Artist : A-Ha
Genre : Rock / Pop
Date Released : 2009

It seems that this Norwegian group did not lose their touch; making music A-Ha fans love most. They never deviated from a formula, except adding new instruments to make their song sounds not dated and writing mature lyrics this. One thing that you can appreciate with A-Ha is that they write sensible lyrics.

In the music industry, there is a certain dichotomy that is intrinsic; US music and Euro music. Europeans can appreciate songs coming from American artists except for country music. But Americans have difficulty accepting Euro-music. This could be attributed to production where Euro-songs have are more driven towards rhythm and beats while American music tend to be dominated by boom and bass.
The album is quite engaging if you just allow yourself to go beyond the separation between Euro music and American music. Some of the songs that smooths your mind are “The Bandstand,” What There Is,” and “Riding The Crest.” While these songs cannot be considered as rock music among rock purist, the lyrics though can be considered as one. For example in “What There Is”, these words can be considered as punk as it is full of angst, “There is no memory; There’s no recall; No recollections At all; Your dark glasses; Sliding down your nose; Now bring these proceedings; To a close; It’s what there is.” Only that the group delivered the song in a somber manner which is not attractive to American rock fans.

“Real Meaning” is a good song with not so trite lyrics about accepting someone as they are in a relationship. Euro-pop and synth pop has never been good in the song “Shadowside.” In “Nothing Is Keeping You Here,” they put their skills on creating a song that has nice guitar riffs and they were successful. In fact the song can stand alongside with songs from The White Stipes and other current glam rock artist. “Mother Nature Goes To Heaven” is an intriguing title for a song; you expect a psychedelic type of song in here. This is the best song in this record; nice beat, nice lyrical ode to a mother, and not your typical A-Ha song. The next best song here is “Sunny Mystery.” Admittedly this song is like a guilty pleasure; to sunny in terms of attitude; but what the heck, one needs songs to cheer up.

The only fly in the ointments in this record is “Start The Stimulator.” I rate this record 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.
Ratings Description:
1 star = Ignore it
2 stars= risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 = buy, keep, and treasure it



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