A-ha returns to the UK with their 8th studio album “Analogue”. For A-ha purists looking for a taste of 80’s nostalgia, this album will come as a disappointment. There are no 80’s synch disco beats to be found here, what you will find instead is a masterclass in melancholic sentiment not seen since the exquisite Coldplay album “A rush of blood to the head”.
Standout tracks are “Analogue”, described by some as a Take On Me for the new millennium, albeit with a rockier edge and the European single “Celice”, a song that saw such a radical departure for the band that it led to a marked desertion from their loyal pop obsessed German fan base.
Despite the strength of the aforementioned singles, where this album really excels is in its core material. The album has a wealth of hidden layers that demands repeat listening, songs such as “Cosy Prison” and “The Fine Blue Line” are beautiful ballads that perfectly encapsulate the raw feelings of human emotions whilst remaining easily accessible. Other songs such as “White Dwarf” and “Birthright” take longer to appreciate yet are ultimately rewarding and represent some of the albums finer moments.
The album’s only failing is the dire “Halfway through the tour” a song about the toils of life on the road (although many bands feel the need to write about their experiences on the road they rarely make for great songs). Overall, against such strong material, this is only a minor indiscretion.
So is this a great album, the answer is Yes and if it was released by Keane or Coldplay then it would undoubtedly get the recognition it so richly deserves. The real question is will A-ha ever be able to shake off the boyband tag. Only time will tell, but with this album they have surely made a huge step forward in doing so.