Hurts are a band that come in for criticism that is both harsh and, in my opinion, slightly unfair. Their overblown dramatics seem to stick in the gullet of some people but I personally don't mind, it is good to see something different.
And Hurts are, if nothing else, different from the cookie cutter R'n'B 'tear up da club' nonsense currently dominating the charts.
Yes, Hurts will not be getting grammys for their ability to write heartfelt lyrics, some of them verge on pubescent poetry but with the combination of gargantuan tunes, U2 style guitars and inspired keyboards, they make something of more grandeur than they are generally supposed to.
Exile continues where Happiness left off, the textures in here are a little darker, the 80's styling cues unmistakable, from chanting children to stadium sized guitars and precisely timed drum machines.
The pomp and circumstance are in full flow, the drama wrung from every nuance.
I dig it, Hurts are cool.