Hurts
Exile


2.0
poor

Review

by Ali CONTRIBUTOR (131 Reviews)
March 12th, 2013 | 19 replies


Release Date: 03/11/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The crackers, Gromit! We forgot the crackers!!

Even in the turbulent, hype-fuelled realms of British music, it's difficult to recall an act in recent times who've proved as divisive as Mancunian duo Hurts. An increasingly massive presence on mainland Europe, Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson are nevertheless finding recognition harder to come by in their homeland, where their slick, shamelessly commercial synthpop continues to split opinion like a robust nutcracker. Even the press - so often the industry's designated tastemakers - struggled to strike any form of agreement regarding 2010's debut LP Happiness, and for better or worse, follow-up Exile won't do anything to resolve that squabble.

In a way, Hurts' entire plight is epitomised by "Sandman," the third track from the new record. Setting out all guns blazing, its opening stages are rife with hooks and smack of stadium-filling potential, only for the song to perform a complete bellyflop with the type of chorus any self-respecting writer wouldn't even present before their companions. It's an issue that's bound to raise it's head on occasion, so precarious is the line they tread between arms-aloft anthemism and hideous cheesiness, but here, as before, the pair too often find themselves tumbling into the latter camp. Granted, there are plenty of other moments such as the opening title track and lead single "Miracle" (the most blatant "Paradise" rip-off you're ever likely to hear) which hold undeniable qualities, but even these are let down either by a swathe of hideous lyrics or their apparent inability to write a chorus that's not utterly cringeworthy. Or both.

Sadly, these stained beacons are about as good as it gets, since Exile also carries a baggage of material bearing no redeeming features whatsoever. These misdemeanors come to a head with "The Crow" and "Somebody To Die For," a feeble on-two punch which effectively grinds what little momentum the rest of the record has gathered to a painful, plodding halt. It's hard to imagine anyone garnering enjoyment from such mundane dregs, but it'll no doubt be lapped up on the continent, where Hutchcraft's whinesome Bellamy-esque croon is celebrated as opposed to scorned, and as long as that's the case, Hurts aren't about to go away - regardless of this album's quality, or lack thereof.



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user ratings (18)
Chart.
2.6
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Haven't written a negative review in ages, this seemed like an appropriate opportunity.

I'm fully aware "whinesome" isn't actually a word. Well, it should be.

Feedback much appreciated!

Necrotica
March 12th 2013


10060 Comments


We need to do another contributor onslaught soon... anyway, good review! Short, sweet, and to the point

FearOfTheDuck
March 12th 2013


206 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not nearly as good as the debut, though I wouldn't it criticise it as much as you do. The Road is a fantastic song, wish they'd gone further down that songwriting... road.

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2013


10543 Comments


good review my man. digging the length

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

bloc
March 12th 2013


34992 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I just checked this out today. It wasn't THAT bad and I am definitely a fan of this darker synthpop, but I'd say it was just really bland.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

breakingthefragile
March 12th 2013


2962 Comments


I'm in love with that summary.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


7122 Comments


Dat summary : ]

Agree with Brendan ; ]

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


2719 Comments


Great review!

Never heard of Hurts, so I can confirm they're not popular. Doesn't sound like they should be anyway, though.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2013


3485 Comments


Summary is absolutely Ali. Good review, won't be listening to this

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks guys. Didn't think the Wallace & Gromit reference would resonate with anyone outside the UK, but evidently I was wrong.

@bloc, I was torn between 2 and 2.5. Went with gut instinct, which invariably tells me to be a dick.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013


22033 Comments


I don't understand the relevance of the W&G reference ):

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013


22033 Comments


OHHH

ok now I get it

haha

Phragmine
March 14th 2013


39 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Only You and Miracle are pretty sweet. Everything else I don't have an opinion on yet.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2013


22033 Comments


This is really making me think of Muse. If I didn't know better I'd've thought the opening vocals on
the album were Bellamy himself.

on-two punch

one-two?

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2013


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah the vocals have the same borderline whiny tone. Thanks for the nitpick, will edit.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2013


22033 Comments


Miracles is cool. There could be some other decent stuff here but the overproduction ruins it

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2013


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's certainly overproduced, though I'd say shite choruses are its main stumbling block. I agree that Miracle is the best song, even if it's a blatant Coldplay rip-off.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2013


22033 Comments


I guess it's the over-focus on production rather than the actual music

dan2309
March 19th 2013


22 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review, summed up this album really well.

I actually quite liked their first album but this just sounds whiny throughout. "Difficult second album" alert.



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