A-HA - THE ALBUMS 1985 - 2022
TAKE ON ME - The band's debut album opens with the classic 80s track and unmistakeable Synth Pop intro. Loved this song instantly on first listen and was then hooked on A-ha and Morten Harket's incredible vocal range. The track finally charted after a couple of attempts and reached number 2 in the UK charts. Its accompanying video was groundbreaking using animated and live action scenes sequenced together. A masterpiece.
TRAIN OF THOUGHT - The third UK single release and reached number 8 in the chart and was their third successive top ten hit. This has a typical Synth Pop fast paced drumbeat with a surprisingly slow tempo vocal by Morten, showing off his complete range in the song. It grows on you after a couple of listens.
HUNTING HIGH AND LOW - A beautiful slow minimal ballad reaching an anthemic, operatic crescendo to finish. Great emotionally charged vocals and a captivating backing.
THE BLUE SKY - At just over two and a half minutes this probably could be considered a "filler". Its a nice, upbeat poppy track but doesn't really grab you like the previous tracks.
LIVING A BOY'S ADVENTURE TALE - An almost dramatic musical score, it is typical Electronic Pop. A decent song but not one of my favourites.
THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON TV- Another memorable intro opens this second UK single that finally hit the top spot in the chart. One of my favourite A-ha songs. It is a great blend of Pop, Synth Pop and Rock. I loved the rockier sound which they took to a higher level gradually on the next few albums. Awesome track.
AND YOU TELL ME - This track is under two minutes long and is a whimsical, minimal offering Morten to sing almost unaccompanied. I would suggest this be taken as a "filler" also!
LOVE IS REASON - Released in a couple of countries as a single, this track is a catchy New Wave/Europop hybrid that is quirky enough to keep the attention.
DREAM MYSELF ALIVE - A somewhat repetitive Synth Pop track in the style of Erasure, maybe. Its not a bad song just needs a bit more "oomph" to hit the heights of other great A-ha tracks.
HERE I STAND AND FACE THE RAIN - The album ends with this unusual track. It has a mystical vibe about it with some choral chants and a very dark musical backing. Great end to the debut album.
THERE'S NEVER A FOREVER THING - Just a beautiful song, it lilts along with a minimal piano and drumbeat acoustic sound and Morten sings softly and quiet sometimes reaching that famous hgh pitched vocals to give the desired full emotional effect. A gem of a song.
I'M IN - The opening track on the band's 11th studio album was also the first single released. This is an orchestral style, piano led Pop ballad that is full of hope and positivity despite its melancholic sound. Morten's vocal is as impeccably emotional as ever.
HUNTER IN THE HILLS - This kicks off in some musical based sounds evoking a "thriller movie" imagery. Has a very orchestral jazzy feel to it. Unusual for the band but it works.
AS IF - This ia a mid tempo 80s New Wave ballad that almost sounds like Folk with a little Americana thrown in for good measure. Was the third single released from the album.
BETWEEN THE HALO AND THE THORN - This is almost reminiscent of the band's debut album's slow songs but with a huge orchestral twist. Still waiting for the rocky quicker song to liven the album up, although a nice relaxing listen so far.
TRUE NORTH - A more familiar sounding A-ha on this title track. The rockier, anthemic, atmospheric ballads that started briefly on "Scoundrel Days" and came in full force on "Stay On These Roads". As a big A-ha fan this is what I waited for on this album.
BUMBLEBEE - A slightly more upbeat throw back to "Hunting High And Low" with a quirky, bright and breezy track with little snippets of Trip Hop styled beats.
FOREST FOR THE TREES - Another orchestral sounding "movie" like backing, it almost takes off but doesn't quite grab me. It's a nice enough song but like most of this album, it just needs that extra A-ha sparkle.
BLUEST OF BLUE - Another slow track but I quite like this one, first half is Morten up front and centre with some beautiful vocals then the sparse drums come in. It has a very 60s Folk Pop sound. Along with the title track this is a favourite.
MAKE ME UNDERSTAND - Great track, a catchy chorus with a Disco-like beat backing the vocals. This is more like it, a great crossover Pop Rock track.
YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES - A nice Pop ballad that Morten sings with his usual aplomb. Was the second single released from the set. Great vocals intertwine with lush harmonies and melody.
SUMMER RAIN - Another look back at the previous rockier albums, this is a Pop Rock ballad with a lovely, smooth but eerie backing. Definitely reminds me of the "Stay On These Roads" days. Nice.
OH MY WORD - A really lush musical style ballad to finish the album, which I must say the second half of it really kicked up a gear. This track has a jazzy Folk feel to it and ends the set on a high.