The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart -‘Belong.’ (Slumberland)
Boom! ten seconds into the opening, title track of their sophomore album, it becomes abundantly clear that Belong is not simply a rehash of their debut album of two years ago. This track is a shoegazing meets grunge headshake of a tune, and it’s like 1991 all over again (unless you were a raver, I suppose). ‘Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now’ the second track is perhaps closer to their debut.
This album has taken a kicking in certain quarters, and it’s not just the fact that it’s not TPOBPAH II but rather the way that they have changed their sound quite a lot in places. the record can feel overproduced at times – ‘The Body’ and ‘My Terrible Heart’ are way too indebted to New Order for their own good. There’s nothing wrong with New Order – but by the time of their second album, a band should have forged their own way far more. However, ‘Girl of 1,000 Dreams’ and ‘Too Tough’ are excellent tracks.
Sure, it’s not as strong as their debut – and it took me a while to get to grips with it – but there’s enough here to recommend a listen. It’s certainly much better than some of the bile that’s been thrown its’ way.
Belong is out now.