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Analogue

a-ha

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Album Review

The Norwegian band a-ha had never really been away, so the 2006 album Analogue was hardly a comeback but a continuation of their 20-plus years of hitmaking. If anything, it was a return to form after the disappointing Lifelines album. The opening track, "Celice," was released in Europe only and featured Morten Harket's trademark falsetto vocals over a beat driven song. Pål Waaktaar's fuzzy guitar dominates "Make It Soon" but Analogue is mainly a very laid-back album, only a few of its 13 tracks are up-tempo in the style of their classic era "Take on Me," and most of the tracks are piano led, melancholy ballads including "Cozy Prisons," "Birthright," "A Fine Blue Line," and "The Summers of Your Youth." Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young lends his backing vocals to the tracks "Cozy Prisons" and "Over the Teardrops" and makes the harmonies on the latter song sound almost like one of CSN&Y's own. Halfway through the album comes the track "Halfway Through the Tour," a synth-beat number over seven minutes long. It's a strange song which appears to finish at the standard three-minute mark but then continues for a further four minutes as a flute instrumental with echoes of "Nights in White Satin." The first single to be released in the U.K., "Analogue (All I Want)" became their first Top Ten single since 1988's "Stay on These Roads."

Biography

Formed: 1982 in Oslo, Norway

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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. By late 1983 they had achieved part of that goal by signing to WEA. "Take on Me" took three times to become a hit in the U.K., eventually hitting number two in November 1985. Going one better in the U.S. mainly due to the wide exposure of its stunning video on MTV, which fused...
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Analogue, a-ha
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