HURTS + IAMX – Album Review

Science Fiction Double Feature, as one old song used to say. But my science fiction is my music, as usual, so my double feature will be comprised of HURTS and IAMX. Both of them are musical projects with their names written in capitals, so I’m guessing they mean business.

I remember the first time I heard about HURTS, while working for this website as a content editor of some sorts. They were having this concert in Romania, and it was sold out very fast, unusual for Romania and also for a band relatively unknown.


Pic here.

So far, I’ve missed their two concerts here, but I somewhat enjoyed their first album, Happiness (only about half of it, but still ok).

Another thing I remember is the comparison with Depeche Mode and White Lies. Even though I’m not a big Depeche Mode fan, I could recognize that their sound, electronica-ish as it was, it wasn’t depeche-y. But I am a big White Lies fan and for me, to be said that they are surpassed by these relatively unknown boys who like to dress up nicely to hide their pending deviations, it was too much! I was outraged by these suggested resemblances, so after the first listening of the album, I didn’t gave them a chance. That changed afterwards and I still have 2 or 3 songs from Happiness I like to listen to when I wanna feel down.

Their new album is called Exile. I’d like to think it’s their ugly child, because some of the lyrics are quite disturbing, and also the music is different. They sound so much darker than on Happiness, so now I’d like to think about them as balladeers crossed with Timbaland beats and weird, real electronica sounds. The vocals are outlandish, the music is so harsh and rough and wild and also well studied.

Exile (8) has this low volume, but such a high intensity. It’s not the peak of the album, but it’s the starting point from it can grow bigger and bigger.

Miracle (10) has passion and wilderness and fear and it’s disturbing and intense, and for that I wish I
could give it more than a 10. Also, I wish they didn’t remove the first video, it was perfect for the song. It was decadent and outrageous and I want it back!

Sandman (9) is a very disturbing composition, with Theo’s voice flowing and ticking like a clock along with the music, I almost have the impression he is dreaming.

Blind (7) starts really, really good vocally and musically, but then the lyrics hit in and… Nothing. Somehow, I don’t find it appealing listening to „Cut out my eyes and leave me blind”.

Only You (5) is not a memorable song, because it blends on the album between Blind and The Road. Lyricially speaking, I would say it’s a little bit more than the previous songs, but nothing remarkable.

The Road (9) is one of the songs that got promoted by the band. At first, I didn’t know whether I liked it or not, but when the chorus hit me, it was like a hurricane. And I couldn’t help but notice the ever present dubstep sound.

Cupid (6) is yet another song I didn’t bother remebering. The lyrics are quite simple, but the music fades away and merges perfectly with the album.

Mercy (7) sees the boys returning to their balladeers roots, along with the same dubstep rhythms on the chorus. I liked the spelling part of the word mercy, the vocals on that one verse are amazing.

The Crow (5) is another lyrically-full song, a ballad in the complete sense of the word. However, for my taste, is a little bit boring.

Somebody To Die For (8) is a song full of promises and hope, and I love it just for that one special feature of it.

The Rope (6) is yet another song about hope and all the other things that make you go on (yeah, I don’t know them, I have no name for such things), but it doesn’t have the special trait of Somebody To Die For. It does, however, have the dubstep-ish sound ever present on the album.

Help (5) is the last song of the standard edition of Exile. I was left under the impression that I wasted a lot of time listening to the second part of the album, so I can’t tell you what this part is all about.

I can definitely see progress here, more instruments, edgier sound, provoking lyrics, amazing vocals and choruses, but I will stick to my first half of the album, if I need some introspection and depression. All in all, 8/10 for HURTS and their Exile.

The second part of this double feature is IAMX. IAMX is a violent, decadent artist, with knick for saying the truth about a bunch of things, including love. His love is usually sick and twisted, and that’s the best part of it.


Pic here. I will forever and ever love this photo!

I listened to IAMX for the first time in 2008 and I was much appalled. In February 2009 I missed their concert, but in August (or September?) 2009 I listened to Missile and You Stick It In Me and I fell in love.

June 2011 saw me at their concert, watching and singing along and being genuinely happy. Volatile Times was a beautifully constructed album, but the live experience surpassed it by far.

So 2013 sees my beautiful Chris releasing The Unified Fields, another appropriate name for a beautiful piece of poetry-philosophy-depression infused music.

I Come With Knives (10) portrays Chris’ decadence perfectly, so what’s not to love about it? It’s beautiful and violent and it even has a verse in German (beautiful poetry, btw).

Sorrow (10) is here to say that, if you ever doubted Chris’ poetic abilities, you are so very wrong. Please let me enjoy my sorrow, with a Chris classic-to-be.

The Unified Fields (8). I can’t say much about this one, I’ll just let the lyrics speak for itself.

We are all insane
Counting down every single living day
We are prisoners of fate
I smile at the way everybody accepts the pain

Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t feel
Just because I don’t feel doesn’t mean I don’t understand
We are one in the unified field

The Adrenalin Room (7) is one of the songs that makes me think Chris took up Chemistry lessons. Oh, and also he studies anger!

Quiet the Mind (10) is definitely my favorite song off this album. How can I not love it? It deserves a special place in Chris’ work, alongside Spit It Out, Bloodsport, Missile, Volatile People, Tear Garden…

Under Atomic Skies (7) explores the same chemical issue, while suggesting nakedness. It wouldn’t have been Chris, if it were otherwise!

Screams (6) I don’t get. I listened to it, it’s tempo second-dependent, but it didn’t move me. I’m guessing he wanted to say too much, in too little time.

Come Home (9) hit me just were it should’ve. I feel like talking to myself, since I am for too long lost.

Animal Impulses (8). No explanations, just this.

I’m tired of this human duet
No civilizing hides
Our animal impulses.

Walk With The Noise (9) fool’s world, game, blows ripping, souls, killing me, terror, propaganda, flesh and blood. Excerpts of the song, powerful SOB!

Land of Broken Promises (8) starts out as weird, then we have a silent guitar, while Chris tells us the story. I have the feeling I listened to this song already, but I’m guessing it’s because the recurring theme in his work (The Stupid, The Proud).

Trials (8) of course it’s about demons in us, about acceptance and a half-hearted hope!

I couldn’t help but notice the score-y sound this album has. It’s full of instruments and it’s grandiose and it has power, I saw fit for Tarantino movies at least two of tracks (Walk With The Noise & The Adrenalin Room, maybe Land of Broken Promises too). 9/10 from my part. Please enjoy it!

Friday music

Weird music and videos for a beautiful Friday… Enjoy!

MGMT – Electric Feel (omg, that bass line!)

The Killers – Spaceman (awesome video of the awesome Killers when they were not that awesome)

Maroon 5 – One More Night (yeah, sue me!)

Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc. (what else can I say?)

The Cardigans – My Favourite Game (Memory Lane)

Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe (childish, but still fun)

The Knife – Heartbeats (the weird official video, not the awesome live version)

Kleerup ft. Lykke Li – Until We Bleed (to be listened to only after 2 am – when everyone knows nothing good happens)

Kings Of Leon – Notion (preparing to get really-really wasted? you’ve found your perfect song)

Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen (girls need action, too!)

Skrillex feat. Sirah – Bangarang (don’t wait for the drop)

Nelly Furtado – Big Hoops (Bigger The Better) (it’s bigger and it’s better!!!)

White Lies – Death (summer, oh, how I miss the summer…)

Chris Brown – Don’t Wake Me Up (yes, he beats women, but this song is perfect for a Friday night out)

Rammstein – Engel (no Friday night is perfect without Rammstein)

Rammstein – Sonne (for an awesome Friday, take 2 Rammsteins)

Calvin Harris – Feel So Close (you know why!)

Velvet Revolver – She Builds Quick Machines (how can you not like this?!)

IAMX – Spit It Out (sad and depressing, perfect for 4 am)

Muse – Starlight (this should start your night)

Robyn – Cobrastyle (better than the original)

Angels & Airwaves – Valkyrie Missile (please, reserve this awesome song for your own pleasure, at home, in complete silence. enjoy it.)

Rihanna – You Da One (dance, baby, dance!!!)

No Doubt – Settle Down (because of the ska)

Carne pentru suflet

Cuvintele se macina si se lovesc intre ele,
Fara sa stie unde te doare,
Si cand tacerea se face mai mare,
Pleoapele se-nchid intre ele.

Ca daca n-ar fi, nu s-ar povesti. Sau asa spunea o data o fraza din poveste. Tot ce e in noi e poveste, totul ne indeamna spre ceva, totul ne duce undeva. Daca am gasi o casa pentru sufletul nostru, sa-l pastram neintinat, atunci el, sufletul, ar fi mai bun si mai pur ca niciodata. Lumina noastra ar sta mereu adapostita, iar suflul raului nu ne-ar atinge niciodata. Totul ar fi perfect, si casa sufletului ar fi scaldata in lumini blande.
Dar din pacate, sufletul meu e gol si dezbracat de bine. Din el se rup, incet-incet, bucati si sange, si doare uneori atat de tare. Ar plange, daca ar avea cum, si-ar spune of-ul, daca ar avea cui, ar trage o gura de aer in piept si-ar merge mai departe, dar fara casa, fara putere si fara sprijin, sufletul meu orb, gol si pustiu nu stie decat sa taca.
Oare de cate ori si-a ascuns in el vise si dorinte, placeri, de cate ori a plans cand i s-a spus o vorba rea, de cate ori s-a sfaramat cand cineva nu l-a vazut asa cum e? E peticit, saracul, mai singur decat cersetorii din intersectie, si parca vrea sa isi ascunda goliciunea, sa nu-l mai rada prostii. Sufletul meu aduna ramurele si frunze, se imbraca in flori si pene, si strange langa el toata natura frumoasa. Carne pentru el nu se mai gaseste – au framantat-o oamenii, pana cand n-a mai fost buna de nimic. Dar azi sufletul meu a promis ca-si ia straie noi.

The Price Of Love… For a band

Am fost si la concert. Am intarziat putin la Patrice, dar am ajuns la timp, cat sa ma pot baga in fata si sa remarc pusti de 12-14 ani fumand si distrandu-se, de parca ar fi fost high. A fost fun for a while, dar dupa toate piesele noi ale lui Patrice, a urmat evident „Soulstorm”, in timp ce pe scena de alaturi, unde ar fi trebuit sa cante White Lies, organizatorii se uitau ingrijorati spre cerul ce dadea semne de furtuna. O data cu „Soulstorm” si dansul populatiei si al lui Patrice, a venit si ploaia, invocata probabil de noi. A mai cantat vreo 2 piese, si in timp ce ploaia ne mura pe toti, pe scena si in public rasunau cuvintele „Everything will be alright”.
A plecat Patrice, a inceput sa ploua si mai tare, si oamenii de la lumini si sunet si alte chestii utile in concert se chinuiau sa protejeze instrumentele si aparatele de pe scena. Pe langa ploaia deranjanta, mai batea si vantul, si nu aveam nicio umbrela, nicio haina, decat tricoul de pe mine.
Intr-un final, ploaia s-a mai potolit, si am revenit in fata scenei. Ca sa nu pierd primele locuri din fata de la The Killers, si totusi sa vad si White Lies, am stat langa gardul despartitor dintre cele despre 2 scene. Apoi au inceput sa cante cei de la White Lies and my soul died a little. Au fost absolut geniali, vocea lui Harry McVeigh e superba, deep and stuff, everything that makes a girl feel good. Au avut parte de public, oamenii le stiau melodiile, dar parca nu a fost publicul pe care-l meritau. Si in plus, nu au cantat nici „Taxidermy”, nici „Love Lockdown”.
Intre timp, pe scena unde ar fi trebuit sa cante The Killers se amenajau diverse chestii, cum ar fi instrumente, un palmier, doi palmieri, K-ul reprezentativ pentru ei. Si cand cei de la White Lies au terminat, in partea cealalta de scena, la The Killers, oamenii cu cablurile inca mai aveau treaba. Multimea ii chema pe cei din formatie, ii striga, tipau, aplaudau, incercand sa-i faca sa vina mai repede. Si cand, in final, au venit, it was mass hysteria. Nu o sa zic acum nimic de piesele pe care le-au cantat, doar despre marile „perdante”, cum ar fi „Sam’s Town” si „Bones”, si despre faptul ca am ramas uimita ca au cantat „Shadowplay”, aratand imagini cu Ian Curtis pe fundal, si m-a mai uimit si ca au cantat „Dustland Fairytale” si publicul a cantat cu ei, desi e o piesa trista si piesele triste nu prea au succes. O sa va spun mai ales despre atitudinea lui Brandon Flowers, care chiar are atitudine. Mic si cu nerv, se misca pe scena, are o a doua personalitate care infloreste pe scena and he knows how to drive the babes wild.
Per total, uzi si fericiti am fost.


Azi incepe B’ESTFEST-ul. Editia din 2009.
Se vehiculeaza nume mari, pentru toata lumea. The Killers, White Lies, Patrice, Motorhead, Moby, Orbital, Klaxons, The Charlatans, Manowar, Hollyhell, The Ting Tings, Ayo., Oceana, Gabriella Cilmi, Franz Ferdinand, SANTANA!!! si altii. 5 zile de B’estfest, sper sa fie mai bune ca niciodata. 🙂
Eu ma duc la The Killers, White Lies si Patrice. Ziua Zero. Sper sa iasa bine, sa cante cei de la White Lies „Taxidermy” si coverul dupa „Love Lockdown”. Sper ca The Killers sa faca ultra-mega-show si sper ca Patrice sa imi placa.
Sper sa traiesc, sa revin cu impresii, desi nu mai sunt entuziasmata.
Daca nu revin, sunati la salvare. Mi-am taiat venele.