The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are an American indie pop band, formed in 2007, and centred around songwriter Kip Berman.
This is a nice album of heartfelt 80s pop but it suffers from the fact that The War On Drugs’ new album, which travels a similar road, is so much better. This is 6.5 on the TWOD scale; in a world without TWOD, it would be a solid eight.
The tunes are good but predictable and all sound similar; with one or two exceptions we find it hard to tell one track apart from another.
As with earlier work, they’re mostly songs about love. Berman is now married, and this record was recorded while his wife was six months pregnant. But he’s not gone soft and the barbed lyrics often given surprising views of love: Anymore is about an emo pair’s suicide pact; The Garratt is a Game of Thrones-type love song about love in the proverbial lofty tower. The closest he gets to undying love is “When I dance with you / I feel ok, I feel ok”.
Tight, lively pop with sharp lyrics; it’s not bad at all.