Review Summary: Decent rock album, but you won't find any house carpenters here.
Hurt is a criminally underrated band from Virginia. They were formed in 2000 and the only original member is the vocalist, J. Loren Wince. He is a very talented vocalist that really carries the band with his emotional and dynamic voice. The band also incorporates strings into their music which adds a pleasant touch. They released their breakthrough albums, Vol. I and Vol. II in 2006 and 2007. Both of which are usually debated upon for the title of Hurt's best album. The Crux is their latest release and its safe to say that it won't be posing a threat to either of those albums. That doesn't mean it isn't a good album though, it just doesn't produce the chillbumps that those albums do.
The album produced one single which was the track "How We End Up Alone" which was a good choice for a single as it shows a good preview of the entire album. It mixes heavy elements with more mellow elements and makes for an enjoyable listen but its not bursting at the seams with emotion. "Adonai", "When It's Cold", and "So When" are the only tracks that come close to matching the emotion of previous Hurt albums. "Adonai" ends with a very nice violin outro and some whispering that I believe is in Hebrew and "So When" does a good job of layering vocals. "Links & Waves" is a very short track at 1:16 which really is a wasted track. It should have either been deleted or made into a longer song. "Eden" is probably the heaviest song on the album with some heavy guitar riffing and a very raw vocal delivery.
"Sally Slips", "Caught In The Rain", and "The Seer" are the slower tracks on the album. All three are good tracks but they seem to be missing something. I kept waiting on the big buildup to an epic J. Loren scream or something like that but it never came. Although "Caught In The Rain" has a nice guitar solo towards the end. The two remaining tracks, "Numbers" and "Cuffed" are both just mediocre rock songs with the latter being very catchy.
This is an album that I do believe was meant to go for a more mainstream approach. The songs are shorter, less screams, less string arrangements and the lyrics almost seem to have been dumbed down. Had I never known about Vol. I or Vol. II before I listened to this album then I think I would have enjoyed this album a lot more, but after hearing what this band is capable of, I was quite disappointed. Still an album worth checking out if you are interested but I would recommend first listening to any one of Hurt's previous works, from The Consumation to Goodbye To The Machine, as a starting point.