The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are back with Belong, their second album. The band were praised highly for the release of their self titled debut effort, as it presented the notion of mixing sentimental lyrics with a distorted, fuzzy guitar infused sound. So with the pressures of delivering the goods once again, have the band succeeded with Belong?
The album track begins the album, and has a bigger pop influence to it than any of the material on the self titled, the recognisable distortion is not used prominently in the verses, which would shock a lot (if not, all) of fans, but the guitar returns at the choruses and it just blows me away every time. It is so loud and brash, it tears apart the entire song completely and reminds us that The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart should not be entirely considered “cute”.
Following song Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now has such a great youthful energy to it, the drums are the loudest they’ve ever been, and the guitars are loud yet tame, to create a very upbeat song that brings a lot of enthusiasm that, until now, seems to have been misplaced by the band.
Heart In Your Heartbreak is a nice song but it pales in comparison to Young Adult Friction, the lyrics are a little bland, and the chorus is too similar to any other generic pop song. What made Young Adult Friction the best song on the previous album, was its catchy drums, guitar that stood out from the rest of its distortion heavy neighbours, and vocals were more upbeat than we were used to hearing, and the lyrics were extremely relatable.
The vocals on Belong are a more light and airy than they were on the debut, to the point that they sound extremely fragile, and unfortunately they often get broken apart by the distorted guitar which too seems to have been tamed on this album. This makes the album pale in comparison to its predecessor as the sound that produced a lot of love and praise from fans has been watered down and the songs, while full of catchy pop hooks, sound almost too cute for anybody to truly enjoy as much as their debut.