Sound — 10
From one who has loved HURT's Vol. I and II, this new addition was anticipated highly, and I bought it the day it came out. The sound, for those who have never heard the band, is most broadly described as soft/alternative rock, yet even this categorization places too many restrictions on this band. It is really it's own genre, combining vocal harmonies with acoustic and electric guitars, electric basses, and violins. The thing that separates this band from many others of it's type is it's progressiveness and vocals - the latter being extremely unique. I have not heard anyone with a voice similar to Loren's, it is slightly grungy yet very clear and soulful. I don't really know how to describe it, other than too perfect. As far as influences are concerned, I can really detect none. What also makes it amazing is that included in the CD is a code you can use to download super-high quality versions of all the tracks taken from analog 1/2" master tapes, for people who really love music, and also available are three bonus tracks off the site. And for a person like me who loves to lay down and listen to music and let it fill every crevice of my body, it is perfect. Compositionally amazing, and utterly powerful.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics of HURT are the sole reason why I started listening to the band; on previous albums they have been compared to Tool, and I have always compared them to System Of A Down, yet in reality they have a much deeper edge than either of those by being not only deep but very real at the same time. Also, they tackle entirely different subjects than the other two bands. HURT likes to play with audible puns (tactfully) along with paralleling syntax and especially powerful metaphors; the songs are written more like poetry than actual songs. Unfortunately, I had rather high expectations from Vol. II that this album didn't quite meet, and although they are good, I liked the previous album's better. I'd cite examples except that the album did not come with lyrics, which is one thing that I don't like.
Overall Impression — 9
This album is by far the best one I have purchased this year (and I buy plenty of music), and I find I am immediately drawn to the tracks Jealousy and Pills, even though I'm sure that will change after a few weeks. The songs are powerful and sang with incredible emotion, and the bonus track that comes in after the last song is well worth it, it adds comedic relief to the intensity that HURT can put into music. I couldn't really compare this CD to any other band's music, but as far as previous HURT CD's go I think I liked Vol. II better. But that may change over time, as I have had time to grow attached to those songs. Definitely in my top 10 CD's of all time, and I've only had 24 hours to listen to it. That means a lot, coming from a person who loves to buy music.