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Days of Abandon (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

If the Pains of Being Pure at Heart made a big leap forward sonically with their second album, 2011's Belong then 2014's Days of Abandon is an attempt to consolidate their newly slick and streamlined approach into something even more shiny and radio-friendly. Stepping back from the arena-sized sound and dynamics of Belong, Days takes a more thoughtful and considered path that leads to a similar destination. Working for the first time without founding members Alex Naidus and Peggy Wang, singer/guitarist Kip Berman relies on longtime collaborator Kurt Feldman for musical support and also drafts in A Sunny Day in Glasgow's Jen Goma to provide backing vocals as well as the occasional lead. The resulting changes in direction and personnel mean that the band sounds more like the Sundays now instead of Ride. Both are good-to-great bands, but they deliver different listening experiences. The thrilling whoosh of sound and sometimes breathtaking power in the music (Ride) has been replaced with tenderly introspective lyrics, gently layered guitars and a focus on Berman and Goma's vocals (Sundays). This leads to some fine moments, like the uptempo pop song "Simple and Sure," and the song that hews closest to the old Pains sound, "Until the Sun Explodes." [Days of Abandon was also released on LP.]

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With their wall-of-fuzz guitar stylings and sugary pop underpinnings, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart nodded to any number of old-school indie pop and shoegaze acts, most notably Black Tambourine and My Bloody Valentine. New York-based musicians Alex Naidus (bass), Kip Berman (guitar/vocals), Kurt Feldman (drums), and Peggy Wang (keyboards/vocals) came together to form the Pains of Being Pure at Heart in 2007. The band recorded a few tracks soon after forming, which were released as a self-titled...
Full Bio
Days of Abandon (Deluxe Edition), The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
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