Hurts - Surrender ArtworkHurts return with their third synthpop effort Surrender following 2013’s Exile and 2010’s Happiness. The duo – vocalist Theo Hutchcraft and multi-instrumentalist Adam Anderson – formed in 2009 after mixed success with previous projects.

Hurts’ third record begins ‘Surrender’, a simple but well produced track, and ‘Some Kind of Heaven’, displaying enjoyable composition, vocals and tones – a noticeable improvement already in regards to previous record Exile.

‘Why’ carries on with this, the composition being adventurous and different enough to be interesting without pushing the synthpop boundary too far. As well as this, the stripping back of both lyrics and vocals throughout Surrender has worked to great effect – gone are the generic cliches (for the most part – ‘Rolling Stone”s chorus delivery is a bit too direct despite its great composition) and heavily produced vocals, instead being replaced by simple but genuinely enjoyable parts and cohesive choruses.

This stripping back has also improved the delivery of vocals too, Hutchcraft usually staying within a reasonable range but without pushing it, hitting some big notes on ‘Perfect Timing’ and ‘Weight of the World’.

The record’s biggest moment comes with the last chorus of ‘Weight of the World’, the duo’s most cohesive moment of a mostly enjoyable 33 minute listen and possibly their career thus far. The jump from their previous record should be commended, as it’s created a well rounded record that’s improved in every area.

Bill Waters @WillJMW13

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