The joke isn’t funny anymore. Like many zealots, Hurts’ dedication to the new romantic cause is laudable, but there comes a time when recalling and recasting the glories of the early 1980s just won’t do. Exile is the sound of a duo slowly realising that they’ve written themselves into a corner. All artifice and surface, Exile goes for overkill every time, a case of overegging the pudding until you’re not quite sure what’s beneath the icing. Is there an actual song under the schmaltz, ersatz and kitsch of Blind and Miracle, or is it merely another melodramatic prop for the bluster? Still, when the duo cut to the chase with more subtle and less overwhelming fare such as Only You, there’s a strong sense of pop craftsmanship to be seen. For now, though, Hurts are taking themselves far too seriously for their own good.
Download: Only You