Megan's Top 25 of 2009: #4 - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

From beautiful noise of one variety to beautiful noise of another: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart sits perched at #4 with their ethereal, adorable pop perfection. I’m of the belief that the world might be a much better place if everyone sat down and listened to this self-titled debut LP, as heavenly and peaceable as it is. It’s an album full of youth and young manhood (and womanhood), an album for both the young and young at heart. As I’ve said many a time before, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart do pop, real non-processed, non-cheesy pop, about as good as anyone ever has or will do it. Theirs is sweetly done pop, saccharine but not enough to make your eardrums pucker, sweetness with a side of ennui. It’s such a joy to listen to, and makes me smile every single time I listen to this record.

Single “Young Adult Friction” is great, but isn’t even the tip of the blissful iceberg (though it sure does make a mighty fine song to dance to). Like each song on the album, the song has great presence, not in your face but very distinct. It’s like that cute boy or girl at school who was not only gorgeous but nice as well, the perfect package. “Stay Alive” is another high point on the album, reminiscent (to my ears) of The Psychedelic Furs but full of the candied charm that is inherent in The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s sound. The rollicking “Hey Paul” gives us shades of shoegazers past, with plenty of glorious fuzz alongside the driving drums and Kip Berman’s perfectly-pitched vocals. They’re totally disarming, utterly charming, and too cute for words. And sure, they’re not naïve nor too blinded by youthful abandon, and cynicism does creep in, but you’ll hardly notice. They’re one of my favorite bands of 2009, and they made one of the best albums of the entire year. It’s an album full of youthful idealism and exuberance and passion, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve got planned for an encore.

mp3: The Tenure Itch (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart)


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