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Published on October 12th, 2017 | by voxx

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Hurts – Desire

A familiar stroll through pop’s hall of fame from the banger-chasing duo…

Manchester’s Hurts have always felt like a smart pop act who’ve never quite delivered on the pop side of the bargain. With 2015’s Surrender, Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson shook off the rather appealing shadowlands of their first two albums and that yearning for a mainstream breakthrough is why, perhaps, much of this fourth album is made up of songs you think you’ve heard before.

‘Chaperone’ sounds like an Ed Sheeran/Justin Timberlake co-production. The Prince-ish funk-pop of ‘Boyfriend’ is great fun, although the lyrics (“I could be a tenant if your body’s for rent”) would make even the Purple One cock an eyebrow. There’s even hints of vintage Phil Collins in the Disney-ish ‘Wherever You Go’, echoes of the Jackson 5 on ‘Thinking of You’; and ‘Beautiful Ones’ is certainly not alone in resembling latter-day Take That. Everything feels a bit too familiar.

The never-ending quest for bangers leads Hurts to lean heavily on foot-stomping choruses to carry songs – it works on ‘Ready To Go’ which rides a fine, rolling groove, but it can exhausting over 13 tracks, especially when ‘Something I Need To Know’ is just plain overwrought. Still, it’s to their credit that Desire has a lighter touch than previous albums.

- By Jake White


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