Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Review: a-ha - Foot of the Mountain

a-ha is on of the those bands that everyone has heard of, but few can really remember what music they actually played. And that is a pity, because their newest release "Foot of the Mountain" proves that new wave music is still live and kicking, despite all the heavy breathing and the gray hair. Although some people were not satisfied with the eponymous pilot single I still was convinced that this album deserved a full listen...and I am not sorry at all.

"Foot of the Mountain" is a-ha's ninth proper studio album and comes after four years of silence, but I guess it was all worth the waiting. Going back and forth between the new wave features, the dreampop influences and the electropop smooth beats, a-ha are anything but out of ideas. Even after almost three decades of bringing quality pop music to the world they still have a few tricks in the bag and without the whole Depeche Mode glamor and hysteria have recorded an exquisite electronic delight for late night emotional endeavors or a mid-day indulgence into the pastoral little world far there at the foot of the mountain.

Marking a return to their original synthpop sound after the successful more rock-orientated album "Analogue", "Foot of the Mountain" has a few fine surprises for a-ha true electronic fans, and still will be no total disappointment to their guitar-loving supporters. However, the album is milder, more mellow and self-introverted, exploring desires and regrets, reflecting the uncertainties of the future and the hardships of the past. There is a fine emotional structure that keeps all the tracks together and without being an actual concept album it does tell a story...but the rest I leave solely to you.

Songs to hear: "The Bandstand", "What There Is", "Nothing Is Keeping You Here" and "Mother Nature Goes To Heaven"

Personal rating: 8 out of 10