Hurts – Desire

Release: 29/09/2017  GB  |  

I haven’t listened to any singles taken from this album. I have got no idea what to expect. I only know that this is the fourth album by Hurts and it’s called “Desire“.

I don’t know why, but thinking of this band takes me back to Helsinki and its cool summer nights. Maybe because that’s where I first heard them in 2011. I have no idea how the music will be like, but hey, the album cover reminds me of glossy fashion magazines. That’s pretty badass, right? Continue reading to find out what I think about “Desire“.

Beautiful Ones” is the first track you’ll hear when you insert this record into the record-player of your choice and… Wasn’t “Beautiful Ones” the first single off “Desire“? Yes, it was.
Well, this song delivers a message to some, it all tightly tied together with a catchy chorus while combining modern elements of Pop music with the more traditional ones. “Ready To Go” continues in the same manner and the chorus is pretty much the funkiest thing I heard in a long time. So far, “Desire” seems to be one hot record.

The ride goes on with “People Like Us” and its highly cinematic, but rather confusing arrangement. There’s so much going on in this song you kinda lose track of things. What should you concentrate on there? What the hell is happening? We’re getting an ordinary (haha) piano-ballad thrown at us with “Something I Need To Know” that might bring back the “Happiness” or “Exile” vibes for a short while – At least the melody of the chorus reminded me of those two records. “Something I Need To Know” comes closest to the typical Hurts-sound. But what is the typical sound of this duo?
Thinking Of You” comes around with many surprises, turning out to be a nice Synthpop song in the end, with a serious 80s flair that will magically make you smile no matter how depressed you are. And… Why is Prince coming into my mind when thinking of this song? But Hurts go back to the more modern way of Pop songwriting with “Wherever You Go” and there are some truly statement-making hooks, but nothing really scrapes your attention here. I think this would sound great on the “Premium Sound System” in my car though… Guess I’ll be playing this album while going to Prague next Sunday. Who knows? 

Chaperone” is a lovely, minimalistic filler-track that will probably make you smile too and… Then “Boyfriend” comes up and I think that Prince called again… Come on, ladies and gentlemen, “Boyfriend” totally sounds like a messy 2017 rendition of “Kiss“. I don’t have a problem with that, but it’s kinda obvious. But by the time you’ll hear “Walk Away” your “Boyfriend” will be forgotten. Walk Away” is a strong track indeed. A track that will make your hands go up in the air while dancing to its cool tunes. Things go a bit darker with “Wait Up” and the chorus just sounds so familiar and I’m not sure why. Maybe I shouldn’t care. Maybe it’s better that way. 

The next thing you’ll hear bears the name “Spotlight“. One of the few songs on this album that could eventually stand on their own. I don’t know about you, but this track could use less layering. You’re getting lost in the variety of sounds and what the hell should you place your concentration on then? We got the same deal with “People Like Us“. A spark of hope lights up with “Hold On The Me” even though the song structure is strictly identical to everything else you’ll hear on this album. But there’s some true stand-alone potential here. Let’s say it like that.
And who could’ve thought that we’ll get another generic piano-ballad to finish up “Desire“. “Magnificent” probably lives up to its name. At least it did before hitting 1:15. Minimalism is the key sometimes. Admit it to yourself. Theo Hutchcraft singing the “No matter what we go through“-line all alone, supported by that piano is the strongest moment on “Magnificent” but then the choir (or whatever happened) kicks in. Minimalism is something this track needed but never received.
Minimalism is something this whole album needed but never received.

 

Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of recycled ideas on “Desire“. Elements that have always worked in the past and things that are just hot right now. That causes the record to be this kind of a jack-of-all-trades-thing that doesn’t really excel at anything. There’s nothing memorable about “Desire“. Just a few hooks, some melodies that don’t really make the cut, everything layered big times.
It’s not a bad record though. I can imagine returning to it once I need some music to put up on a party where nobody cares about what you’re actually listening to – Main thing it’s cool, right? Right.

Hurts didn’t disappoint on “Desire“. Maybe I just need to let this record grow on me, but hey, I never had a love-on-the-first-listen kind of relationship to this band’s music. “Happiness” was too Pop to me when it came out, “Exile” was too mainstream and “Surrender” pretty much scared me off in the beginning. I ended up liking/loving all records in the end, so yeah, “Desire” has a long future ahead of it. Maybe. Hurts still are one of the cooler Pop bands out here nevertheless.

 

Take A Listen:


Personal favorites: 

Something I Need To Know
Thinking Of You
Hold On To Me

Rating: 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨  // OK. A solid record. (6.5)

 

 

About Misha Nyman-Sramkova

Twenty-something art and design student from Prague, living in Salzburg. A cool cat and a wannabe trendsetter. She knows where the hype is and let’s say she’s responsible for the creative direction of this webzine.

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