24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
, 12 Sept. 2010
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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