If I see a-ha appear on a 'One Hit Wonders' list once more... well, I suppose I'll just grumble about it again.
I don't want to look like some sad fanboy who justifies the worth of a band based on how many Top 10 hits they've had, but there can't be too many bigger shames in popular music than assuming that this Norweigan trio did nothing more than their bright ditty "Take On Me", which certainly seems to be the view here in Australia (if you watch a music channel on which they're showing a list of One Hit Wonders, you can almost guarantee a-ha will appear, and there's only one song that will accompany their name).
Their career, which can really be split into two phases, has not only had many highlights from the point of view of quality, but also many chart successes in various parts of Scandinavia and Europe.
It should be noted that this debut is not their best release. Of course, the track "Take On Me" which opens the record is in a way the perfect popsong, with its bright keyboard refrain, bouncy rhythm, and Morton Harket's flying falsetto, not to mention the (at the time) revolutionary video. The following piece, "Train Of Thought", is almost a slightly slower repeat of it, and then there's the title song, - a moving ballad - which didn't jump out at me at first, but there's no denying its emotion.
What comes afterwards is something of a mixture. Songs like "The Blue Sky", "Love Is Reason", and "I Dream Myself Alive" are reasonable, but so light and fluffy it's almost like they don't completely exist in this world, while "Living A Boy's Adventure Tale" and the concluding "Here I Stand And Face The Rain" are mood pieces which are something of an acquired taste.
by Reviewer: The Doctor