songs "Heart in the Heartbreak" and The Body." On the final track, "Strange" The Pains slightly tweak their usual verse-chorus-verse formula, opting instead for a steady, droning rhythm that builds into a lush, exhilarating climax.Read more ›
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Vice on March 29, 2011
Format: Audio CD
On their self-titled debut, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart explored the tropes and truisms of 1980's new wave and dream pop, layering their poetic, biographical love songs with fuzz and shimmer. Now, on their follow-up, Belong, you can hear the band continuing to explore their style, while simultaneously giving a bigger nod to their influences, including some unexpected references to bands such as '90s alt-rock titans, the Smashing Pumpkins, which are heard throughout the record in the loud-soft dynamics that play in numerous songs (no doubt courtesy of former Pumpkins producer, Flood.)

Stylistically, Belong is a little bit more varied than the Pains' debut, with burners that drive harder and ballads that play it softer. However, as far as songwriting goes, Belong doesn't quite top what the band achieved on their first record, though it is certainly an excellent record full of catchy hooks and clever songs. For a band like the Pains, innovation is key. Another record in the exact same vein as the s/t debut would be superfluous and pointless, but with innovation there are naturally missteps, though the band avoided doing anything particularly egregious with any of the tunes. Opener and title track "Belong" is a powerful mid-tempo ballad (not unlike most of their songs) and sets the stage for the lyrical themes of being an outsider that are found throughout the record. First single "Heart in Your Heartbreak" is a strong example of the Pumpkins influence heard in this album, with a gradual build of fuzz and distortion until the song really explodes in the last minute. Later on "Even in Dreams" and "Strange" are perfect little slices of fuzz pop, rounding out a solid set of songs that don't necessarily raise the bar for this excellent band, but certainly don't lower it even an inch.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Quaker on April 5, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Sophomore release from New York press darlings lives up to the hype...gorgeously addictive,
irresistibly melodic post-shoegaze pop packed with a ton of hooky choruses, compellingly sweet
vocals and smoothly roaring dream-pop guitar riffs. There are no new inventions here, but this
may be as close to "perfect" as formulaic shoegaze pop can get. Every song is a stick-in-your-
head keeper. Two big pop thumbs pointing toward the sky here! Similarities to Jesus & Mary
Chain, The Raveonettes, New Order, Ride, Asobi Seksu.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Mariba on March 30, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is a great sophomore CD release effort by the talented alternative/indie rock band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, simply titled 'Belong'. Unlike their debut 2009 self-titled album, the band's sound has evolved in 'Belong' to that which is reminiscent to bands like Blondie or Smashing Pumpkins among others, but this in a positive good way. The opening/title track "Belong" does give one a good overview of album sound : great melodic rock sound. My favourite track (and hence the title of my review) is "Anne With an E" : an incredible beautiful ballad. "Heart In Your Heartbreak", "The Body", "Even In Dreams", "My Terrible Friend" & "Strange" are all great tracks with quite a similar sound & song structure (and sound is quite similar to the song "Maria" by the band Blondie). "Heaven's Gonna Happen Now" has great lead guitar & vocals. The great melodic alternative tracks "Girl Of 1,000 Dreams" & "Too Tough" is another showcase how great this band is. There is no weak track to really talk of on this great CD 'Belong'. On overall, you have a well produced CD release by the talented rock band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, a highly recommended CD listening.
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