Monday, February 20, 2012

Hurts and Azari and III

7. Hurts- Happiness

I have been singing praise for Hurts for a long time, and they finally made a record to make my top 10 list. With this release, the duo finally made my dreams come true. Out of the fog of all of the poseur mediocrity of bands that claim to create 80s/dance/synth pop inspired music, Hurts delivers. It is smart, stylish and actually taps into what the original bands were bringing to the table. Brooding, intelligent, sexy and calculated, they are the true heirs to the best of Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Erasure, Scritti Politti, and Spandau Ballet. But Hurts don't stoop to cheap design and obvious covers. They instead gain my respect through well written songs with excellent production. This is good music made by smart people, who get it.

8. Azari & III- EPs

Much like the 80s poseur bands that Hurts put to shame, Azari and III do the same to most acts trying to claim that they are real house music. Even acts that have put out enjoyable and passable house inspired songs in the last 5 years or so, still miss the mark. There is no sense of urgency, no sex, no snap and no mood. Azari and III have all of the above in excess. Listening to "Manic" for the first time made me ecstatic. It was all of the fun and energy and underlying power of real house music. It was the first record since the first Basement Jaxx record to remind me of how amazing good real house music can be.

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