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Exile CD+DVD, Deluxe Edition
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Exile is Hurts’ follow up to their 2010 debut ‘Happiness’. This deluxe format includes two additional tracks and a 30 minute documentary of the bands epic 2012 tour of Russia. This tour saw the band travel to parts of Russia never normally visited by artist, including one of the world’s most contaminated towns, and offers a rare behind-the-scenes experience of the bands live shows.
Things looked promising in 2010 for electro-pop fans when Hurts’ early singles, Wonderful Life and Better Than Love, easily matched the quality of their well-cut suits.
Singer Theo Hutchcraft and keyboardist Adam Anderson arrived fully formed. But electro understatement was ultimately abandoned for theatrical ornamentations, with overblown ballads taking cues from Ultravox's Vienna rather than Tainted Love.
But Exile occupies a murkier world than Hurts’ debut album, Happiness. Operatic leanings have been replaced by Sandman’s chanting, recalling Red Box’s 1986 hit, For America.
Said track’s industrial rock claustrophobia gives way to some surprising beauty. But the fraught Blind quickly returns to familiar Hurts’ territory. It’s so dramatic you can hear the dry ice.
Admirable dedication to touring and promotion has established a fanbase unlikely to be put off by Exile’s po-faced title track. And anthemic single Miracle, reminiscent of Depeche Mode via Coldplay’s Paradise, is likely to appeal to all.
Only You, the sort of song their early days promised, lifts the mood, as they temporarily stop running from sounding too 80s. From its title down, it’s a perfectly poised pop song, with a memorable lyrical hook: “When we used to dance we never cast a shadow.” It’d make a strong second single.
The Road recalls Nine Inch Nails, and is as bleak as expected from a song influenced by Cormac McCarthy’s novel, although its discordant finale tries far too hard.
The standout is a ballad by the name of The Crow. With shades of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, it showcases an intimacy sometimes missing amid this band’s studied grandiosity.
Exile occasionally takes itself so seriously that it’s hard not to smirk. It's a shame, too, that the lyrics so often indulge banal generalities, and its heavy guitars may be cynically aimed at the US market.
But these points aside, this is a second album that genuinely builds upon its predecessor. Exile reinforces the feeling in modern pop that no other group sounds quite as hurt as Hurts.
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
good cd that is worth listening if you are a fan of the artistPublished 10 months ago by Thomas Carbury
Another brilliant album by Hutchcraft and friends - a great band with great voices!Published 12 months ago by Sally Holmwood
Great product, great tracks!!! And of course excellent service, definetely gonna buy again!!!Published 20 months ago by Stylianos Papanikolaou
So glad I got this album, I originally purchased it on the strength of the track 'Mercy'. I was not disappointed with the rest of the album. Read morePublished 22 months ago by GavS
Great item. I love these guys (great live too). I'm a big fan of a-ha and after the guys split in 2010 and after following them for 25 years, the word gutted was an understatement,... Read morePublished on 8 Mar. 2014 by C. Snape
Really liked a lot of the songs on this second album by Hurts although it didn't quite hit the same mark as their debut album. Read morePublished on 29 Sept. 2013 by postj84
not listened to all yet, but like what I'm hearing so far, will be following them to see how they progressPublished on 7 July 2013 by Sheila Gilbert