Hurts: Surrender review – synth pop that's just not good enough


When Hurts first emerged, there was a degree of intrigue surrounding them. Here were two guys operating within a chart-pop framework, producing ludicrously overwrought ballads that could have worked as X Factor montages; but they were also stylish individuals who knew the power of a moody, monochrome photoshoot and a pretentious quote. But even if pop subversion was indeed Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson’s plan all along, it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days. Their third album does little to differentiate itself from the kind of bombastic mainstream fodder that has felt stale for some time, whether it’s the woah-oh-oh-ing chorus of Some Kind of Heaven or the overloaded gospel wails of the title track. Nothing Will Be Bigger Than Us utilises the kind of EDM synths that weren’t fashionable when they were being used to soundtrack waltzers rides in the mid-90s, and certainly aren’t now. If they want to be a straight pop act, they have to do it better than this.


Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Hurts – review

The new album, Exile, so precisely recreates the New Romantic era that it's almost parodical. Hurts, though, aren't laughing, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

10, Feb, 2013 @6:30 PM

Article image
Hurts – review

Mark Beaumont: Hurts may have their moments, but Theo Hutchcraft's cheesy chart vocals make them every bit as painful as their name suggests

Mark Beaumont

28, Oct, 2013 @6:41 PM

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

Hurts | Pop review
Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
Much of Hurts' live set suggests a whistle-stop version of the annual 1980s revival Here and Now tour, with tracks evoking Tears for Fears, ABC and Erasure, writes Ian Gittins

Ian Gittins

10, Oct, 2010 @9:16 PM

Article image
Hurts: Happiness | CD review
Hurts have the backstory and the image down pat, but the songs just don't stick, says Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

02, Sep, 2010 @2:29 PM

Hurts: Exile – review
Exile is defined by its synth-pop froideur, its billowing music matched by towering emotions, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

07, Mar, 2013 @9:50 PM

Article image
Total Control: Typical System review – exceptional leftfield synth-punk
Melbourne's Total Control follow their best-in-class synth-punk debut with another terrifically creative leftfield rock record, writes Tom Hughes

Tom Hughes

03, Jul, 2014 @10:45 PM

Article image
Crystal Castles: Amnesty review – digital cacophony from synth antagonists

Gwilym Mumford

18, Aug, 2016 @8:05 PM

Article image
Martin Gore: MG review – free-range techno and synth soundscapes
The Depeche Mode member’s filmic instrumentals command mood and atmosphere

Tim Jonze

23, Apr, 2015 @10:00 PM

Article image
Wye Oak: Shriek review – beautifully crafted but unexceptional synth-pop
Wye Oak have swapped indie-folk for electronic pop on their new album, but they don't quite have the songs to match the sound, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

24, Apr, 2014 @9:15 PM