Album Review: Hurts – Happiness

Yes, it really is called Happiness, and yes, it really has got Kylie on it.

Tim: Since, in my view, Wonderful Life is not far off Lovekiller in terms of excellence, and we reviewed Darin’s album, it would be plain rude not to review this one as well (and yes, it really is called Happiness, and yes, it really has got Kylie on it).

Hurts - Happiness

1 – Silver Lining: Great opener, really shows what they can do. Long but varied throughout. Upbeat chorus, gentle bridge, finishes with OMINOUS MALE CHANTING. 9/10

2 – Wonderful Life: As previously mentioned, brilliant provided you don’t have to watch the video and don’t mind public transport inconsistencies. 10/10

3 – Blood, Tears & Gold: Not sure how to describe this as a good song; it very definitely is, but I’m not entirely sure why. The bits all just fit together, really. 8/10

4 – Sunday: One of the most upbeat; chorus of ‘just another lonely Sunday’. Very sing-along-able if you’re happy, though you’d need to alter the words. 9/10

5 – Stay: ‘I’ve got Drops of Jupiter stuck in my head. Oh well. Let’s write some songs.’ Similarity aside, however, this song is utterly fantastic. 10/10

6 – Illuminated: Seems like a fight between quiet boring verses and a loud exciting chorus for control of the song; the chorus wins, which is a relief. 7/10

7 – Evelyn: A perfect example of a song that builds throughout. Starts quietly tapping on your window; ends up kicking your door down. 8/10

8 – Better Than Love: Deservedly their first single. Electrodance backing, unusually energetic singing; I find this impossible to criticise. 10/10

9 – Devotion (featuring Kylie Minogue): ‘I’ve got Nature’s Law stuck in my head.’ Verses aren’t much; good chorus, but too similar for my liking.* Nice instrumental close, though. 6/10

10 – Unspoken: Remarkably boring for the first three minutes, but builds up a little bit for a fairly good final 90 seconds. 6/10

11 – Water: ‘This is the last song, yes? Can we get away with reusing the chorus melody from the first one?’ No, and the rest of it’s just a bit dull. 4/10

11a – Verona (Hidden track): An odd one – the group male chanting from the beginning comes back as a personal love song, and I’m not sure what to think of it.

tl;dr: Can be a bit too reminiscent of other songs, tailing off towards the end. Good if you like your music happy and sad simultaneously, though. 8/10

* Nothing against Embrace – I love Nature’s Law, just not reused in a completely different song.

Album Review: Darin – Lovekiller

Tom’s unleashed Tim to tell you everything about it, vaguely quickly.

Tim:Tom’s let me loose on this fine Sunday to tell you all about this album, because we love Darin here. His only condition was that it be vaguely quick, so here’s a crap gimmick to show how modern we are here: every track review is less than one tweet long. Let’s see how it goes.

Darin - Lovekiller

1 – Microphone: Excellent and vibrant start. Could work as a good career launching track, which vaguely makes sense given the change of direction he’s made. 9/10
2 – You’re Out of My Life: Less extravagant but very enjoyable. Comes with a key change that, if sung on the X Factor, would trigger spark fountains. 8/10
3 – Lovekiller: In case enough hasn’t been said already, this is sodding awesome, and is what all future pop songs should be judged against. 12/10
4 – Only You Can Save Me: Continuing the energetic theme, with an unsettlingly sudden bridge. Part of me is now hoping the album will calm down at some point. 8/10
5 – Drowning: Well, it’s not going to happen any time soon. It’s beginning to sound a bit formulaic. Good formulaic, but still a bit tiring. 7/10
6 – Viva la Vida: The first thing that’s stood out as different. Very dancable with a great chorus, although it goes on quite a bit longer than it needs to. 7/10
7 – Endless Summer: Ooh, this is proper different; a bit like Westlife’s musical evolution compressed into three minutes. Still plenty of Darin, though. 6/10.
8 – OK (Dangerous Game): Is to the first few tracks what new Mcfly is to old McFly. Odd use of stereo; ‘Ooh, this is fun’ quickly becomes ‘Oh God please stop it’. 8/10
9 – Can’t Stop Love: Written for a recent Swedish royal wedding, but quickly leaves ballad territory and becomes, well, pretty much like the first five tracks. 7/10
10 – I’ll Be Alright: If each track’s a runner in a race for best tune, here’s the quadriplegic the producer took pity on and allowed to enter. AWFUL FINAL TRACK. 2/10
11 – Lovekiller (Acoustic, iTunes bonus): They chucked out the backing singers, but forgot that after the bridge they’re the only singers, so he’s howling all alone. Doesn’t work. 3/10

tl;dr: Largely formulaic, but in a very good way. 8/10 – would have been a 9 if they’d lost the last two songs.

If this has tempted you, you can get it on iTunes if you’ve got a Swedish bank account or 7digital if you live in Sweden (or can find a Swedish proxy).