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A-ha Foot Of the Mountain Universal (2009)

A-ha

Having already reached number 5 in the UK album charts, is 'Foot of the Mountain' A-ha's effort to cash in on the current wave of 80's nostalgia? Well, no- the album may have achieved the bands highest UK chart position since 1988's 'Stay On These Roads', but it is not off the back of past merits. A-ha have made some great albums since reforming in 1998 following a 4 year hiatus, including 2005's critically acclaimed 'Analogue'.

However, ninth album 'Foot of the Mountain' is the first to really try and recapture the band's early 80's sound and feel- and this it does. Synth and keyboard heavy, and with slight overtones of Kraftwerk in places- yet unmistakably A-ha, the album recently entered the German charts at number one and spent six weeks in the Top 20, several of those on the top of the chart- a sure sign that the band really has cemented it's chart comeback.

Morten Harket's vocals are instantly recognisable and with catchy choruses and melodies throughout, the songs on the album are, at times, dark and broody, at others haunting. All the songs were written by keyboard player Magne Furuholmen and guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, and the album cleverly combines the band's earlier recording methods with modern production techniques.

Highlights amongst the 10 tracks on offer include current single 'Foot of the Mountain', 'The Bandstand' (a track which looks like it will be the next single), 'What There Is', 'Sunny Mystery' and 'Mother Nature Goes to Heaven'.

The band has already sold over 36 million albums in a career spanning 3 decades and, going on the strength of this current album, will surely be selling a lot more.

****

Review by Nikk Gunns


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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