From the very beginning, Hurts have found a natural home in the darkness. Their debut album ‘Happiness’ was a peerless slice of doom-pop, claiming that synth-shaped thrown that seemed to pass hands regularly in the 80s – and brought about a new generation of acts following in their footsteps. Their journey since has been one reckoning with how exactly they grow from there, with ‘Faith’ coming at a turning point as they step into a brand new era.
Whilst stepping forward, there’s no doubt that ‘Faith’ feels the closest Hurts have come to reopening that curtain on their debut. Its heavy sense of chilling nights rings with power on ‘Somebody’, the pulsating tones of ‘Numb’ and ‘Voices’ towering with almost Eurovision-esque pop majesty. It’s a tone that Hurts have always been drawn towards. Of cinematic storytelling and a wall of sound that harks back to pop’s golden years. Yet throughout there are slips to more general pop traits. ‘Fractured’ is a dose of slinky electro-pop that sounds like a long-lost cousin of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Filthy’, ‘All I Have To Give’ is a cinematic ballad made for communal singalongs and on ‘Darkest Hour’ Hurts go full Coldplay-stadium rock.
It means ‘Faith’ stands as that aforementioned turning point. By dipping back into the darkness with tones of what broke them to countless fans across the globe, it signals an exciting new chapter for the duo. This may not be the album that kicks in new doors, but it’s a welcome start.