Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happiness, Hurts

BEST OF 2010

Does happiness hurt? Accords to Hurts not only does happiness hurt… it may not exist. The Hurts debut album is quite dark despite all the dance pop sounds filling the tracks. This is 80s music the way 80s music was meant to sound… dance beats with dark tones. The Cure is one band that comes to mind with this style. But, the band Hurts most resemble would be Depeche Mode. In fact, Hurts is the sound child of Depeche Mode and Kylie Minogue.

This isn’t the type of album I’m supposed to like. At times the music is too dated. Even in trying to resemble the 80s, it still remains a little out of place. And, the vocals can be a little high, operatic even. There are some strange experiments in sound taking place. Actually, this isn’t the album I’m supposed to love. Strings appear from time to time. Other times, the electronic beat is so beautiful I imagine the crowded dance floor. And, those lyrics… over the top and emotional. I’m almost reminded of Savage Garden at times. But, there is more than teen pop here. This is understood pain. Experienced pain.

This is the album for crowded streets. For long lines. For stuffed subway cars. This is the album of larger cities. A way to escape in something real. But, not too real. Although, at times, the songs are extremely sad. The song ‘Stay’ is the most heart wrenching on the album. I tear up most times I listen.

Since I’m comparing the band to everyone under the sun, I have one final band to compare: The Editors. “Evelyn” is a song that reminds me so much of the songs featured on The Editors second album, An End Has a Start. This is the album to travel if you’re a fan of Joy Division, too.

I am not placing Hurts up as high as I place Depeche Mode, The Cure, or Joy Division. But, even falling into comparison with these bands is a great feat. And, I’m not promising this album won’t make you ask ‘why do I enjoy this?’ There is just something so good about how borderline bad the album may potentially be. But, it’s catchy. It’s brooding pop. It’s danceable. It’s new-ish.

You’ll hate yourself for loving it. But, love yourself for having it.


1 comment:

  1. Totally didn't even think of The Editors but yeah, I totally see it. I think what makes this work is that it feels really familiar but is still unique in what it does, says and makes you feel.

    And yes, this is a perfect album for wandering around the big city at night or being slumped in the back of a train on your way home at 2 a.m.

    I keep playing it over and over and over. Love 'Stay' and 'Devotion' but I also find myself returning to 'Unspoken.'