Hurts: Exile – review


As Adam Ant once said, ridicule is nothing to be scared of – words Hurts should take to heart, as their second album will provoke a fair bit of it. Anyone who doesn't revel in the sound of twentysomethings recreating 1980s pomp-rock should look away now: though the duo now incorporate spasms of grotty, Nine Inch Nailsy guitar (check out The Road and Cupid, in particular), Exile is still defined by its synth-pop froideur. The billowing music is matched by towering emotions: the lyrics to Miracle and several others suggest that vocalist Theo Hutchcraft is feeling thoroughly messed around by an intimate ("Look at all the damage you have done/ In time you can see what a savage I've become"). This state of high drama is sustained over the whole album; even relatively scaled-down numbers, such as The Crow, are weighty with gloom and regret. Luckily, Hutchcraft and keyboardist Adam Anderson are also endowed with that other pomp-rock characteristic – a gift for striding, anthemic choruses that turn even the most overwrought songs into unshakeable earworms.


Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Hurts: Exile – review
Hurts' second album sees the synthpop stylists desperately short of material, says Hermione Hoby

Hermione Hoby

10, Mar, 2013 @12:05 AM

Article image
Hurts: Surrender review – synth pop that's just not good enough
There was a whiff of subversion to Hurts’ early material, but now they just sound like any old bombastic chart-pop pedlars

Tim Jonze

08, Oct, 2015 @8:00 PM

Article image
Songhoy Blues: Music in Exile review – a Malian band to watch
Mali’s Songhoy Blues fled from their homes in northern Mali, joined the Africa Express and now release an impressive debut album

Robin Denselow

19, Feb, 2015 @7:15 PM

Article image
Cloclo – review
This biopic of French singer Claude François almost summons the grandeur of a Scorsese personality opera, writes Phil Hoad

Phil Hoad

21, Jun, 2012 @9:10 PM

Love – review
This film may be technically accomplished, but it seems like an 80-minute pop video in tribute to Stanley Kubrick, writes Peter Bradshaw

Peter Bradshaw

13, Sep, 2012 @8:54 PM

Article image
Warpaint: Warpaint – review
Warpaint's second album is so muted and restrained as to be barely there, but close listening does reap some rewards, writes Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

16, Jan, 2014 @3:00 PM

Article image
Ghost: Infestissumam – review
Cartoonish and old-school they may be, but Swedish prog-pop-metallers Ghost still have an amazingly refreshing sound, writes Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson

11, Apr, 2013 @9:00 PM

Article image
Cheatahs: Cheatahs – review
This new British band ape the sounds of 90s US rock with an appealing sense of buzz and bluster, writes Maddy Costa

Maddy Costa

06, Feb, 2014 @9:14 PM

Article image
Tamikrest: Chatma – review

Tuareg desert rockers Tamikrest's music speaks of the troubles Mali has seen in recent times, but it's anything but bleak, writes Robin Denselow

Robin Denselow

12, Sep, 2013 @9:45 PM

Creep: Echoes – review
Gothy appeal meets self-conscious grandeur in this well-crafted paean to trip-hop, writes Alex Macpherson

Alex Macpherson

14, Nov, 2013 @9:30 PM