Emeli Sandé – “Hurts” (Singles Going Steady)

Sandé's lyrics are so personal and her delivery so breathtaking and urgent that "Hurts" commands attention.

Adriane Pontecorvo: Emeli Sandé is raw pain in “Hurts”, a song filled with sweeping, open feeling. She wears her heart on her sleeve, which is a simple thing to do with a song about heartbreak, but the sheer range and depth of her voice takes catharsis to new heights. For the heartbroken, it’s a perfect expression of bittersweet agony, and even for the content, Sandé’s lyrics are so personal and her delivery so breathtaking and urgent that “Hurts” commands attention. It’s a memorable song, with a sincerity that bleeds through its straightforward sentiments, propelling it into the emotional stratosphere. Emeli Sandé’s voice is always a sonic treasure to behold, and here, she proves that her soul goes even deeper when she lays herself bare. [8/10]

Andrew Paschal: Accompanied by a frantic beat and a deluge of strings and horns, Emeli Sandé riles up the emotions like a warlord readying her troops for battle. She commandingly wields her vocal weaponry, and over the course of the song’s four minutes it feels as though Earth’s gravity has become that much weightier. “Hurts” can be nearly suffocating in its relentlessness, and its opulence sometimes undercuts the song’s raw vulnerability. Sandé’s performance is devastating, if not necessarily welcoming. [6/10]

Paul Carr: Emilie Sandé does what she does best. Here she puts a positive spin on heartbreak and offers hope to all those that have been left heartbroken. The morose and downbeat opening echoes the initial pain of separation before escalating layers of percussion and double quick hand claps suggest a need to soldier on. The gospel ending acts as the final courageous call to arms of the broken hearted who will never forget but have to carry on regardless. It’s a strong return that suggests she still has the power to connect on an emotional level in new and beguiling ways. [8/10]

SCORE: 7.33


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