CD Reviews – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: Belong
Hey, remember Freddie Prinze Jr.’s career? If Belong is any indication, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart do. Coming off of 2009’s self-titled record, which was about as unadulterated as ’90s twee-pop and shoegaze worship can get, POBPH have cleaned up their production just enough that most songs would fit perfectly on the 10 Things I Hate About You or Clueless soundtracks. Don’t get the wrong idea, though – that’s great news. The band’s low-key Belle and Sebastian-esque vocals sound even better up against the soaring and atmospheric guitars, and all the songs are catchy as hell, like an upbeat Ride or Slowdive, or like a My Bloody Valentine record where you can actually hear the drums. It’s full of hooks, edgy guitars, and pop synths – definitive teen movie anthem material. Close your eyes while you listen to “Even in Dreams” and watch Jason Biggs brood over Kirsten Dunst or something. Cue up the title track and try not to picture Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt tossing their grad caps up in the air and getting into their cars to drive away as the credits start to roll. You and I could use a montage once in a while, and Belong is there for us.