Saturday, 18 December 2010
A review of Hurts - Happiness.
Rising like a majestic phoenix from the ashes of ill-fated Mancunian five-piece Daggers, Hurts occupy the exact territory where style meets substance on a Pop Venn diagram. Looking like ambassadors for luxury branding, they have produced an album of symphonic synth pop which manages to simultaneously evoke feelings of euphoria, melancholy and nameless nostalgia. Single Wonderful Life narrates the story of a man who is bought back from the brink of suicide by a chance encounter with a girl called Suzy. As you can imagine, it is amazing. The soaring melodrama of Better Than Love is the sound of elation neatly distilled into 3:33, while the album has no shortage of quietly anthemic moments , such as on Unspoken, where the lyric “forget about you, I’ll forget about you” sounds less like a threat, and more a desperate internal resolve. As if things weren’t brilliant enough by track nine, Kylie pops up to secure the deal on Devotion, where she invokes the power of her devotion to a current boy to stop her copping off with a new one. Again, amazing. Elsewhere, a choir is employed to rousing effect on Stay, a song about saying “goodbye in the pouring rain” that sounds exactly as a song about saying goodbye in the pouring rain should. If you like pop music that is at once devastating and life-affirming you should buy this immediately.