Over the last decade, Manchester-based synth-pop duo Hurts have been one of only a few outfits in the commercial world that have successful revamped the New Romantic sound of the 80s. Their previous full-length releases have managed to rekindle that fondness for those nostalgic days but with a solid contemporary twist, and as the band release their forth studio album 'Desire', it seems that the inspiration is beginning to wear a little thin.
Fans of the band will notice this the most, but unlike much of their material to date, which has had this solid drive behind it, 'Desire' seems to see itself as another throwaway pop release with all the memorable content of a wet flannel. Rather than stick to their known expertise, they seem to be challenging the likes of Ed Sheeran to the title of glossiest pop act, but without much of the engaging songwriting that those at the top have behind them.
It's obvious that they are trying something new after a good innings behind them, but 'Desire' just isn't the way to go. It just feels like one weak track after another, lacking the soul and passion that made them such a cult name in the first place. Hopefully this is not the beginning of a new direction for Hurts, or even worse, the end of their creative spark.