Independent outlook /// Hurts ‘Exile’ [Album] 2013


After Hurts set off the bomb of mass destruction with their debut album ‘Happiness’, which turned the Manchester duo into world music sensation, the extra challenge of a sophomore record lured on the horizon. Not only sophomore records are infamous for their hit or miss nature, but also surpassing the excellence of ‘Happiness’ could prove a not so easy task to do. However, bands that can unashamedly be called brilliant, are capable of sorting out even this sort of riddle. Hurts’ answer to all the questions and doubts came in the form of ‘Exile’ – a new step further for the band in their already remarkable career. ‘Exile’ has it all: the novelty of matured Hurts, their signature aristocratic grandeur and a special gleam that makes the album attractive and very special.

When Hurts offered a taste of things to come from ‘Exile’ – released one after another ‘The Road’, ‘Miracle’ and ‘Sandman’, it became crystal clear that the band had chosen a darker garment for their sophomore album. ‘Exile’ doesn’t have light simplicity of ‘Happiness’, but opts for a more sophisticated, crepuscular, sinister way of self-expression. After all, Hurts once called their style ‘doom pop’ and ‘Exile’ shows how exactly ‘doom pop’ sounds. HURTS-Exile-2013
‘Exile’ covers you like a black veil and when you get embraced by darkness, there comes the music. Friendly synths are joined here by expressive classical piano, symphonic arrangements, prominent guitars and drums, so by default ‘Exile’ already sounds more loaded than ‘Happiness’. Deeper nature of saturated sound attributes a lot to its grandeur too. Hurts keep the aristocracy of their sound, but on ‘Exile’ it takes a different form. It isn’t calm and light, but rather troubled and thick, that also reflects the topics touched upon and, especially, the way they’re expressed: the lyrics. Here heartbreak borderlines with torture and sacrifice, obsession and suffering. Saddened romance is there too and it sounds as elegant, as it sounds bittersweet.

‘Exile’ is all about extremes and neither of the songs accepts half tones or takes the middle route in the chosen direction. If it’s tragedy, then it’s the darkest track of the record, creepy ‘The Road’, if it’s sharp sensuality, then give it up to ‘Cupid’ or if you wish true beauty, there’s ‘Help’ where piano parts are performed by Sir Elton John himself. Crave for love takes shape in ‘Somebody To Die For’, while the loss of it tortures and hurts in ‘Blind’. And perseverance mixed with hope shine in ‘Miracle’ and ‘The Rope’. Each song gives all of it to reach the absolute maximum in the level of intensity, emotions, turning souls inside out and laying their natures bare, so you’ll never feel that you lack something: these emotions will fill you up to the full.

Hurts have returned with ‘Exile’ and while at first some might feel alienated by this new version of the duo’s sound, this alienation won’t last long: the darkness of doom pop will eventually creep up on you and get you in its power. A brilliant effort from a brilliant band.

8 Responses to “Independent outlook /// Hurts ‘Exile’ [Album] 2013”
  1. I have to say I’ve completely missed out on this album just now (that is, not listened to any of it), while I loved their first to bits. I’m not crazy about the industrial crazy stuff in The Road, but Miracle is great – exactly what I loved in their first album. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest after this preview πŸ™‚

    • The debut is massive! ‘Exile’ takes time to be fully understood and it grows on you gradually (at least it was so in my case :P) But after several repeated listens I love every second of it! New, but still Hurts πŸ™‚

  2. Pete Howorth says:

    I’m actually listening to this album now in its entirety and I love it, I never paid them much attention until I heard Devotion in an episode of Vampire Diaries, since then I’ve pretty much been hooked. This was a brilliant review, well done πŸ™‚ definite reblog worthy this πŸ˜€

  3. Pete Howorth says:

    Reblogged this on Evolution Of Insanity and commented:
    Perfect review of an album I’m actually listening to right now, instead of doing what I’m supposed to be doing which is watching Soprano’s, still this is a worthy distraction. πŸ™‚

  4. You continue to be my music guru, Pete. I love this.

  5. iamkaja says:

    You summed up the album in this review flawlessly! I like the sort of “troubled and thick aristocratic grandeur” description you’ve given; that is indeed exactly what ‘Exile’ is about. Can’t wait to get my hands on this badboy!

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