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Hurts, ‘Happiness’ – album review

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Can I really be up to track 10 of 11 and I haven’t skipped once? Wow.

Those of you who have read anything I have written before, will know that my favourite decade for music is the ’80s; the glam outfits, the melodramatic synthpop sounds and the epic electro ballads have always been particularly close to my heart. Imagine my delight therefore, to discover a new band with just such an image and just such tracks, who hail from that great of northern cities, Manchester.

Hurts are singer, Theo Hutchcraft and synth player, Adam Anderson. Finishing fourth on the BBC Sound of 2010 poll, the band released their debut single ‘Better Than Love’ in early 2010, which was followed up recently by their debut album ‘Happiness.’

The eleven-track record is broadly categorised as Synthpop, Electronic and New Wave; however the overall feel is not one of a revival, rather something fresh and exciting; something that bit greater which is built on present-standing greatness. Kicking off with ‘Silver Lining’ and we are given an ample  taste of both the synthetic and vocal wonder that Hurts have to offer. Synthpop as a sub-genre has seen a resurgence, particularly in the UK, in the late 2000s and early 2010, but I don’t feel that the market has become saturated just yet; finding the majority of artists around at the moment rather enjoyable.

Next up is current single ‘Wonderful Life’ and it is at this point that I can imagine the band standing tall alongside the likes of Human League and Heaven 17; Hutchcraft’s tone not being dissimilar to that of Heaven 17 front man Glenn Gregory. Track 3 ‘Blood, Tears and Gold’ is a sweeping electropop ballad, which fans of One Republic or The Killers’ third album ‘Day & Age’ might particularly enjoy. Likewise for ‘Sunday’ and ‘Stay’; the first being an upbeat, majestic number that will have the electro kids dancing wildly in their wet-look leather, whilst the second sees a host of suit-clad, gelled-back gentleman swaying along in the crowd, wiping away a tear as they reminisce about lost love.

‘Evelyn’ takes you on a fantastical journey through fairytale forests and fires, as Hutchcraft pleads with his heroine not to desert him on their quest, as he rides every emotion; fear, anxiety and desire. Kylie Minogue makes an appearance on the record on track 9, ‘Devotion.’ I really like this track and it is classic Kylie; Hutchcraft’s deep and impassioned vocals complementing Kylie’s atmospheric trance-like tone perfectly. Take a listen and see what you think: 

The album concludes with a mood-infused melody entitled ‘The Water’ which speaks about fearing being too close; to the water, to a certain someone, to your own mortality perhaps. It’s not as morose as it sounds I promise and is a fitting end to a whirlwind and a revelation of an album quite frankly. I had dared to fear that I would never get the chance to see a band as good as those around in the ’80s perform my favourite synthesized sounds, but I have been proved wrong it seems with Hurts.

Overall, I would give this album a 9/10 and say that I look forward to the live show!

Upcoming tour dates:


Saturday 2nd – Concorde, Brighton

Sunday 3rd – Cockpit, Leeds

Monday 4th – Oran Mor, Glasgow

Tuesday 5th – Ritz, Manchester

Thursday 7th – The Library, Birmingham

Friday 8th – Trinity Church, Bristol

Saturday 9th – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London.

For more information on the band please visit: and


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

September 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm

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