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Hurts, everybody

It’s been a while since I’ve done any music reviews, and, I suspect, it will be a while yet. Which is perverse really as I’m probably listening to more new music now than in the last three years or so. Most recently it’s Hurts, who I first encountered through the striking video for Better Than Love, and whose debut is now available on Spotify. I’d been entirely out of touch with music videos since I last watched The Chart Show but got into a MTV2 habit which included the likes of lovely videos by Temper Trap and the Mumfords, for instance. Hurts‘ effort (above) is probably my favourite of recent days (Temper Trap one with the cross-country run would have won it but for the horrific memories of actual school athletics it recalls). All moody and tense, it gives the song a wonderful atmosphere – it’s a great song already.

The rest of the album isn’t half bad either, although they don’t quite match the aural excitement of Better Than Love. The tone is that of a number of two-pieces over the years, notably the brooding romanticisms of Tears For Fears, the singer/silent partner synth swathes of the Pet Shop Boys, or even the trance-y drama of M83 or Air. See most recent single Wonderful Life: the lyrics are an almost banal tale of meeting on the Severn Bridge, of ordinary romance between ordinary people. I’m almost reminded of Arab Strap or Belle & Sebastian, not just the Pet Shop Boys (they even head vaguely into Erasure territory on Devotion, a duet with Kylie Minogue, no less). The booming backing choir in the big chorus with it’s refrain of “don’t let go, never give up, it’s such a wonderful life” has just that combination of reservation, sarcasm and desperate belief that characterised the likes of Mad World or Head Over Heels. And by the end of the track the synths are stabbing and washing, the choir is bellowing, Theo Hutchcraft is repeating himself with more and more twisting on his vocals: it’s Gallic electro time.

I miss writing about music a bit, but I think I needed the break: if you’d have asked me to write reviews over the last couple of years, I think you’d have mostly got diatribes about how it was fine these days and everything, but not as good as Bruce Springsteen.


One Response

  1. […] group I first encountered on the telly: this time, rather than the effete, stylised androgyny of Hurts I was confronted by a gaggle of what appeared to be extras from an ITV Thomas Hardy adaptation, all […]

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