Monday, February 6, 2012

The Top 12 of 2011: #2 - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

In years past, I've tended to fret and stress and just about hyperventilate about the whole "so many records to catch up on, so little time" situation that is the creation of those end of year/best of lists. In order to alleviate some of the fretting (and the frown lines!), I've decided it was time to streamline the whole process and make it something beautifully simple. I chose a dozen records that I've really loved this past year, and ranked them. The rankings, friends, come courtesy of the ole iPod. It's practically scientific, y'all! What the iPod says goes. At least, this time anyway.

Why I Decree It To Be So: "When The Pains of Being Pure at Heart released their self-titled LP a couple years back, I was pretty dang confident that they couldn’t possibly get any cuter, or any more adorable, or any more ridiculously infectious than they were on that fantastic collection of sweet fuzzpop songs. Now, having listened to the new record many a time, I have to say I stand corrected. With Belong, TPOBPAH shakes off that sophomore stigma and delivers a truly beautiful, intoxicating record. For quite some time it took me a while to move beyond the first three songs, so splendid a trio do they make. Title track “Belong” harnesses a delectable feeling somewhere between innocence and experience, rich with big guitar backing and those breathy, breathless vocals of Kip Berman. “We tried another,” he sings, “let’s try each other.” The frenzy of “Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now” hearkens back to 80s Brits, owing much to The Smiths in sound but lyrically nowhere near the rainy day moroseness of Moz. My favorite, for now, is “The Heart In Your Heartbreak,” does tread that grey sky territory, all lovely moping backed by sounds so irresistible they belie the sadness contained within. I often think that sad songs are the best to dance to, and “The Heart In Your Heartbreak” is no exception. There’s something special about this band, my darlings, very special indeed. They’ve struck the perfect balance between sugary pop and kinda sorta badass noise. The latest result of that coupling, Belong, is something you’ll most assuredly find yourself turning to again and again, smiling and laughing and dancing all the while. Without a doubt, one of the best albums you’ll hear all year." (more here)

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Belong by Slumberland Records

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