Review Summary: Hurt traded the violin for a second guitarist? Really?0 of 2 thought this review was well written
This is my first review, so please take it easy on me.
Hurt has been, without question, my favorite band since I first heard "Rapture" on the radio back in high-school. There has always been a feeling that anything could happen in Hurt's music; so much more than simple music and lyrics. When I listen to Hurt, I can hear the raw emotion. Experiencing the emotion which J. conjures up has been the driving factor as to why I shamelessly promote the band whenever I can. The songwriting has been (even GBTTM) enigmatic and, at times, brilliant. Unfortunately for the Crux, the reason that it falls short of all previous works is its lack of connecting emotionally, intellectually, and musically to the audience at the same time.
So... with the exception of about three songs, this album is a huge disappointment. I blame this on overpowered instruments. If I wanted adrenoline pumping rock, I would be listening to Mudvayne or something. With the exception of "Thank You for Listening", I've never really valued the guitar work Hurt has had to offer. I listen for their (again) raw emotion and J.'s vocals. Now with the Crux, its like the roles have been reversed. As if to say "look how we have matured as musicians", they forgot that quiet, subtlety is more effective than instrumental talent. And speaking of instrumental talent, J. only picked up the violin once or twice.. what is up with that? Here's my review of each song:
So When - This song is great. Think of this a hard-hitting Vol. II slugger. I absolutely hate the two lead guitarists idea, but it really works well in this song. There is also a gentle piano that can be heard at times which cuts the heaviness really well. I'm a little confused about the singing though... It seems like there are two J.'s singing at the same time; one doing his raspy screams, the other melodies. Otherwise, leading with this song creates a tough act to follow. 4/5
Eden - I actually enjoy the double guitar in this one, too. It's a great lead-in to the powerful chorus that J. delivers really well. However, two songs in and you start noticing that your not really listening to the WORDS J. is saying. Instead, the listener is captivated by the rolling drums and raging super guitars. But, superficially, the tune isn't a bad listen. 3/5
Links & Waves - Hands down the best song on the album. I wish is was longer than 1:16. Think of it like an anti-"aftermath". The same emotion J. sheds in the last few seconds when crying "please don't cry, I won't..." is felt throughout the entirety of Links & Waves. Then the last three seconds, it comes to a peaceful halt. It is well written, full of feeling, and sounds amazing. Probably in my top 5 favorite Hurt songs. 5/5
Sally Slips - So, we just left off on a high-point. Blown away by Links & Waves, nothing can piss off an eager listener more than... consonance? Really? I didn't realize we were in an 8th grade English class. But for those of you who did not pay attention in said class, consonance is the repetition of consonant sound. Its usually used in poetry, but Hurt pumps a soft "s" sound much more than needed, and a result is compromised song lyrics. Perhaps that's why its called "Sally Slips". I know it might be a knit-picky reason to get after the song, but I expected Hurt to rise above a literary parlor trick. Other than that, they lyrics are not only un-enigmatic, they just plain don't make sense. Not to me, at least. Finally, its just musically unappealing. Sorry Hurt, but this is a 1/5.
When Its Cold - Starting off with a bastardized "Loaded" guitar riff instantly upset me. Then it breaks into a crappy chorus of "When its coooollldd" complete with 'icy wind' soundbite in the background. However, the worst part about this song is that its held together by the super guitars busting out cool reverb effects and a recycled riff. There's nothing original in this song, and it frankly sounded like J. wasn't putting out all he could vocally. 0/5
Adonai - I instantly looked up what "Adonai" meant and it's "God (Master)" in Hewbrew. This really excited me because Hurt has always danced around its religious stance, but never really addressed it. However, the disappointment lies in that they do so in a very sloppy lyrical performance. "Though it really isn't likely that you exist at all, I'm asking most politely to the one who made it all..." I just wish the song was written a little more eloquently. Otherwise, its not a listen. J. even breaks out the violin! 3/5
Caught in the Rain - Absolutely Terrible. Its like I'm listening to Theory of a Deadman or something. Hello radio! 0/5
Cuffed - What makes this song bad is that its completely forgettable. Nothing is stand out - the lyrics have the potential to be good, but listener is too captivated by cacophony created with the drums, guitars, and what sounds like a cowbell at one part. I bet it would be good acoustic because the lyrics are honest to God good, but J. just needs a chance to belt them. 2/5
How We End Up Alone - So all we had to listen to pre-release was this and "Numbers". This was definitely the better track, and its grown on me a lot. The lyrics are catchy, and the song overall enjoyable. Reminds me of something that should have been on Vol. II. I bet this would be kick-ass to see live. 4/5
Numbers - I almost teared up when I heard this for the first time. THIS was going to be the new album? THIS is the new Hurt? Ugh. Its grown on me since then, but I think that was partially me rationalizing that "its not that bad." Try listening to any other Hurt album, and then listening to Numbers. It IS that bad. Think of Metallica's Re-Load album. First they sold out, then they just took a *** in album form. That's Numbers. At least we're not at Lulu level yet. 1/5
The Seer - If your still listening to the album at this point, this is a gem compared to the previous five or six songs. Its a heartfelt and genuine song from J., so at least the album ended on a good note. 4/5
So, in summery, Hurt definitely did come though with their promises. They brought back the angrier, heavier days of old. In doing so, they destroyed their unique sound which separated them above the faceless masses. However, I feel like they can come back from this. I saw their acoustic performance a few months ago, and they still had it. The atmosphere was electric and they played everything with as much fervor as it was intended. The passion was still there. This isn't a great album, but its not horrible. I love this band, and I refuse to believe that one bad album spells the end for their great music. But maybe I'm just naive.