Hurts – 'Exile' album review

The synthpop duo play the mainstream, with lazy and humdrum results



Add +

Hurts – 'Exile'

  • Rated as: 2/5

When Hurts broke through in 2010, they seemed fired up by a desire to make chart-friendly pop that didn’t patronise. The duo’s maverick streak – touring with an opera singer and looking perma-styled for an Anton Corbijn shoot – didn’t stop them playing the mainstream with choruses that soared. What a shame then that ‘Exile’s poppy moments have become as lazy and humdrum as ‘Sandman’ – a rehash of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ with a creepy kids’ choir thrown in. ‘The Road’ may channel Depeche Mode and novelist Cormac McCarthy, but too often the desire to directly rival Muse or U2 makes them sound lost and featherweight in comparison.

Watch Hurts' 'Miracle' video

Read more album reviews

Albums of the Week

John Grant, Fetty Wap, Rudimental and Shopping

Albums of the Week

Kwabs, Battles, Ought and Duran Duran

Read more Time Out album reviews

Users say

The Kazzter
The Kazzter

Funny, I think they sound like Muse when they were interesting and relevant. The 2nd Law is dire.

Chris Abbott
Chris Abbott

What a lame "review". I'd love to hear something creative from Oliver Keens. So easy being a critic.

Listen to 'Exile' on Spotify

Read more music features

Time Out readers' top songs of 2015

We love discovering new music that hits that special spot, so we asked some #takeovertimeout contributors: what’s your top song of 2015 so far?

Arcade Fire on teashops, London and ‘The Reflektor Tapes’

Time Out reader Joe Presley discovers five things you didn’t know about Arcade Fire

Disclosure on Sam Smith’s ring, toilet reading and ‘Caracal’

Guy and Howard Lawrence tell Time Out reader Hannah Ashraf about their new album and becoming more than just a dance band

One to Watch: Wet

Time Out reader Sarah Taylor explains why this Brooklyn trio are ones to watch

See all Time Out music features