Here is the new video from Hurts. After refuelling it marks their return into the journey of pop. The track is called The Road. It’s been online for a week or so now. Here are our thoughts on their travels in music so far.
1. Some people who liked the very first Hurts song to be released (Wonderful Life) feel let down by the band. This divisive piece by Mike at The Recommender (read the comments section below as well for some opinions) is an example of how some people made a judgement about what the band were going to be and then when they didn’t meet that expectation got a bit narked by it.
2. A lot of those people in 1 above were from the early adopter crowd in the UK. (We include ourselves in this crowd, but we were most definitely not let down by what came next – Happiness ended up as our second favourite record of 2010).
3. Whilst some struggled with the concept of what the group were about and where their music sat in terms of a market / audience, Hurts just got on with the job of being bloody brilliant. Central and Eastern Europe in particular took them to their hearts. It explains why the band's new tour in March 2013 contains more dates in Germany than anywhere else and why those dates have already sold out.
4. The Road continues Hurts ability of being bloody brilliant. For nearly the first minute they do everything that their detractors would expect them to do. Words like ‘boy band’ ‘bland’ and ‘mid-market’ could be hurled at them again. Then BOOM. The Road explodes into a melee of dark noisy chaos. It even sounds a bit like Muse. Did we mention the words bloody brilliant? Well it bloody well is.
5. Whilst not sonically identical we see a strong parallel between Hurts and Depeche Mode. Depeche Mode was ridiculed in the UK at the start of their career in the 80’s by the indie / cool kids for being too pop. Yet the band went on to be huge in Europe and their sound became gradually darker. Whilst Depeche Mode’s transition took a number of albums, modern day music fans and the industry have such short attention spans that if, as it appears, Hurts are going down the ‘darker’ route, they will need to make that journey a little quicker – more like travelling down a motorway than a B Road. Basically their new album Exile probably needs to be their Black Celebration.
6. The Road gives us the shivers every time we watch the video. Our interest for Exile (out next year) has been duly raised. We’ll say it once more. Bloody brilliant.
Hurts - Exile (Video)