Analogue

Studio Album by released in 2005

Analogue review

A-ha do what they have always done: write intelligent songs with an air of melancholy

Pal Waaktaar and Magne Furuholmen, formerly of Bridges formed a-ha in the early '80s. Morten Harket joined the duo, and they left for the now 'legendary London flat' (so called because of its state of disrepair) to make it. Analogue is the eighth studio album by Norwegian superstars a-ha. Reappraised by anoraks who sniffed when their hits were first released, how a-ha must laugh when they survey the discs lining their walls. It's 20 years since that purple patch began, with Take on Me, and three since their last album, yet you'd struggle to find signs of complacency: remarkable for a band formed in 1982. Given the commercial sway of Coldplay and Keane, a-ha are as relevant as ever. Morten Harket has still got those cheekbones and he can still hit those high notes (the low notes now have a pleasing croak to them). The rest writes itself. A-ha do what a-ha have always done: that is, write intelligent songs with a specifically Scandinavian air of melancholy. Analogue is delivered from the point of view of men who are old enough to have been damaged by love, but still optimistic enough to give it one more chance. Elegant adult pop rock with a sense of drama and romance.

Analogue acclaims the new a-ha phase where they are more connected to each other

Analogue is an album that treads new ground and thereby undeniably represents a-ha, starting with the single Celice, which is both cold and affectionate, up to the irresistibly catchy Analogue and Halfway Through The Tour, up to the reflective, sensitive Keeper Of The Flame as well as the band’s personal favorite Cosy Prisons. Analogue has received great reviews in the Norwegian press and the first single off the album, Celice, shot straight to number one in Norway in October. It proves these three still have the ability to sound fresh and relevant, intelligent and entertaining. After all these "20 years of a-ha", Analogue comes to acclaim the new a-ha phase where they are more connected to each other than ever. Songs such as Don't Do Me Any Favours and Birthright are awash with the casual knack for electropop hooks that propelled them to stardom. Analogue is also a major high point with soulful vocals and interesting production, a piano keeping a great rhythm and Holyground is a trace back to A-ha's best ballads. There are not enough words in the universe that can describe the beauty of Morten's voice. It's precise, perfect, a piece of art, well placed and sounds softly, like soft paintings of a fine brush on canvas

Magne, Morten and Pal contribute with strong songs that reflect the different personalities

One of the most popular Norwegian bands of all time, a-ha's distinctive sound coupled with lead singer Morten Harket's incredible falsetto has wowed audiences for over two decades, and this new album shows real progression without straying too far from the band's trademark sound. The trio gets the best out of each other. All three contribute with strong songs that reflect the different personalities, which in the end are combined together as one with common contribution. Magne Furuholmen has made five songs softly reflecting mid life crisis. Morten Harket has written a couple of bittersweet pop pearls, and he sings with more air and warmth. Pal Waaktaar-Savoy’s five songs sound like a magical mystery tour in the Beatles catalogue. The range in the songs, that easily could be a weakness, is instead a strength and advantage. Magne Furuholmen describes Analogue as a “new debut”. Delicious and beautiful pop songs come one after another here. Delicate strings here, Graham Nash-backing vocals there, clever sound details and nice melodic lines. A-ha comes forward as a relaxed and matured band that makes modern, melodious and melancholy pop and rock, on its own conditions.