For The Record: Hunting High And Low – A-ha

I have delved back into my vinyl collection to pick up this one, a record of my parents that i acquired and was yet to listen to.

Therefore I had no preconceptions when i put this on – apart from that of Take On Me, A-ha were always the group that fitted perfectly with my taste but I never quite got round to listening to. They always struck me as a group that were probably overlooked & had very great songs ignored because of the obvious hit, I’m not sure how true to life that is but I sort of missed that boat.I guess this LP highlights that though, i’m sure it’s the kind you love but don’t ever admit to liking in public

ahaSIDE A

It is one of those fine records that begins with that endearing crackle that you could listen to for hours before Take On Me begins; you know Take On Me, I know Take On Me, we all love Take On Me – no matter how scratched your parents have caused it to be.

Moving on, Train Of Thought sounds like 70s disco with cliche 80’s vocals, like anything really, not that it’s bad – i love both of those things. There’s even a nice little african flute break. Title tracks have reputations of being standouts on albums, this one, however, does not follow suit, it’s much slower than the previous, complete with acoustic guitar & the ever faithful shaker that makes it appear as a flamenco ballad – definitely the kind of stuff you never ever admit to liking in public, no matter how good the middle 8 is.

The Blue Sky then, it’s crashy, it’s synthy & it’s sentimental & i like that – digging this one, even if the vocals are a bit Gary Barlow at times….Living Boy’s Adventure Tale closes Side A, the kick was deep enough to make my entire record player shake if that’s anything of note, other than that I like this, it’s simply a good song.

SIDE B

The Sun Always Shines On Tv, I was already sold on this one due to the title, it’s disappointinglya bit Gary Barlow again – well until the synth kicks in, then we’re onto a winner.

This album may aswell be Take That as And You Tell Me ‘s got the gazza vibes too, it’s one of them ‘woe is me’ love songs. Oh and the shaker is back, combined with the last 3 notes, oh dear.

Love Is Reason starts like the opening credits to some legendary family game show and it remains much the same throughout, the catchy singalong type – an alternative Don’t You Want Me? 

Dream Myself Alive sounds promising until the title is sung as the first lyrics, twice – Morrissey does that a lot and even he can’t get away with it not sounding awful, don’t do that. The track itself is alright, it feels too much like a cliche for me.

Here I Stand And Face The Rain, well, to put it bluntly I read the title and thought “oh fuck”, however the final track had me pleasantly surprised, it sounds a bit like The Cure and is actually a quite great one, shame about the name really….and the tenth fade out used on a ten track album hmm….

There we go then, I have dived into the world of A-ha, about time, and it’s not too shabby either – I can’t see this being dramatically overplayed like the certain lack of care would suggest my parents did but it’s not going to get chance to go dusty either, i’d have a listen too if I were you.

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