But having presented such a complete and fully formed first offering, you can’t help but wonder where Hurts go next on ‘Exile’. If the early tracks of lead single ‘Miracle’ and ‘Blind are anything to go by, with their stadium-sized choruses and mortar-shell drums, it’s evident time has dimmed neither their well-conceptualised visions of widescreen pop nor their ambition. Other notable highlights include the propulsive, nocturnal thrum of ‘Only You’ and the sheer, unadulterated dramatics of ‘Mercy’. Indeed, throughout the record Hurts never seem far away from becoming synonymous with dramaticism, especially on the cinematic, string-laden OST title-track-in-waiting of ‘Somebody To Die For’.
But without a shadow of a doubt, ‘Exile’ waits until the eleventh hour to deliver its trump card in the shape of the breathtaking, album-closing ballad ‘Help’, which over the course of its four-minute duration builds from a plaintive, unassuming piano line to something dominated by an enormous sod-off choir. As it goes stratospheric, Hurts’ place within the current musical landscape becomes clear in that while ‘Exile’ is an evolutionary rather than revolutionary step for Messrs. Hutchcraft and Anderson, it nonetheless cements their place as mainstream pop’s most daring and ambitious offering. While the relentless realisation of their film-ready stylings may not be to everyone’s tastes, the fact they’re here at all in the first place is a cause worth celebrating in itself.
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They’ve also announced that they’re heading off on the road on a huge 2021 tour.
Lifted from their forthcoming fifth LP ‘Faith’.
The duo are also sharing new track ‘Suffer’.
It’s been done better elsewhere, and recently, too.