What with the impeccable tailoring, the monochrome styling, and the slo-mo moodiness of their videos, Hurts should sound – or would like you to think they sound – like elegant despair. Alas though, the duo's Ultravox-indebted synthpop continues to sound like melancholy as made by Topman. Unlike their first album, with its sleek and sharp hit, Wonderful Life, there's no killer single here, however hard singer Theo Hutchcraft strains to convince you otherwise. It's all laid on thick – the violins, the choir-sung, stadium-friendly choruses – but the songwriting isn't sturdy enough to hold it all up.
Hurts: Exile – review
Hermione writes for the Observer New Review section on books, music, theatre and feminism.