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The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Days of Abandon LP
180 gram vinyl, includes mp3 download of album.
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, only with less impressive results this time around. 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).