24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Happiness (Audio CD)
Question : Are Hurts as good as they want us to think they are?
This Manchester duo have not had the warmest of welcomes
from many in the music press. In some ways it seems to have
become almost cool not to like them. I beg to differ.
This is certainly pop on a grand scale. A hugely ambitious debut
and on this evidence the stars these two lads are reaching for are
eminently graspable. That the eighties have left their mark on the
music is self-evident but to get bogged-down in comparisons would
be to miss the point of these eleven magnificently crafted songs.
(Singer Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson are, in all probability,
both far too young for that decade to have been much more than a
misty uncertainty beyond the borders of their carry-cots anyway!)
Taken on its own merits a composition such as 'Blood, Tears & Gold',
as just one example, is as good as anything we are likely to hear this
side of Christmas and beyond. Its confidence is mind-boggling.
Mr Hutchcraft has a really lovely voice. Solid in the centre and with
a wonderful ring at the top. It is clear that he was born to sing.
His performances on 'Sunday' and 'Stay' lift what, in other hands,
might have been mediocre and cliched inventions into scintillating
pop anthems so uplifting they both made me laugh out loud!
The overall sound of the production is BIG but not undigestible.
A song like 'Evelyn' teeters perilously on the edge of bathos
but survives the sonic excess due to the strength of the lyrical
and thematic material. Make no mistake Messrs Hutchcraft and
Anderson understand how to craft a good tune.
Ms Minogue's presence on 'Devotion' (another cracking song) is a
somewhat odd but benign contribution which ultimately does no harm.
For my money 'Unspoken' is the finest moment in a strong collection.
An epic arrangement which never overwhelms its joyful melodic heart.
Hurts seem to have made both friends and enemies with 'Happiness'.
This Old Wolf is happy to come down on the side of comradeship!
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Sep 2010 14:21:09 BDT
Dear Mr Wolf,
thank you for your beautiful review. I totally agree with you on this album. And "Unspoken" is really a delirious song. Yes, Hurts will be much hated, but weren't Soft Cell and Pet Shop Boys equally hated before them? They are in good company. The company of those who know what real songwriting is about. In my book, it's more than enough.
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Sep 2010 18:50:21 BDT
Many thanks for your kind comments.
Posted on 15 Sep 2010 22:54:10 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Sep 2010 22:54:34 BDT
Hi Wolfman - this is a fine and considered review. The vocals and production on this album are without doubt of the highest quality. And you are indeed correct - 'Unspoken' is the true gem. I am actually more concerned with many of those who do like the band - a sizeable group who think that electronic music spans from the Pet Shop Boys to Lady Gaga, with nothing in between. And the DM comparisons are more than irritating. I like a whole range of electronic-based music from Depeche Mode to Velvet Acid Christ and there is definitely a place for Hurts in my collection. Thanks for the review.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Sep 2010 04:38:19 BDT
Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts.
There seems to be so much good music of every
kind to listen to in the world right now.
(Robyn's new album 'Body Talk Pt.2' is lovely also).
Posted on 21 Sep 2010 20:22:14 BDT
ScottPaul ScottPaul says:
It's news to me that Pet Shop Boys were ever hated. In the 80s it was always the women who were ignored and derided as being only there to sell sex (ironic considering that's all they do now, thanks for that Madonna, you old trout, see what you started...!!!) Of course, of the men, Duran Duran were always and still are hated. Hurts seem to matter-like Keane, Goldfrapp and Ladyhawke just before them, they are doing the 80s sound becuase it's the only way to come out with anything half original-the 80s had all the best sounds and artists (I'm not taking about 5minute jokeathons that mercifully disappeared-though today, nothing disappears (sigh). It remains to be seen if Hurts will stay good-but they're certainly off to a good start!
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Sep 2010 22:31:44 BDT
The Wolf likes Pet Shop Boys too!
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