Belong - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Belong Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Band members: Kip Berman, Peggy Wang, Alex Naidus, Kurt Feldman
  • Summary: The NYC indie rockers channel the early '90s alternative sound on their second full-length album, working with famed producers Flood and Alan Moulder.
  • Record Label: Slumberland
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Pop, Noise Pop, Shoegaze
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Apr 15, 2011
    The 10-track set barely has a weak moment and actually ends too soon. It's like '90s alt-rock had a child who suddenly grew up beautiful.
  2. Mar 29, 2011
    More than anything, Belong shows ambition, with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart clearly aiming for something bigger--a bigger sound, maybe a bigger audience. It nailed the sound part. A larger audience seems inevitable.
  3. Mar 25, 2011
    For Belong, they step up in class with producers Flood and Alan Moulder, who have overseen alt-classics from Depeche Mode's Violator to PJ Harvey's To Bring You My Love.
  4. May 10, 2011
    This only falls flat when you want more - and that aside, Belong really is a good album.
  5. Apr 1, 2011
    After all, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart never promised reinvention, and Belong is another solid soundtrack to summer afternoons lounging on bedspreads, making collages, flashing back to one's own days as a teenage outcast-however far in the past they may be.
  6. Mar 29, 2011
    Its sound is now massive enough to match its big-hearted emotion.
  7. 30
    Undersexed and over here, let's send them back to where they, indeed, belong.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Apr 4, 2011
    When I saw it for the first time, I loved almost everything - the name of the band, the cover, but I was a bit afraid that it might sound much worse than I expected. But fortunately it's quite the opposite. It sounds like it was recorded by your closest friends who liked the same music as you and tried one day to juxtapose all of you favourite bands in one album. If I tried to record the album of my dream, i wish it would be like that. It has the loneliness of the Smiths, the sensitive aplomb of shoegaze and the bright senses of the Drums. I'm almost sure that this album undoubtedly would be a classic after a while, and you would need to share your feelings with thousands of someone else, so take a chance and listen it before that sad moment. Collapse
  2. May 10, 2011
    One of the most solid albums of the year. I'm so glad the band is becoming their own band. There's still a little Smashing Pumpkins meets My Bloody Valentine and Yo La Tengo in there but I feel like they're in a transition phase and building towards something possibly great. Whether they are imitating their favorite bands or not, this is one of the most fun and fresh albums of the year. Expand
  3. Mar 14, 2012
    Second album from the fantastically named indie band. Although its similar in style to their debut, overall it shows progression. The production is better, the vocals are a bit clearer and the songs are stronger. Their first album reminded me of the Smiths, but this time they remind me a bit of The Cure. There are plenty of upbeat Indie rockers on this and it's a really enjoyable album. Their sound isn't exactly original and I can't say the band excite me that much, but there is something about their music that's really positive and really attracts me to them. Heavens Gonna Happen Now, Heart in Your Heartbreak and My Terrible Friend (the closest thing to a cover of The Cures "In Between Days" you'll ever hear) are all great tracks and are the kind of tracks that you'd find on those Teen Summer Film soundtracks that are usually so much better than the films themselves. Having said all that, they could do with some variation as well. Expand
  4. Jun 10, 2012
    Let me get this straight: I'm really the only person here capable of hearing the defects with Belong? Really? I'm not going to say anything nasty about The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. They are a good band and are nice people and play a good live show (and one of my friends is an old roommate of singer Kip Berman), etc. TPOBPAH also made me wonder if we weren't entering into a surprise tweepop millennium when their eponymous full length gained its original megahype. Campesinos! aside, The Pains were really our new twee masters in 2008/9. But Belong is in no way the record the eponymous LP was. Especially coming off the extraordinary high water mark of the Higher Than The Stars 12" (specifically the digital only remixes of the songs). What happened? I've suspended judgment for more than a year. The results are that I can now stomach the excessive production values and guitar crunch (feedback, fuzz, reverb = good; Smashing Pumpkins, 1995 crunch = not good). I can handle the essential sameness of the songs (all the B-Sides from the first full length were equally same-y). But while the eponymous LP made me euphoric and wistful for fuzzy Britpop, Belong makes me remember how out of place dream pop was when it would spring up randomly in the 90s. (Belong's title track sounds more than a little like Primitive Radio Gods's "Standing In A Broken Phone Booth..." I know it's incidental. Still... It does.) But, all crankiness and feelings of betrayal aside, Beyond (the album, not the song) grows on you after a year. I'm not mad or hurt anymore. Moreover, I'm confident TPOBPAH can reprise their initial burst of momentum, break this sophomore slump, and release a great third album when the time comes. Expand