Review : A-Ha - Minor Earth Major Sky
Music-criticI had to laugh when I heard that 80s pop wonderboys A-Ha were getting back together and releasing their first album for seven years. The first impression had to be that Morten Harket and co were short of cash and planning a quick killing on the strength of their past fame. How wrong I turned out to be, because Minor Earth Major Sky is one of the most accomplished and fresh albums you are likely to hear.
As soon as the title track bursts into life it's quite obvious from Harket's unique vocals that this is putting them straight back on the high ground they enjoyed with hits such as "The Living Daylights," "Take on Me" and "The Sun Always Shines on TV." And the crackers don't stop there, with "The Sun Never Shone That Day," "You'll Never Get Over Me" and new single "Summer Moved On" all providing the anthem-sounds we were once used to....full text
EntertainmentA highly improbable comeback for the Norwegian group best remembered for 80s disco hits such as Take On Me. Don't be too quick to sneer - they've replaced their synth-pop with real guitars and the results aren't at all bad. There are some strong, brooding melodies and Morten Harket's soulful voice sounds much better than it did in the 80s. Unfortunately some of the lyrics are wilfully dumb and ultimately the album as a whole has a rather contrived air about it....full text
LeonardslairMorten Harket's boyish good looks are a double-edged sword in the music world. Firstly, A-ha's first wave of success was partly due to their lead singer's finely chiselled cheekbones but they also suffered from critics and heterosexual males alike who dismissed them as teen poster fodder. If that was an unfair criticism at the time, this latest album blows that theory totally out of the water, for 'Minor Earth Major Sky' is an excellent hour's worth of modern adult rock. From the assured confidence and modern production touches on the title track, the Norwegian trio rarely lose their footing thanks mainly to main songwriter's Paul Waaktar-Savoy's winning way with a melody and Harket's admirable vocal range. Over a consistently good 13 tracks, A-ha only slip up once on the soppy balladry of 'To Let You Win' but immediately after things pick up with the bitter-sounding 'Company Man'. The heartfelt 'Barely Hanging On' is exactly the kind of song a bunch of 40 year-olds should be making whilst 'Summer Moved On' and 'Velvet' recall the majesty of their earlier singles. It's a little too late for worldwide success but this is a pleasant surprise indeed....full text
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