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Happiness (Deluxe Edition)

Hurts

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Album Review

Whereas the likes of La Roux, Ladyhawke, and Little Boots have found both commercial and critical success with their retro brand of '80s synth pop, their male counterparts have struggled to connect with audiences in the same way. Frankmusik's online buzz failed to translate into record sales while Dan Black and Ali Love's careers stuttered before they really started. However, Manchester duo Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson, aka Hurts, could well be the act to buck the trend. With influences stretching far beyond the usual Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys, their debut album, Happiness, has reference points that also appear to include the gothic balladry of Sisters of Mercy ("Evelyn"), the polished electro of a-ha ("Better Than Love"), and even the glossy new wave of Johnny Hates Jazz ("Blood, Tears and Gold"). But what on paper could have been nothing more than a derivative homage turns out to be one of the most consistently inventive pop albums of the year. Opening track "Silver Lining" begins with robotic processed beats and ends in a gloriously overblown wave of Gregorian chanting, "Sunday" is an anthemic slice of Hi-NRG string-soaked Europop occupying the space between Coldplay and Cascada, and "Stay" is a dramatic gospel-fused love song that highlights Hutchcraft's delicate but powerful vocals. Best of all is breakthrough track "Wonderful Life," a heart-wrenching tale of bitter optimism set against a backdrop of clattering rhythms, shimmering atmospheric synths, and one of the signature sounds of the '80s, the saxophone solo. Unfortunately, its lyrics, full of banal and clichéd metaphors, aren't as interesting as the music they accompany, while the final three tracks, including "Devotion," a disappointingly turgid duet with Kylie Minogue, don't quite live up to the rest of the album's high standards. But despite unashamedly wearing its influences on its sleeve, Happiness cleverly avoids being just a pastiche, with its sophisticated and grandiose production adding a modern twist to its authentic and affectionate '80s sound. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Fantastic!

I have to say this album is definitely my favourite of 2011, it will take some time to beat that too! Worth every penny as I listen again and again.
Very pleased they have released this deluxe edition, 'confide in me' is brilliant. Every song on this album has me hooked, it really is 'beautiful' music. Overall a fantastic band, fantastic album and cannot wait for the next! Highly recommended, plus as an added bonus, Theo the lead singer is gorgeous!

Favourite

This is one of my favourite albums of all time, all of the songs I can listen to over and over again and they're stunning.
The best song on this album personally is ''illuminated'' - it is just so stunning and the chorus is beautiful. Sunday, Devotion and Evelyn are also the best. This is such an incredible album. (Y)

Better than love for the win<3

Im addicted to better than love. why is it not the most popular!!??grrr..

Biography

Formed: 2005 in Manchester, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Hailing from Manchester, Hurts are a synthesizer-based duo featuring vocalist Theo Hutchcraft and keyboardist/guitarist Adam Anderson. Known for their arty and striking self-produced videos, Hurts make epic, dramatic pop music that takes inspiration from a finely curated mix of influences including '70s Krautrock, '80s new wave, and '90s R&B. After meeting in 2005, Hutchcraft and Anderson formed several bands including Bureau and Daggers, the latter of which signed to Label Fandango in 2007....
Full bio
Happiness (Deluxe Edition), Hurts
View In iTunes
  • £7.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Rock, Adult Alternative
  • Released: 28 October 2011

Customer Ratings

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