The first album is never an easy one to deliver, especially when your first was as good as Happiness, and so with Exile, released today in the UK, have Hurts pulled through and given the goods? Well to see what we think, this is our Hurts – Exile (Deluxe Edition) Album Review.
(Review of the Deluxe Edition, Standard album stops at The Rope)
The album kicks off in Exile, a dark synth filled melody, kicking off with the statement “Home, it’s where the heart is”. Whilst the song itself is not is dark, it’s actually rather epic, it all makes for a really awesome cool sounding opener!
First single and first song we heard, this upbeat number with a falsetto beginning chorus of “If you look/And deep in my heart you will find” followed by a cool deep indentation of “No love, no light, no end inside” is just genius, just brings us back to the pure Pop days of Better Than Love by Hurts back in 2010. An instant grower.
A more urban sounding song sporting a techno sounding backing vocals for We’re waiting for the Sandman, but by the time the chorus arrives you can tell it’s Hurts. This song is definitely a grower and may take a while for Hurts traditionalists, but once it grabs you, its got you. The song has a 4.5 simply because it takes a while to get you, but it’s a smashing track.
Blind is a perfect follow up to Sandman, beginning with the same style backing vocals, and almost keeping the rhythm for a much sadder feeling song. The song is about someone who has had problems and had to end a relationship, but all they can see is that someone, and they wish they could just be “blind” for a while. The song is such a beautiful one, a classic, each time the chorus comes you can’t help try to reach that note.
What happens after many seamless perfect songs on an album, an average one comes up, and sadly this is true of Only You. The verses build up the song really well, but the chorus just leaves you underwhelmed, the lyrics aren’t much better either, a filler that we’re skipping every time … except this time obviously, professional reviewing going on here!
The Road brings the mood back down, even Theo from Hurts described it as the saddest song he could come up with, and whilst it does have a low mood, it’s certainly a pleasure to listen to, especially when the song builds up suddenly at the “When I close my eyes…” just awesome. The song had previously been given away for free through the Hurts website, so it’s far from the first time you may have heard this song, many more listens to come I expect, the ending is just mad!
Who said Depeche Mode were dead? Oh, its still Hurts, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. Like a Depeche Mode classic, we’re not quite sure what the songs about, but my god does it sound awesome, with vocal effects all over the place, sounds insane in the headphones, add that to the guitar driven disco sound, it’s one of our favourites, even if the Cupid moments are a bit freaky, but when it shouts the start the chorus completely makes up for that.
This album just keeps giving, M E R C Y like a 90s disco you’ll be chanting before this is done, this song means business, it almost makes chanting cool again, when the chorus comes in it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear dubstep influences in there, but done in this way is certainly not a bad thing, we love it! And the scream in the middle 8, wow! This needs to be a single, people will be thinking ‘when did those guys grow balls’!
With The Crow, the mood relaxes again, with Hurts most relaxing song following their most upbeat, probably so you can have a rest after the dances you definitely did. The Crow is an exceptional track about someone growing up and spreading their wings and evolving in life, using the Crow as a reference, just listening to the song evolve is enough for us though. The song is pure beauty start to finish and the chorus leaves you in awe. This track if we had to pick is our album favourite.
Somebody To Die For
Somebody to Die For is a song to die for, this is the ballad of the album, the Unspoken of Exile, this song beams lyrics of pure emotion, “Cause I don’t need this life, I just need somebody to die for”. Big, bold line after line, this song is lyric and music genius right here! We were fighting in the office whether this or The Crow is our favourite, we can’t call it, this song is just incredible. So get the tissues ready, Somebody to Die For is here, but its worth it, up until the perfect quiet soft vocal ending.
The Rope kicks off almost like a Boyband song, but recovers with the next line. The Rope is a song about someone tackling the rope in their life climbing up to the person they know they have to become, a strong message and a strong song to send it out with. To add to the message, we have a song that just works, with distorted piano, screeches you’d expect to hear on a rap song, the music is a risky number, but in pure Hurts fashion it all works and belongs.
Help is a jolly melodic number with an almost a Disney feeling to it, but at the same time its a good song. The songs melody rings through it throughout especially in the high pitch one line chorus ‘And we cry for help’. The song is as you would expect a call for Help, someone struggling in life, but the help of someone else just makes everything better. The only thing we kinda don’t like is the chorus that begins mid way till end, “I can feel the darkness coming, and I’m afraid of myself. Call my name and I’ll come running, cause I just need some help!”. Personally we’d of preferred Theos vocals, but its still a great song none the less.
The disco and Better Than Love feeling returns with Heaven, with low drum driven verses building all the way literally up to a Whoahhh driven chorus, epic! The song continues the usual pathway in the lyrics on the album of the pathway of making someone love them forever and the long road leading up to it, but Heaven is the song for those who don’t want to hear it in a low mood set, Heaven is quite a up beat happy song, and we love it!
Just like Happiness, Exile ends on a Piano driven acoustic ballad, except this time we’ve gone out of the water and ended up on the bridge. Guilt isn’t the best song on the album, who knows it may grow on some of you, but it does nothing for us, probably one of the worst songs on the album, but hey it is on the deluxe version after all.
– An incredible follow up to Happiness, Hurts prove that the second album doesn’t have to be the scary one with Exile, the album is darker, more experimented and more importantly, more enjoyable to listen to, Theo and Adam should be proud, this is a great evolution from Happiness.