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Hurts – Happiness

Nichola Eastwood


Happiness is the debut album from Manchester duo Hurts.  A synthpop pick and mix that the intimidatingly pair can be proud of.  Polished vocals adorned with smooth electronics and guitar, this full length studio effort is a heartfelt return to the classic sound evoked by the likes of Depeche Mode, The Pet Shop Boys and New Order.

Opener Silver Lining showcases the silky smooth vocals of Theo Hutchcroft and the electronic efforts of Adam Anderson in epic proportions.  A melancholy yet irresistibly catchy track climaxing with Hutchcroft’s vocals alongside an orchestral tenor.  It’s a promising and impressive start to the pair’s debut.

Wonderful Life is the sort of display that would not look out of place sitting in the charts.  A chorus that lodges itself in your head refusing to move accompanied by Anderson’s melodic sweeping electronics.  Blood, Tears and Gold steps into more downbeat territory, a poppy break up track more generic than its synth laden neighbours.  It lacks the 80’s infused catchiness and energy present in the likes of Sunday.

The mellower moments on the album come courtesy of Stay and Illuminated, addictive melancholy pop to chill out to, an interval before the pair kick us in the guts with the attitude packed electro of Evelyn and Better Than LoveEvelyn is a potential epic classic akin to the likes of Enjoy The SilenceBetter Than Love sees Hutchcroft’s vocals boom out with underlying menace, it’s a track that could easily drag you away from your drink to the dance floor and have you drunkenly chanting the chorus at the top of your lungs.

Devotion is a moody number with guest vocals from Kylie, it’s not the best moment on the album but by no means a disappointment.  It’s more in keeping with the likes of Blood, Tears and Gold, geared to land the Manchester pair among the singles chart.  The finale to this debut effort is The Water, ending the album on a sombre note, smooth vocals and strings abound.

While Happiness isn’t flawless, the likes of The Water and Devotion falling flat compared with the more energetic, 80’s inspired tracks, it’s an impressive demonstration of what the duo are capable of.  Better Than Love and Wonderful Life are moments where the pair’s full potential really shines, with sounds like these Hurts can expect to really make their mark.