Experimental Music Love

January 8, 2008

a-ha – Analogue 23/01/06

Filed under: Album Reviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 4:56 pm

OK, I’ll admit it. I do like a-ha. To me, they are not the embarrassing 80s new romantics that your mum quite likes, though that does seem to be the popular opinion amongst students today. Instead, I find them to be one of the finest purveyors of pop/rock of the last two decades, and Morten Harket one of the finest singers in the business. And “Take On Me” is a classic. Anyway, with this high opinion of Norway’s finest, it was with eager anticipation that I put on this record to see how the band have evolved.

The impact isn’t immediate. “Celice”, though opening with a eerie screeching promising interesting new directions in the music, doesn’t live up to this premise and ends up a rather dull affair, with its only saving grace being that of Harket’s vocals. Thankfully though, this is probably the weakest song on the album. “Don’t Do Me Any Favours” finds the band back on familiar pop territory and sounding as timeless as ever. The rest of the album, though sticking to the great a-ha formula of pop songs and ballads does see some variation and inspiration. Graham Nash helps out Harket on vocal duties on a couple of numbers, his voice adding a subtle darkness to the proceedings.

It’s amazing how modern an album made by a band who’ve been around for a quarter of a century sounds. This could easily be an album made by any one of a number of bands who are part of Britain’s blooming music scene. There are elements of Athlete, Elbow, Bloc Party – heck there’s even a touch of Mogwai in one of there more mellow moments on “Halfway Though the Tour” and “Analogue” has a chorus that Coldplay would kill for. This album really is a fine return to form for the kings of Norwegian pop, and certainly up there with the works of their modern contemporaries.

 

7.6/10

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1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for the review! I needed a push to check out their albums since “Minor Earth…” and this has done it for me :). Analogue and Don’t Do Me Any Favours sound great so far.

    I think they’re a great adult pop band too and more people would realise it if they gave their newer stuff a chance. When I first heard Minor Earth Major Sky I was expecting hokey, over-laden synth pop like their classic album (not that I didn’t like it xD But that sound was ok for THAT time – not so much now πŸ™‚ so I was pleasantly surprised.

    Your blog looks very interesting – I’m going to have to check back regularly :).

    Comment by sakmode — June 21, 2008 @ 11:25 pm |Reply


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