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In 2010, a Manchester duo going by the band name Hurts hit our airwaves and tv screens with an explosions of beautiful melodies and tunes so classic, original but still modern. With influences of the Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode and the Human League, Hurts brought us a 80's sound but still kept a modern twist. Could the good 80's sound be keep as true to the original and mixed with a modern sound to grab today's listeners? Well yes it can and I know this because this album shows how it can be done and yes, they created this masterpiece of a debut album called Happiness.
Hurts are made up of the spine tingling voice that is Theo Hutchcraft and the synthesist, Adam Anderson. Creating an amateur video for there single 'Wonderful Life' and uploading it to Youtube opened the world to there mesmerising songs and the hypnotic voice of Theo. The video went viral and a few months later they signed for Sony. As they say, the rest is history...
The booming beat of 'Silver lining' and the silky vocals of Theo grab hold of you and mix in the brilliant lyrics has you drowning in musical bliss from the very beginning. As an opening track, it really sets you up for the brilliance that follows. 'Wonderful life' holds an addictive beat with yet again lyrics that rumble in your head for a long time to come. This track does have a distinct 80's underlay for me, the synth sound that runs through it but it doesn't feel over the top, just perfectly done.
'Blood, Tears & Gold' has a romantic cry to it with a more slower feel to it and the lyrics resonating off the synth beat. The piano music at the end wraps this track up perfectly. 'Sunday' brings us back to a faster beat but still with the lyrics yearning for love. Although this isn't a cheesy pop track, this is a brilliant track filled with even more synth brilliance. In case you haven't noticed by this point, if you don't like synth sound, then this isn't the album for you. However, the tracks are so well sung, written and produced, I think this album could be the one to win you around.
'Stay' is one of my favourite tracks, opening with Theo's smooth vocals before the chorus booms in with the help with backing vocals. This tracks music is fantastic and so consuming. Even though the lyrics are about gloomy, depressing stuff, it is so beautifully created and sung that you can't help but feel elevated by this song.
'Illuminated', now this is the track where it all begun with me. This track was used heavily in Sky1's autumn drama campaign in 2010 and from the first time I heard it I knew I had to find out more about Hurts. This sensational piece of music deserves nothing less than getting played loud and you just falling into this void where nothing else matters, just this track playing over and over. Theo's voice really shines for me in this one and the lyrics really do grab you and don't want to let go.
'Evelyn' is a song that again is so catchy and again so intense lyrically and musically. As the album goes on, Theo's voice becomes more and more powerful but in a more emotional sense than any other. It's hard to say what is a stand out track on an album full of brilliance but another one of my favourites. 'Better Than Love' is very much the opposite of every track on here. Much faster, much more upbeat feel to it and very much oozes 80's through every note.
'Devotion', a track that caused the original album to recalled after not believing they had any hope of getting Kylie on board. Well she loved there sound and agreed so a hasty retreat back to the recording studio with Kylie brings us to another tale of love in this electro-ballad. With Theo's and Kylies vocals, this track really is delicate in it's sound. I'm not a Kylie fan but she sounds brilliant on this track and enhances Theo's voice to even better levels. Catchy, cracking beat and another awesome track.
'Unspoken', wow! This track blew me away with all its beauty. I have never heard a track so intense, so meaningful and just so superb. With orchestral backing, the lyrics beautifully written and sung with passion. This track is special and the instrumental interlude in the middle is so engrossing and enchanting. With this track put on your headphones, turn up the volume and feel yourself falling into something so near perfect, it can't be real.
'The Water', after the barnstorming previous song, it was always going to be hard to follow up and close there debut album. With this track they took a slower feel but still as soulful. The hidden track, 'Verona', regains the more vocal power of Theo's voice and is a fitting way to end the album.
Conclusion: This was my album of 2010. A polished, well presented piece of music that is created masterfully. Lyrically the tracks are all very meaningful and will have touched somebody at least once. You can draw parallels with some of the wording with real life and that makes the tracks even more deeper. Musically every tune is so impressive and captivating. Each track having there own unique sound but still keeping in with the synth sound. The mix of modern and flecks of 80's make such an exciting sound when done right and believe me, this is done so right. Finally the vocals, Theo's voice really does give you goose bumps when singing such rich lyrics. Without him this would of still be a good album but with him it exceeds it's level of exceptionalness.
This album reached only number 4 in UK chart which is crazy. This is quality British music at it's best. From start, middle and the end, this album will never leave your play list/cd player due too the sheer quality. For £5.28 (Oct 2013) for 12 tracks of total mind blowing brilliance, just buy it and become absorbed by there pure passion and belief in their music.
1. Silver Lining
2. Wonderful Life
3. Blood, Tears & Gold
8. Better Than Love
11. The Water
12/Hidden track. Verona
Ok, I actually can't believe there hasn't been a review written on dooyoo for this already! Hurts' debut Happiness is one of my best album purchses of the year. These guys from Manchester are fresh new talent. I have a wide appreciation of different types of music but it's particularly 80s music that gets me. You're probably wondering how 80s music relates to a modern, 2010 album? Well, it's exactly as it sounds. Hurts have managed to capture the essence of 80s music with a modern twist. A strong 80s vibe runs through the whole album but it's still up-to-date. I find it great that Hurts have come along and spiced things up by running with an old school sound.
I first heard their 'Better Than Love' which really caught my ear. It screams 80s all over it and it's as catchy as hell. The album is incredibily strong from start to finish; there's not a single filler to be found, not one track that this album could go without; all the tracks add something to the album and truly illustrate these guys' talent.
As soon as you hear the first track 'Silver Lining,' you know you're in for something special. The beats, tunes and lyrical content are all absolutely fantastic; there are many breathtaking moments in this music. There are some valuable messages in their song writing; these are messages of hope and love, particularly. Two things in which i think we all need. This album provides comfort, in a way.
The huge array of sounds demonstrates their creativity and talent for music; there's a choir in 'Stay,' belting out this one word in the chorus and a strong celtic sound in 'Evelyn' that's so uplifting. What's key to their work is passion; from the lyrics they write to the compostition of music to the singing, it's all passion. They love what they do and that translates over to an audience.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Silver Lining
2 Wonderful Life
3 Blood Tears And Gold
8 Better Than Love
9 Devotion - Hurts & Kylie Minogue
11 Water, The