Saturday, June 11, 2011

A-HA - Hunting High and Low

A-ha - Hunting High and Low
Published in 1985

"We're talking away
I don't know what
I'm to say I'll say it anyway
Today's another day to find you
Shying away
I'll be coming for your love, OK?

Take on me, take me on
I'll be gone
In a day or two"

First off, thanks to Jake. I don't know why I am thanking Jake, because as I saw on a shirt once, he is a Jerk, but I guess I'll thank him anyway, for suggesting this album.

The Album Project Bureau of Jokes and Other Sarcastic-cies has been working hard to research all of the eighties trivia that I need to make fun of because of this album.  The tireless public servants have been researching for hours on the internet about a decade that I was not actually a part of in any meaningful way.  I will refer you to our honorary historical joke director, Mr. William Joel.  He has a pretty good primer on Youtube.  Unfortunately, due to budget cuts and the removal of their collective bargaining rights (timely for four months ago!  Also, probably timely for now, what with the NFL collapsing like a flan.) the department had to be let go, because this album is actually pretty damn good.

You see, when you crack open an A-ha album, you seem to have some prebuilt assumptions.  One, that they are as much of a joke as they have become.  Two, that the other songs are going to be the the eightiesist things that you have ever eighties heard.  And three, that you won't enjoy it.

But this album holds up.  It's surprisingly well written, the songs are good, they don't overly use anything but the drum machine.  The songs are somewhat catchy, and the album is pretty short and sweet.  You are rarely stuck in one song too long, and when they get old, they fade out and go into a new one.

They are no joke too.  They play some pretty on fire new wave, and they do some really cool things with their instrumentation.  They play some pretty damn good music, and while the songs aren't anything spectacularly out there, they are solidly made and produced.

Yes, there is some dating, but actually, it's not as bad as I expected.  It doesn't sound like a parody of itself, it just embraces it's eightiesness in a way that is endearing and not annoying.  They have a pretty solid piece of work here.

I just don't have a lot to say about it.  It's not good enough that I think anything other than Take on Me deserves to be held in high regard, but that song is a pop culture masterpiece, even getting future TAP artists Reel Big Fish to cover the song.  It's one of those songs that instantly gives something a place and time to be tacked on to, like Huey Lewis and the News.

So, thanks again Jake, and hope to get more suggestions from you,

"You can't Fax glitter!" "Well, not with that attitude!" "NOT WITH ANY ATTITUDE!"

PS. Do something good and Give Phil Five!

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