Exile - Hurts

Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Mar 27, 2013
    This is an album that maintains the joyless musical brand Hutchcraft and Anderson crystallised with their two million selling debut.
  2. Mar 19, 2013
    What's clear about Hurts on Exile is how skilled Hutchcraft and Anderson are at seamlessly incorporating their influences, so you can hear the bands' inspirations in every line even as you marvel that this album is like nothing you've heard before.
  3. Mar 19, 2013
    No matter how many dark subjects are nested throughout, too often the music on Exile falls back into the same old tricks of bells-and-whistles pop choruses and obvious hooks.
  4. Mar 12, 2013
    Sadly, torrid synthesiser and billowing melodrama make it impossible to see any wry glances cast by Exile. [Apr 2013, p.73]
  5. Mar 12, 2013
    A chilling example of naked ambition prioritising production style over songwriting substance.
  6. Mar 11, 2013
    Ultimately, there's something delicious and monumental about Hurts.[Apr 2013, p.106]
  7. 70
    Because a grand and fabulous mode of theatre pervades everything about this band, you’re often a few degrees off completely connecting.
  8. Mar 11, 2013
    While the relentless realisation of their film-ready stylings may not be to everyone's tastes, the fact they're here at all in the first place is a cause worth celebrating in itself.
  9. It's on close personal terms with magnificence.
  10. Mar 11, 2013
    The songwriting isn't sturdy enough to hold it all up.
  11. 75
    If you’re able to look past the campy facade and accept that this is purely a record of glimmering pop, it’ll be something you’ll cherish.
  12. Mar 8, 2013
    This is a second album that genuinely builds upon its predecessor. Exile reinforces the feeling in modern pop that no other group sounds quite as hurt as Hurts.
  13. 20
    Innovation, clearly, is not the highest of their priorities. In truth, everything comes a distant second to style.
  14. Mar 8, 2013
    Luckily, Hutchcraft and keyboardist Adam Anderson are also endowed with that other pomp-rock characteristic--a gift for striding, anthemic choruses that turn even the most overwrought songs into unshakeable earworms.
  15. Mar 8, 2013
    Exile is found wanting when they try too much to be the stadium band rather than allowing the drama to play out.
  16. Mar 8, 2013
    It's more showbiz than authentic, being knee-deep in the kind of epic balladry that wouldn't be out of place at Eurovision. [Apr 2013, p.91]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Jul 22, 2013
    They change their sound to a darker/heavier scenario. But the deep songs are still here. The album is divided with the following scheme:
    Track 1: Open the album
    Tracks 2-5: Pop songs (the one that could hit the radio)
    Tracks 6-8: The experiments they tried. The dark/heavy songs.
    Tracks 9-12: Beautiful deep songs.

    Highlights: Somebody To Die For, Blind, The Rope, Help, The Crow.
    Actually, all tracks are excellent, I just tried to reduce the list from 12 to 5. Buy it ASAP.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 16, 2013
    great album. big departure from thei first work, happiness. it is somewhat funny that the critics continue to criticise hurts while they are full of praises of such bands as one direction. to me this is because today it is better to praise music you perfectly know will sale more than original bands that perhaps are not everybody's cup of tea. it is a little frustrating because inspiration is ignored in favour of market sales Full Review »
  3. Apr 17, 2014
    Rarely happens that album leaves me so conflicted. Especially when it is by artist that I like.
    At first listening it is good successor of
    the brilliant debut. With darker atmosphere, surely, but really good. So you start to question why it is so poorly graded. And then, around the second or third time listening, you realize two things.

    Music on this album is beautiful, admirable and on some occasions grandiosely scenic.
    Yes, you can hear the influence of Depeche Mode (in Cupid and Mercy), Muse, Coldplay (in Heaven), even Nine Inch Nails (in The Road).But all that bands I adore, so I don't have problem with that.
    Thing that bothers me is actually - lyrics.

    At moments it seams like they spend all literary creativeness, or rather, cohesiveness on "Happiness".
    Ok, this is pop music, and it might be a bit naive to expect deep, life-changing verses, but from the band that made some of my favourite and most-replayed songs in last two years, I expected more. You can literary see the potential of becoming next evergreen in every song. I mean, music is great, song starts with incredible verses, and than comes some pathetic cliché like "my heart of gold" (in Miracle) or "through the void" (in Blind) or "first cut is the deepest" (in Only You) just for the sake of rhyming.

    But don't get me wrong, this album has astounding songs. There is beautiful heavyweight piano ballad Help, indicative Exile and nostalgic Guilt. And without the cheesy moments all songs from the album are magnificent in a only-Hurts-can-make-this-song way.

    I don't want to be to pessimistic and hideously snobbish critic. This album is named Exile, after all.
    And I like it much more than I don't. If you are Hurts fan, like me, you will turn a blind eye on this imperfections and enjoy in the fabulous music. In the end, this is their second album. Album that came after acclaimed "Happiness" which raised the bar pretty high and spoiled us.
    Full Review »