A-HA - "SCOUNDREL DAYS" 1986

A-HA


"SCOUNDREL DAYS"

1986


SCOUNDREL DAYS - The opener on this, the band's second album laid the groundwork for the rest of the album.  Whereas the debut, "Hunting High And Low" was pure Electronic Pop, this sequel was a more mature rockier sound.  This first track was like a New Wave/Synth Rock hybrid.  Atmospheric, a variety of vocal ranges from lead singer Morten Harket and quite a lot going on if you listen closely.  A great start.

THE SWING OF THINGS - Another brilliant experimental track, Electro Pop with a funky background and some twangy Country guitars at times.  Its almost a ballad, it shouldn't work but it does.  An absolute gem, one of my favourite songs by the band.

I'VE BEEN LOSING YOU - The lead single from the album and its a cracker.  Sounding nothing like the previous album, this was the Pop Rock sound that was to come in the next few albums.  Great harmonies merge with crashing drums and guitars with an uptempo rhythm.  These guys were not just pretty poster boys, they could play and write some fantastic songs, this is one of them. Awesome.

OCTOBER - The pace slows down dramatically with this Jazz style track.  Morten delivers a breathy vocal which echoes the chilly atmospheric tone of the song.  Its nice, its not one of my favourites but it shows there are options for this trio to explore mro genres.

MANHATTAN SKYLINE -  This is one of those masterpiece compositions.  Its a gentle, brash, gentle, brash kind of to and fro song.  Moments of melancholy and softness merge weirdly into crashing guitars and drums and a moody, angry vocal.  This is Pop Rock at its best, its almost like a strange Scandinavian Electro Progressive Rock mix.  Fabulous.

CRY WOLF - The closest track on this album that matches the catchy Synth Pop styles of "Hunting High And Low".  It's fun, it's a bit mad, and it's a definite sing along tune.  Especially the "woo woo" chorus.  It is classic early A-ha, and a hint that the fun Pop music of the likes of "Take On Me" hasn't gone completely far away even though the band were maturing musically.

WE'RE LOOKING FOR THE WHALES - A bouncy, Electronic Pop track, uplifting, melancholic, and an easy listen.  I really like this, it is different, a catchy chorus and its got an unusual, engaging rhythm.

THE WEIGHT OF THE WIND - A typically 80s Pop Rock song, its an ok song, has some great moments but is missing something to really grab you.  A disappointment on this superb album.

MAYBE, MAYBE - A two and a half minute chirpy, quirky Synth Pop track that Erasure would be proud of.  Its a little repetitive but you can't help but love it.  Its very simple, its very twee but it grows on you.

SOFT RAINS OF APRIL - The final track is a beautiful sounding track that has some Psychedelic 60s Rock ballad vibe.  Its eerie, spaced out kind of sound has you completely engulfed.  Its weird but its good. 











Comments

  1. Great review, A-ha is one of the most underrated bands of all times.

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