To criticise them for being too 80's is like criticising Oasis for sounding too much like the Beatles. Yes I agree their look and to a degree their sound is unashamedly distinctively retro, but is that so wrong? If so 80% of top 40 these days would be empty slots.
Every now and again an act comes along that divides opinion, "they shouldn't be doing that" indie snobs, journalists included, it was the same when Keane released their debut 'Hopes & Fears' in the mid 00's, Coldplay too have taken a pounding over the last few years for being too dull, not rock'n' roll or "of the moment". When you have tunes to back up what you're doing, so what?, just stick two fingers up and carry on, that exactly what `Hurts' have done and done it brilliantly.
This album is flamboyant, massively over the top, power ballad pop but you can't deny it's an impressive debut. It's an album that will have the Coldplay effect for sure, certain types will destroy it down the pub with their mates, but once back home, secretly it will be the first thing they'll play on the i-pod docking station.
The Pet Shop Boys comparison has also been made, I think after listening to this CD, Neil & Chris must look within and shake their heads in great disappointment. It's the music they should have made about 5 albums back.
Just give it a try, it won't Hurt(s)