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