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Hurts - 'Wonderful Life'

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Fraser McAlpine | 14:35 UK time, Friday, 15 January 2010


I know, I know, ANOTHER one of the blessed Sound of 2010 lot has a single out and of course we've got to talk about it because if the BBC says they're going to be huge well we've all just got to get behind them or get out of the way because after all the people voting in these polls are experts aren't they and if an expert tells you something is going to happen then it very probably will happen, it doesn't do to rock the boat...(and so on and so on).

And if that's close to what you think, all I can say is just you wait until the Daisy Dares You interview goes up next week. We should change our name to PollBlog and have done with it...

(Here's the video. Apparently it cost the band £20. Imagine what they could've done if they'd been prepared to put the extra fiver in.)

Now, for a very '80s sounding band with a very '80s visual aesthetic and a very '80s way of being pop stars, calling a doomy slice-of-life synthpop song 'Wonderful Life' is risky. There was this other song called 'Wonderful Life', you see. A song by a very '80s sounding band with a very '80s visual aesthetic and etc etc....a band called Black (ask frosty Aunt Miriam).

The two songs are not the same, they're really not, but they're also not so very different that you'd be mad to make a connection between them, and that's the risk. Hurts are effectively putting their song up against a synthpop classic and demanding that we choose between them. Which is either foolhardy in the extreme, or a brilliantly cocky bit of popstar showing off.

I'm gonna plump for the latter, frankly. This is partly because it's important that pop stars remember to stop being quite so happy, friendly and approachable, and remember to be mysterious, arrogant and sparkling. It is also partly because I like the cut of Hurts's jib so far, what with the wartime wardrobe, the fact that their name is a pun on Hertz (very synthpop, is that), and the general air of chilled parlour drama they emit.

But it is mainly because there aren't enough sad songs with bitterly optimistic lyrics, and in the end, having two with the same name just makes them easier to file.

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: January 18th
BBC Sound of 2010 page (with AMAZING interview).

(Fraser McAlpine)



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