Review - Hurts - Exile
Hurts created not only a name but a signature sound with their 2010 debut album ‘Happiness’ (which, after listening to the album and experiencing how they perform is kind of a joke). Suits, slicked back hair and Dolce & Gabbana photography uphold the whole feeling that starts with their music (you should be able to guess what they sound like from just that description).
After selling quite well around the world – except the US, of course – the duo had a lot to live up to. How can you play the morose pop card twice? But then again, if that’s what you’re known for, how can you not?
‘Exile’ is almost exactly what their sophomore set needed to be. Let me quickly just say what’s wrong with it: it is sadly void of hit singles. While none of the half dozen cuts released from ‘Happines’ stormed the UK charts, there were a number of top 100 hits, and in other territories (Germany mostly, where they seem to do very well) some tracks even made it into the top 10. The album’s lead single “Miracle” is the best radio is going to see, which only means that their sales won’t be as impressive as their first album’s.
Now, onto the good, which is to say everything else. The band stretches their sound and style to incorporate new things, guitars most surprisingly. Actual instruments haven’t replaced the new wave synths and spirit-raising choirs, but you can definitely hear them. While they perform this slight transition well, it does put them more into the Muse category. Now we’re mixing Muse and Florence + the Machine and I hope no one forgets that they are actually listening to Hurts.
‘Exile’ is still chock full of choruses that pull you in and lift up every tune. Everything sounds grander when coming from their mouths, and yet at the same time they are lamenting a lost love or some deep pain. Their name is Hurts after all.
Sorry, I know that this review was a tad disjointed. There were a lot of thoughts to be expressed and I haven’t written an album review in WEEKS!
Listen to: “Miracle”, “Exile” (tell me that isn’t Muse), “Only You”, “Somebody To Die For”, “Help”