Hurts – Exile Review

Hurts proved to quite a polarising duo when they released Happiness in 2010. Some people got it, some didn’t and others probably liked them because they had brief appearences in the charts. I have to admit that I liked that album as it had some decent, ‘edgy’ electro-pop on it with Better Than Love or Wonderful Life but the core of the album was a slight let down. Other than that i justed liked their style and they weren’t really akin to the rest of my music tastes.

When Exile was said to be a lot ‘darker’ i saw this as a positive for them that would get rid of the nothing ballads that they had on their last album. Upon releasing The Road as a taster for Exile late last year it was very odd. The dubstep ‘womps’ at the end was something i was not expecting as many talked of a “guitar driver album” and that element was very minimal in that song. It confuses at first but after a few listens it does make sense but thats about as far as it goes. Their first single ‘Miracle’ wasn’t an improvement on ‘The Road’ and wasn’t a great first single. It was possibly more ‘mainstream’ and pop orientated than anything on the last album. Remember (and god knows why I do) when Rihanna decided to have a guitar driven single with Californa… something? It’s not too disimilar to that. Some songs on the album do live up to the predictions with the title track ‘Exile’ which has a nice little riff that coincides with Theo’s vocals and a continued, disstorted rythm guitar going on in the background. The tinge of synth made it a nice modern pop tune and by pop i mean in it’s most tasteful sense. That and songs like ‘Cupid’ are reminiscent of the Violator album from Depeche Mode in 1990 which i think was what they were aiming for as they have previously sighted them as influences but they are a little watered down from that level. Violator is more rock-pop than ‘Exile’. ‘Sandman’ was another decent effort but why they spoilt it with the auto-tuned woman half way through i don’t know. That pretty much sums up Exile. It has the best intentions and plans but that all became a little skewed when they entered the studio and they seem to have got a little carried away with singling along to every bit of music or putting too much of that effort into other tunes while leaving the rest as album fillers. This is the prime example of the difficult second album!

Hurts – Exile = 4.5/10


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