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Hunting High And Low

a-ha

1985

Hunting High And Low

Album Summary

Hunting High and Low is the debut studio album by Norwegian new wave band A-ha, released on 1 June 1985 in the United States of America and 28 October 1985 in the United Kingdom by Warner Bros. Records. The album was a huge commercial success, reaching high positions on charts worldwide and peaking at number 15 on the US Billboard 200. The album was recorded at Eel Pie Studios in Twickenham, London, and produced by Tony Mansfield, John Ratcliff and Alan Tarney. In all, five singles from the album were released, though not all were released internationally: "Take On Me", "Love Is Reason", "The Sun Always Shines on T.V.", "Train of Thought" and "Hunting High and Low". The group was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in 1986, making A-ha the first Norwegian band to be nominated for a Grammy. As part of a re-release of their first two albums, Hunting High and Low was expanded and remastered in 2010.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.1

Votes

4925

Genres

  • New Wave
  • Pop
Reviews
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Mon Feb 15 2021
5

Like then she comes back and like gets the drawing out the bin but he might be alive and everyone is looking and like she runs away and he comes back and ...it don’t make much sense now I think about it.

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Tue Aug 24 2021
4

“Hunting High and Low” by a-ha (1985) After scanning the lyrics and listening to the first two disco/techno/pop tracks, I was prepared to skewer this album. But I have to confess that my appreciation increased as I listened—so much so that I had to erase my initial impressions and start over. Now I have a nice addition to my road trip playlist. Lyrics, melodies and chord structures are mostly supplied by songwriter and guitarist Pål Waaktaar. He shows ample creativity in tonal structures and melodies, yielding more than a few pleasantly head-scratching moments. (Yes, head scratching should be pleasant for a serious listener!) Disappointment over the lyrics can be set aside, since poetry and song in the English language is not to be expected of a Norwegian band. However, it should be said that lyrical non sequiturs are illogical in any language. I would like to hear this re-done in Norwegian. Guitar is not much on display on this album, which is baffling, given guitarist Waaktaar’s centrality in the creative process. Mood-appropriate vocal harmonies are compositional highlights. And there’s the nice oboe solo work by Claire Jarvis on the very cool “Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale”. Snappy programmed ‘drumming’ with EQ pleasantly cranked up on the treble end, but it lacks dynamic variation (and thus passion) in the emotional peaks. Where’s Phil Collins when you need him? Programmed bass likewise lacks life, but there’s plenty of danceable rhythm here, if you can keep up. Cascading, shimmering electronic backgrounds and counter melodies add needed color. It’s all well recorded and mixed, although I’m listening to a 2015 remaster of a 30 year old original, so there might be some cheating going on. Vocals by Morten Harket are remarkable. His more than adequate range has a curious timbre at the lower end of his range, making his tenor voice sound deceptively baritone, to nice effect. At the same time, he is quite weak (and flat) on the higher end of his natural range, but he has a strong, almost piercing falsetto. The chorus of the opening track “Take on Me” demonstrates all this. Fascinating. The title track “Hunting High and Low” has a nice jazz chord progression (seasoned with major seventh chords), and an entrancing melody, but it tends to wander aimlessly. The beautiful acoustic intro reveals Waaktaar’s guitar-based compositional approach, but after the intro, it almost drops out entirely (at least in the mix). It’s arrestingly odd. My favorite tracks (3, 5, 7, 10) are the ones that are definitely not ‘dance tunes’, nicely distributed to provide animation to the record’s construction. The closing track “Here I Stand and Face the Rain” is potentially powerful, but the first four lines of the second verse need to be replaced. My assessment went from “1” to “4” in 45 minutes. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. I hope this album is within your budget. 4/5

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Mon Jul 26 2021
2

Probably better off in 1001 Singles You Must Hear Before You Die. Hunting High and Low sounds pretty much exactly like the made-for-radio synth pop I expected it to be, with some tracks (And You Tell Me especially) coming off as borderline parody. It's all fine and listenable—aforementioned track notwithstanding—but feels hollow for the most part. There's glimpses where it seems like the band may be aware of that, but I doubt they were thinking about more than the charts. Key Tracks: Take On Me, The Blue Sky, The Sun Always Shines On T.V.

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Wed Feb 09 2022
3

Was always going downhill after Take On Me. Insert some sort of metaphor about Michael Owen's football career and/or Alan Partridge.

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Sun Jul 18 2021
1

One star for one hit

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Mon Feb 21 2022
5

If anyone asks what the 80s sound like, I'd give them this album. Have had a lot of albums from the 80s and everytime I just expected it to be as good as this one, but they never really make it. And it always makes me think of my mom :)) 5

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Wed Jul 20 2022
4

This starts with Take On Me? Wow that's a high mark to keep up. Hunting High and Low is deceptively complex. Every time I seem to wane interest in the sound, there is a new thing thrown in.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
4

Take On Me reached meme status. Such a good song but hard to listen to with an objective ear anymore because I'm just tired of it. I'm not a fan of the electric keyboard or drum sounds so I was prepared not to like this album or at least not love it but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Title track is really good. Great vocal range and voice. Songwriting is dramatic, creative with instrumentation, orchestral at times with strings, brass, and even woodwinds on Living a boys adventure tale. Not a fan of the static drum machine although the programming is good, this album could benefit from a real drummer at least on some tracks or in addition to the drum machine. Songwriting is very good here, they obviously know what they are doing with lots of non-diatonic chords. Definitely made me double take a like at the vocal transition to the chorus in living a boys adventure tale. The vocal octave jump in this song in the last chorus is fantastic. Really fun intro on the sun always shines on t.v. which starts dreamy with pads and sustained vocals, then becomes dissonant with a borrowed chord and then drops into a guitar and synth-bass driven groove. The chorus is in a major key but falls right back into that minor groove in such a natural way. Aha knows how to let a phrase breathe - I noticed this in I dream myself alive with the massive layered harmonies in the hook that is a call/response with the instrumentals. The hooks are simple and I think that's one reason they are so memorable on this album. Even the hook in Take On Me which spans 2.5 octaves is just ascending notes, 3 at a time. Very strange key changes in here I stand and face the rain that reminds me of we are the robots by kraftwerk. Overall, well crafted songs but is hampered by thin digital synths and midi drums. Some songs are fairly forgettable which is not good on a short album. Mixed bag but the highs here well make up for the lows.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
4

It's a shame Morten Harket didn't utilize the wide range of his voice more often because it too often sounds like any other eighties synth-pop ensemble's singer. But the band's dramatic debut album makes for very melodic and intriguing music.

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Tue Sep 27 2022
4

This is a cool album from what I would describe as the "mature" period of new wave/synth pop that followed the earlier work of bands like Gary Neuman and Human League. This is a great example of that style, and the lead singer of the band has an incredible voice that fits in great with the synthesizer sound. A really strong debut album, and it's incredible that this band had never played a concert before Take On Me reached #1 in the US 4/5

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Tue Feb 09 2021
3

The difference between the hits and the chaff of this album is huge. There are a few real five star songs on here such as Take On Me and The Sun Always Shines On TV. On the other hand, the rest of the songs are just really boring to the tune of two stars. I'd really like to give this four stars because those two good songs are so good. But they really are the only ones.

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Wed Aug 25 2021
3

[Michael Bluth looking into bag marked ‘The a-ha album with take on me on it’ “I don’t know what I expected”

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Thu Aug 26 2021
3

I was in high school when this album came out and so heavily into hard rock and heavy metal that the idea of a fully synth-laden pop band was anathema to me at the time :) Having said that, this lead single (and as it turns out the only song I can even remember from the band) was not dismissed by me... because of *the video* - which everyone knows. And the reason that it was/is important is that the video was so damn compelling at the time that it got me to look past my stubborn narrow-minded music tastes at the time and just enjoy it for what it was and is - a truly great pop song - that's not a light statement: "Take On Me" is so perfectly constructed as to stay interesting and high-paced throughout its perfectly short-enough length. ...oh wait, there's more to this album? Unsurprisingly the album is very very 80s - the pulsing 16th note synth bass, layered keyboards, rigid electronic percussion, heavy reverbs. So yeah - it's dated. But it sounds good - it may not be my favourite genre but it's a highly melodic throwback with decent songs that is a fun 37 minute retro-ride. 7/10 3 stars.

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Tue Aug 31 2021
3

I expected this to just be take on me, plus filler. It had other bangers. It also had a lot of filler

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Thu Sep 02 2021
3

This is good. I love that you could play 5 seconds from anywhere in the album and immediately know it's mid 80s. Good fun and more to it than I expected.

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Mon Oct 11 2021
3

It has its decent moments and overall is a well produced album, but doesn’t seem to know quite what it wants to be. I enjoy the more new wave moments, but some of the drum machines and synth date the album and take away from the wonderful vocal and bass performances. Having said that, I’m glad to have been exposed to a-ha beyond ‘Take on Me’

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Mon Oct 18 2021
3

About how I expected it to be, some catchy parts but largely cheesy and overwrought 6/10

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Wed Jan 19 2022
3

There’s literally one reason that this album is on this list and it’s a worthy reason. The rest of it wasn’t terrible though. We all know which song is the favorite

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Wed Jan 26 2022
3

'Take on Me' starts the album off super strong, from the first notes that make you want to bop your head. 'Hunting High and Low' is another really great piece from the album. It seems like the album suffers from the plague of all albums that have a really standout song, and it's that the other songs don't live up to the expectations set by the stellar song. All in all, the album is enjoyable, but the experience doesn't feel like it's complete enough to fully stand out.

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Wed Feb 02 2022
3

Don't start your album with the best song

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Wed Feb 09 2022
3

Polly put the kettle on. Polly put the kettle on. Polly put the kettle on, we'll all take E. Fuck me what a tea party that was. I was off my barnet. I ended up shagging Keira Knightley round the back of a broken ferris wheel. Her skinny elbows kept prodding me right in my sweet spot. Complete filth that lass. You wouldn't know it from her prim and proper characters on screen, but get her within a whiff of an abandoned fairground and she's as rough as arseholes.

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Sun Mar 13 2022
3

A-ha have always been much more than a one hit wonder. Take On Me ranks as one of the best pop songs and certainly the most memorable film clip of all time and for that, a-ha deserve their place on this list. Hunting High and Low is a fantastic pop album. Very mucb of its time but also innovative in terms or its synth arrangements, I would hazard a guess that they were a tiny bit influenced by Sparks (but who wasn't in some way or another). Listening to the album again after so long, I am surprised Love Is The Reason and The Sun Always Shines on TV didn't chart better at the time. Some of the songs sound dated or are obvious filler which is the main downside of the album.

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Wed Mar 16 2022
3

A decent album. Not great, not egregious, just the exact, forensic point of okayness. I have never warmed to Take on Me. Overwhelmingly overplayed and slightly gimmicky, I always preferred The Sun Always Shines on TV (and honestly, I've never bothered paying attention to a-ha before). However, as the opener, I will acknowledge more of a charm than I have previously recognised, but not enough to persuade me to like it fully. The other singles are better, often quite melancholy, and one has to relish Morten Harket's lyrical idiosyncrasies (who doesn't marvel at "Please don't ask me to defend/ The shameful lowlands/ Of the way I'm drifting/ Gloomily through time"?). But, and this is with all the goodwill in the world musterable for this album, I can't really call it an essential listen. There's fair filler and, although it's enjoyable to spend an hour with these fetching Norwegians, I'm not going to build a shrine to them.

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Thu Jun 09 2022
3

Hunting High & Low is very much a mid-80s album. Accessible synth-pop made at a time when it was a commercially safe choice. Nevertheless this album has two things that set it a little apart: Firstly, the beautifully emotional voice of Harket and secondly, the melancholic tone of many of the songs. It ensures that this album goes just a little deeper than many of its contemporaries. And even though there is really nothing wrong with the songwriting, it really does have the 80's issues of filler sounds, the need to fill up silences with an extra synth-trumpet, drumcomputer-loop and background violin. Especially clear in the song Hunting High And Low. Solid Debut for this Norwegian Band and I'm glad to have learned about songs like The Blue Sky and Here I Stand And Face The Rain

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Wed Jul 13 2022
3

Take on Me followed by nine other tracks. Rating: 3/5 Playlist track: Take on Me Date listened: 12/07/22

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Sun May 23 2021
2

The album sounds like the songs are well written and would be something I’d like. However, it has the type of 80s style production that, to me, make everything flat and dull.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
5

Ok, it's not my style, and it feels weird to rank it together with yesterday's Motorhead, but I gotta give it a 5

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

An 80's hit maker. The opening track is iconic. This is the PEAK of synthpop goodness. It's bouncy, layered, fun, anthemic, and funky. All round awesome album.

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Sun Jul 18 2021
5

Obviously I loved this album.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
5

hermoso

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Thu Aug 12 2021
5

Looooove!!!

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Thu Sep 09 2021
5

Classic a HA

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

Потрясающий голос, классные аранжировки. Буду ли я это переслушивать? УЖЕ ПЕРЕСЛУШИВАЮ

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Mon Feb 21 2022
5

So many memories!

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Wed May 04 2022
5

Is great

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Fri May 20 2022
5

Listened Before? N How is it possible that I have never listened to this whole album before now? I have no clue. Take on Me is one of my all time favorite songs, but I never went beyond that. This is a synth-pop classic! Most songs are good or great, and there are a few real gems! Added to Library? Y Songs Added to Playlist - Take on Me, The Sun Always Shines on T.V.

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Sun Jun 12 2022
5

Stórfengleg debut plata þessarra norðmanna sem eru mér mjög kærir. Fullt hús stiga.

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Wed Jun 15 2022
5

super enjoyable experience I listened to the 30th anniversary super deluxe edition and had a lot of fun hearing all the different takes and demos hell, I think I liked some of those demos more than the original songs as well as the bonus tracks like Stop! And Make Your Mind Up just had such a fun, fresh sound honestly a lot of these songs I thought had the same quality and charm as Take on Me and I'm surprised that so many of these songs are so overwhelming buried by the song that made them a one-hit-wonder overall, 10/10, super enjoyable, check out the 30th anniversary edition, just a great album

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Mon Jun 27 2022
5

I was expecting the old known hit into mediocre deep cuts pattern, and was shocked to find a perfect pop album. It reminds me of Carly Rae Jepsen's Emotion if I were to compare it to a record with which I'm much more familiar. The accessibility is the only soundscape similarity, though: There are a couple more cuts in Take On Me's style, a taste of what would become outrun, and some slower numbers. It all may age poorly on a revisit, but for now I'm too busy grinning, riding the high of the last hour.

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Tue Aug 02 2022
5

I had this CD when I was a kid and it was great then. Still great.

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Sun Aug 21 2022
5

TAKE ON ME REPRISE

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

nice

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Dad loves this album lol. This is super synthy and sounds pretty modern compared to stuff like DARE or Pet Shop Boys. I definitely see a ton of parallels with this and some stuff that’s come out in the last decade. The vocals are interesting. Some Chris Isaac-y vocals here and there, some really nice harmonies on a couple tunes

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

not bad

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Sun May 02 2021
4

Good 80s pop with a mystery sound

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Tue Apr 06 2021
4

What a fun album-- love it.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

Really fun listening to other songs by aha other than take on me. They are really good and im surprised i've never heard the other songs on this album

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

Lekker eighties album met vrolijke vibe. En natuurlijk de klassieker take on me

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Mon Feb 15 2021
4

i'm pretty forgiving when it comes to ham and cheese. tho i also believe it's a legit good album.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

Take on Me. Aww ye. Everything else is the kinda weird but kinda cool 80’s vibe

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

I liked this one quite a bit, especially the opening track, "Take on Me". Very 80s.

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Sun May 02 2021
4

Good 80s album, but on their own, only the title track stands out from the rest of the songs

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Take on Me is the GOAT of the album, and for it being a "pop" album it doesn't stick to a general formula, props on that

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Fri Apr 30 2021
4

A childhood landmark. The Sun Always Shines on TV is grossly under appreciated.

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Mon Feb 15 2021
4

80s. A-ha. What's not to like.

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

Take On Me is a tune 😂 classic. Reminds me of playing GTA Vice City on PS2 when I was like 14. STYG covered this too. You'd have to be pretty cold hearted to not like this kinda 80's music, it's upbeat and feelgood. Defo a 4.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
4

pretty good. ofc take on me is good. but the sun always shines on tv was amazing and added to playlist v

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Sun Jun 20 2021
4

Take on me is so good! And some of the others are great 80s pop hits too

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Sun Jun 20 2021
4

Great 80s hits, especially take on me.

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Catchy, melancholy synth-pop tragedy

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Wed Jul 07 2021
4

Some great songs, brings back memories.

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Sun Jul 11 2021
4

4.5 Nunca había escuchado el álbum, pero Take on Me es una de mis mejores canciones de todos los tiempos. Después de escuchar el disco entendí por qué vendió tantas copias a nivel mundial, aún así hubo un par de canciones que no me atraparon del todo. Además, Take on Me le da puntos extras y es injusto comparar su nivel con el resto de las canciones

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Thu Jul 29 2021
4

Energetic ProtoDream Pop, honestly Take On Me is overrated compared to the rest of the album.

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Fri Jul 30 2021
4

Solid Album very groovy and catchy I can see why it sold so much lolz

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Thu Aug 26 2021
4

i actually really liked this album! i thought the singing was very fun and a good vibe overall. loved it.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

Pretty solid! "Take on Me" is one of the best pop songs ever made as far as I'm concerned. There's some other pretty good songs on here as well. "The Sun Always Shines on TV" is great, though I prefer the much more recent live, acoustic version. Overall, definitely glad I listened to it.

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Mon Oct 18 2021
4

Enjoyable enough. 7/10

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Wed Oct 27 2021
4

Take on me is good.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

One of the best albums I listened to in my rotation.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
4

Much more than "take on me"

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Thu Jan 27 2022
4

Some classic singles on this album. Great start with 'Take on Me' and a great finish with 'Here I Stand and Face the Rain'.

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

You're just a shit Duran Duran, shit Duran Duran, shit Duran Durrraaaannnn. Actually that's not true, I enjoyed this, I'm a sucker for well crafted '80s pop. And Take On Me innit, stone cold classic.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
4

A classic album that stands the test of time. Melodic harmonies and soaring vocals. Like time travel back to the 80s

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

For a band that is quintessentially 80s, this was a very good album that went beyond Take On Me. Aside from their biggest hit I enjoyed the variety of music on here. The first half is a lot better than the second half with songs Train of Thought shining through.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

7/10

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Fri Apr 01 2022
4

I have a soft spot for synth pop. The dynamics on this album give my eardrums a workout. Nothing really tops "Take On Me" but the whole thing brings me back to the sound of my childhood. I had no idea they were Norwegian. If someone came out with an album that sounded just like this today, with slightly more contemporary lyrics, people would flip out over it and say it was amazing. We need a synth pop revival on par with the garage rock revival of the early 2000s.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
4

Repetitive, Take On Me was the standout, but four stars for the great 80's vibe.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
4

Great pop record, take on me is a classic lol

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Thu Apr 28 2022
4

Just a solid set of synthetic pop with an incredible voice and some 80s keyboard cheese. Think the front half is much stronger than the second half. Fantastic hooks. Favorite tracks: "The Sun Always Shines on TV", "Train of Thought", "Take On Me", "And You Tell Me"

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Fri May 06 2022
4

Really solid album. Only knew them for a couple songs.

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Wed May 18 2022
4

Great pop album with synthesizer that set the tone for popular music for many decades to come.

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Thu May 26 2022
4

So this must have been defining for me as 10 year old. My taste has changed but some classic tracks on here. The stuff I dont know I can pass on but good is great.

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Sat Jun 18 2022
4

This is a massive synth-pop album that contains some of the biggest genre hits of its era - Take on Me and The Sun Always Shines on TV deserve every single bit of praise they have received (not least because of Morten Harket's versatile voice). The title track, however, is something else. It's more acoustic with a cinematic breadth seldom seen in 80s pop and a breathtaking, sweeping orchstral arrangement. But that song remains the exception, as synth pop is is ruler supreme on this album. And while the highs are incredibly high, there is quite a bit of filler material here, most of which is fine. This was a good first effort for Norways most famous musical export. Many more - even better ones - were to follow. 4/5

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Mon Jun 20 2022
4

The opening track is a pop masterpiece but the only way is down from there. The Sun Always Shines On TV being the only other track that made any kind of impact on me. I guess I’m going 4 stars on the strength of the Take On Me. My favourite Norwegian band - apparently.

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Sat Jun 25 2022
4

Better and more varied than expected.

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Fri Jul 01 2022
4

The main single being the opener sounds incredibly risky, as it sets up high expectations. Somehow A-Ha meets them with songs that are equally bombastic and memorable. This was a surprising listen and makes me wanna check out their catalog further.

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Sat Jul 16 2022
4

This is a great album! Full of joy.

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Sun Aug 28 2022
4

I liked this, there were more hits on it than I remembered!

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Mon Aug 29 2022
4

There's not nearly enough synths on this! Some real Highs, Take on Me is a case in point. And quite a few Lows too. Almost a middling album but enough to keep it interesting. And I am partial to that Norwegian falsetto.

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Tue Sep 06 2022
4

Solid 80s synth pop album!

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Tue Sep 20 2022
4

4.0

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Sun Sep 25 2022
4

In its time, it was 5 stars and I wore out my cassette tape of it listening over and over. Not a best album of all time, though.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

The synthesizer usage is unmatched. Then again, it is indeed the middle of the 80s. Favorite songs: The Sun Always Shines on T.V., Living A Boy's Adventure Tale

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Real cool album - it actually made me like aha more. Super soft songs with enough variation to keep it interesting

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Tue Oct 18 2022
4

A couple of bangers and maintains the vibe for the whole albums

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Tue Oct 18 2022
4

Didnt know the other songs were good aswell, pleasant suprise.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
4

actually liked it

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Tue Oct 25 2022
4

really enjoyable album, I think I enjoyed the back half more than the front

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

Listens: 3 Enjoyed: Yes Surprised how much I enjoyed this one to be honest. The highs are very high and the lows are slightly above average. The balance between dance and rock is excellent. Im going for 4*s, ideally I'd go for a very high 3.5 and 3 seems way too low so 4 it js

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Mon Nov 07 2022
4

A strong 4/5 for this synth pop 80s classic with some surpringsly melancholy vibes at times. Biased results ciz it gits the mood for the beach vacation.

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Mon Nov 07 2022
4

Some solid 80's new wave that opens with a bona fide classic of the genre. 3.5 but will round up to 4 just for Take On Me

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

I liked this much more than I expected to. While this type of synth pop is not my sonic preference, it was very well executed. "The Sun Always Shines" sounds like it influenced U2's "Beautiful Day", and a listen to The Weeknd's "Dawn FM" shows how influential A-ha's sound still is. They are more than their 1 hit. I'd give this 3.5 if I could, but I'm feeling generous today.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

There is something ironic about a disc being included by a band that is frequently near the top of one-hit wonder lists. For what it's worth, they are not on my OHW list because of The Sun Always Shines on T.V., which peaked at 20 on the Hot 100 (although was a huge hit in most major European markets). Obviously Take On Me is an enduring classic. Clearly from the 80s, but less dated than many other 80s hits. This is a solid set throughout, with solid tunes in addition to the two tracks mentioned. Morten Harket's vocals are a high point (pun intended) and displays impressive tonal and stylistic range. Love Is Reason, Hunting High and Low and Train of Thought are all top-notch. While remaining popular overseas for many years, they were essentially a one and done here. There were plenty of those bands in the 80s that deserved that fate. A-ha deserved much better.

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Mon Nov 21 2022
4

Sounds good!

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Fri Nov 25 2022
4

Really enjoyed it. Have heard Take on Me a million times, but have never listened to any other a-Ha tracks. Good album

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Fri Oct 16 2020
3

Decent pop album. Few bangers, and few not-so-bangers!

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Thu Dec 17 2020
3

I mean at this point I want to scream NO MORE FUCKING NEW WAVE but the book is already written. Take on Me is a good little tune, and the rest... some of it sucks, some is passable synthey rock, but hunting high and low holy shit what a fuckin tune!! 3/5.

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Thu Oct 29 2020
3

Some great songs. But, also, some boring songs. 6.5-7/10

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Mon Nov 02 2020
3

Great singles, good sound but not that memorable. Might listen again.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
3

Fun synth-poppy new-wave. Good showing.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
3

first song is great, the rest meh

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Wed Jul 14 2021
3

not bad

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Thu Mar 25 2021
3

This has the big ah-ha hits. Life changing? no.

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Sun May 02 2021
3

A pretty classic euro new wave album. There is better new wave out there IMO, but worth a listen.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
3

Synth pop. Not the greatest, not the worst

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Fri Mar 12 2021
3

Take me on is pretty much the best song on this album

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Fri Jun 04 2021
3

Delightfully dated.

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Sat Apr 17 2021
3

eh, this album was alright. I went on an 80's kick a while back and a few of the songs i heard were from this album, and, while good, weren't anything special.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
3

Pur son classique 80. Take on me!

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Fri May 21 2021
3

fun listen

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Fri Apr 09 2021
3

Nett, wie ich finde - 3

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Thu Jul 08 2021
3

Aww, man. I really wanted to like this more than I did. When you come out of the gating swinging something like “Take On Me,” I suppose it’d be difficult for anybody to keep up that momentum. That song has given so much it’s at least worth two stars. Third star for spelling the band name in a weird way. (Why don’t we pronounced the A with a long vowel sound??)

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Thu Jun 17 2021
3

Tecno. Suave. Melódico.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
3

Pretty good but Take On Me kinda overshadows the rest of the album

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Sat Jul 17 2021
3

3.2 - After “Take On Me” it’s forgettable 80s electro pop. There are good power ballads but nothing worth a second listen.

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Sat Jun 19 2021
3

I like Take on Me but didn't fancy a whole album of it, but it was pretty decent. The title track was good

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Fri Mar 05 2021
3

Ok pop, some nice tunes wouldn't seek out more of their stuff

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Wed Mar 24 2021
3

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would

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Tue Apr 06 2021
3

Seems pretty dated.

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Tue May 25 2021
3

Actually enjoyable. Good 80's music.

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Tue May 25 2021
3

Decent, didn't love the whole album but liked enough I'd probably listen again. Plus, classic 80s vocals.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
3

sounds a lot like Morrissey in parts - but not as morose or right-wing.

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Sat Jun 26 2021
3

Good stuff, first track is overplayed but still a classic. 3.5

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Tue Apr 06 2021
3

A-ha - an album bolstered by three bona fide pop classics - rest is likeable 80s synth pop ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Tue Apr 06 2021
3

Wonderful throwback to the camp 80's.

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Tue Apr 06 2021
3

A combination of bangers and boredom, mincing and melancholy. It’s just about fun enough to save itself from a 2/5

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Tue Apr 13 2021
3

Aha, wusste gar nicht dass die Norweger sind ;) Tolles Popalbum, teilweise vielleicht etwas seicht aber einige Hits mit Ohrwurmpotenzial. Ein Album wie eine laue Sommernacht in Skandinavien.

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Thu Apr 29 2021
3

Honestly thought it was gonna be different based off of Take on Me coming from this album, but a lotta synth of course, very 80s

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Sat Apr 17 2021
3

It's an alright album, but I have to say that the lyrics and emotion they're going for don't match the sterile 80s synth sound. It can be done, but it just feels too silly. Like the backing synth in take on me... it just undermines the emotion. This is a great album to throw in the background for a party, but defies series analysis. I will say I did like stand and face the rain. I listened to this album 5 times and couldn't find a song that was truly bad, but I didn't find many super standouts. 3.25/5. Not bad for a one hit wonder.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
3

Not horrible, although take on me sounds totally different than the rest

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Wed Mar 31 2021
3

Opening song, Take on Me, is very well known and liked. There's a good reason for that, too. The song is just good. Other than that, most songs are kind of a miss for me, but I can see why they'd be liked.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
3

Its sort of generic 80's pop but with more of a groove to it. Stand outs: Take on me, the title track, I Dream Myself Alive

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Sat Jun 05 2021
3

Come back to this one

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Mon May 10 2021
3

Solid first song, vibey

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Fri May 28 2021
3

Soft.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
3

Att a-ha var ett one-hit wonder har och kanske fortfarande är min tanke? Men jag är inte helt övertygad, under några perioder under lyssningen fanns det något i mig som ändå kände att detta går att lyssna på. Jag måste också medge att det är en väldigt mäktig röst sångaren (Morten Harket) har. Vad jag trodde var en självklar 2:a jobbar sig nog ändå upp till en 3:a på grund av Harkets röst. Bäst: "Take on me"

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Mon Jul 26 2021
3

Take On Me and The Sun Always Shines on T.V. stand out.

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Thu Jul 29 2021
3

Obviously the big pull here is the opener, but The Sun Always Shines on TV was equally incredible. Unfortunately the rest of the album is just kind-of-okay synth pop.

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Fri Jul 30 2021
3

Well, we know the main hit of this album don't we! Did enjoy a few more on here, some of them were just hilarious and made Luke and me laugh a lot

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Fri Jul 30 2021
3

A-HA! Took me a couple of goes to get past the first song coz it's such a banger. Once I did though found the others pleasant enough, some I found a bit dull but some were fun, and yeah you know what I do think love is reason enough

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Mon Aug 02 2021
3

Can't help but love "Take on Me", and other songs are also good, but averages out at about 3*

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Fri Aug 06 2021
3

This synth-pop album was the debut album by a-ha - and boosted by its hit single "Take On Me" - it became the band's breakout album. The band was immediately launched into world fame, far from its humble beginnings as a Norwegian local group. The album itself is a fun journey through new wave music from the 80's and is a blast of nostalgia when listened to today.

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Mon Sep 13 2021
3

80’er synth pop, catchy

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Mon Sep 13 2021
3

Opening track is 80's pop perfected. Rest of album hovers around this template without ever quote getting there again.

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Thu Sep 30 2021
3

Very 80s. I'd heard Take on Me of course but nothing else to my knowledge. Definitely sounds like the Take on Me band.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
3

A couple of stand out tracks and even then I suspect Take On Me is only as successful as it is because of a genuinely great music video. This is not an album I can ever see myself listening to again. Not terrible but mostly dull to me and heavy on the 80s production that has never moved me.

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Sun Oct 10 2021
3

Holy falsetto

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Wed Oct 13 2021
3

Ach die 80ies. Es war nicht alles schlecht, aber noch weniger war wirklich gut. Ich habe 'Take on me' immer gemocht, dieses Album aber natürlich wie so viele nie durchgehört. Nicht richtig schlecht, aber auch nur mittelmäßig. Gnade vor Recht, muss man im zeitlichen Kontext betrachten etc. bla bla.

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Mon Oct 18 2021
3

6/10. Well, it has Take on Me on it. Otherwise, fairly bland, though never too unpleasant.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
3

Actually pretty good. Hangs together much better as an album than I imagined.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
3

Obviously track 1 is great and the rest of the album is pleasant enough whilst mostly unremarkable. 3/5

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Wed Nov 03 2021
3

It's not really my sort of thing, but no there's no denying it's a classic 80s pop album.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
3

Groovy. That’s it it’s groovy.

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Mon Dec 06 2021
3

Take me on is an all time classic song. However much of the rest of the album is pretty much just 80s pop and it doesn’t get nearly as good as the first song. 5.5/10

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Mon Dec 27 2021
3

Wonderful voice, but New Wave just really doesn't do it for me, a few exceptional tracks aside.

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Sun Jan 30 2022
3

National anthem

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Wed Feb 02 2022
3

The sun always shines on TV is a great song but the rest is pretty dated 80's pop rock

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Wed Feb 02 2022
3

foreplay should be before the main event

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Fri Feb 04 2022
3

It doesn't exactly keep up with Take on me. But tbf, that would be a hard thing to do. I don't hate, just doesn't keep that fucking energy that radiates from Take on me.

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Wed Feb 16 2022
3

I thought that, after Take on Me, this album was gonna slide down a slippery slope with songs that don't catch up to that wondrous song but no this album has some good songs. I want to shout out The Sun Always Shines on T.V.; that's the best song on the album. There is definitely some mid 80s material but it's not that bad; definitely something to sink your teeth into if you want to hear more from a-ha. Favorites: Take on Me, The Blue Sky, Living a Boy's Adventure Tale, The Sun Always Shines on T.V., I Dream Myself Alive.

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Wed Mar 02 2022
3

after the first song, just okay to me.

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Wed Mar 02 2022
3

Saved Prior: Take on Me, The Sun Always Shines on T.V. Off Rip: Living a Boy's Adventure Tale, And You Tell Me Cutting Edge: None Overall Notes: Take on Me is one of the greatest songs of all time because of how crazy his voice is on that chorus, but the album reaches nothing close to that high again and fades into run of the mill romantic synth pop. But man oh man is Take on Me incredible.

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Sun Mar 13 2022
3

Take on me is a classic but the album drifted after

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Mon Mar 14 2022
3

Pop ochentero con toques de música de baile. Buenas voces y ritmos

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Mon Mar 21 2022
3

Dobar album sveukupno, al je jaaako dosadan I’m sorry.

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Mon Mar 21 2022
3

ovaj album je stvarno dencibilan, moram priznati. ima dobrih stvari, nisu oni one hit wonder.

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Mon Mar 21 2022
3

prilično dobro al je take on me duplo bolja pjesma od većine

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Mon Mar 21 2022
3

Not a big fan of this synthesizer/drum machine-driven sound of 80s alternative music. It's okay, but not something I would listen to again. 2.5 stars, rounding up to 3.

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Fri Apr 01 2022
3

I won't dwell on "Take on Me", but it is quintessential 80s electronic pop. Somehow has transcended how cheesy it is with the catchy riffs and impressive falsetto. I think the video really cemented it though. I can really only say I've heard "Take on Me" though, the rest of the album is completely unknown to me. It's fine, but not my thing. I really can't listen to it in general as the 80-ness gets to be much, but I'd say in general I think the world slept on the rest of this album a bit. Maybe I just haven't met a-ha fans but I've never heard anyone talk about any of their other work. 3.5 to 3.

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Thu Apr 14 2022
3

I was prepared to hate this album. It's new wave and that one song that I already know is kinda annoying. But I didn't hate the album. Sure, I hated some of the TRACKS on the album but not the album as a whole. That, in itself, is quite the achievement. Congrats, A-ha, on being new wave and not entirely sucking. Here's a 3-star rating as a reward. Don't spend it all in one place.

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Wed Apr 20 2022
3

it was good to hear some old tracks again

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Wed May 18 2022
3

Take On Me deserves 3 stars. There’s not much else on the album but you might get into 1 or 2 other songs

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Wed May 18 2022
3

Better than I expected, but still not great. Nice of them to put their hit at the beginning. Best track: Take on Me

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Wed May 25 2022
3

I get how this album got its name after I kept having to hunt higher and lower for the right volume. "Take on Me" is at least 4 times louder than "Train of Thought", I had to keep alternate; screw Spotify whether it's their problem or not. Like an uplifting, energetic Tears for Fears. The synth effects are solid, danceable with a bit of melancholy and hope. Excellent vocals, appropriate usage of his higher register. Excluding the annoying volume shifts, the production is all-around superb. On the other hand, the tracks were formulaic and didn't experiment much, but there's diversity while still consistent. I'm a huge fan of synthpop, so I enjoyed all the tracks, but hardly anything grabbed my attention, and if it did it was usually some cool vocal technique. Still, it's a super fun album, and if I was looking for good mood dance vibes, this is a top candidate.

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Mon May 30 2022
3

Weak 3, one real jammer on this

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Sun Jun 05 2022
3

run of the mill 80s pop. take on me is a classic banger

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Mon Jun 20 2022
3

Una llàstima que la resta del disc ni tan sols s'apropi a la força de 'The Sun Always Shines on TV', 'Hunting High and Low' o, és clar, 'Take On Me', un dels singles definitius dels '80. Malgrat la qualitat desigual, un disc encissador de synth-pop 80s, fantàstic per disfrutar a l'estiu

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Fri Jun 24 2022
3

There's been a lot of albums from the 80s on this list, but this might be the most 80s of them all. You got the drum machine, the synths, and the voice. I think the synth is the most interesting work, some very elaborate beats going on.

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Fri Jun 24 2022
3

that one song

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Mon Jun 27 2022
3

Expected more. But still OK.

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Fri Jul 08 2022
3

Aparte del bombazo de "Take on Me" hay otras canciones interesantes como "The Sun always shine on T.V.". En realidad veo más influencias de este disco en bandas recientes de lo que pensaba (White Lies o Editors). En algunas canciones el uso de los sintetizadores ha envejecido muy mal.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
3

Enjoyable. I'll look more in to a-ha but wasn't my favorite. Take on Me is a classic still, but other than that, decent album.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
3

Non-stop bops sadly did not reach the top

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Sat Jul 16 2022
3

Good pop music that’s fine for today… The album opens with the megahit take on me it’s a banger, just undeniable! Then is train of thought it’s a good song but it almost sounds like he’s trying too hard to sing in another accent (but this problem mostly goes by the end). But saying that about the last song I like his vocals quite a bit in hunting high and low this is an honestly amazing swooping ballad! I honestly thought that track 4 was called “ mr blue sky” but no it’s just “the blue sky” anyway it’s a little shit the instrumentation and singing quality is what I’d expect but the lyrics… wow they’re bad. Side one ends with living a boy’s adventure tale it’s great and honestly could’ve been a single great slow track to end the first half of the album! Side two opens with their second biggest song the sun always shines on tv, I loved how it starts all sad and slow then forms into this awesome new wave rocker ( but a-ha must’ve been a 1 hit wonder because I’ve never herd this song before). Then is and you tell me, a shortie and a slow song nothing special but good. Love is reason isn’t much of a song being like 80% repetitive chorus but it’s not bad. I don’t hate I dream myself alive but I think it feels a little static in comparison to the other songs on the album ( but the samples are cool). The album closes with here I stand to face the rain, I was actually surprised by this it’s really well crafted probably the best song on side two and well worth the wait! Side 1: 4/5 songs are great Side 2: 2/5 songs are great 4+2=6 Half 6= 3 3/5 solid but fairly weak for new wave to be fair.

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Tue Jul 19 2022
3

2 good radio songs.

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Thu Jul 21 2022
3

VERY 80s

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Wed Jul 27 2022
3

It's only good if it's what you're looking for, but if it is easy 4 stars

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Thu Aug 04 2022
3

I don’t get the love for The Sun Always Shines on TV. In contrast, I would like to have Take On Me played to me as I shuffle off this mortal coil, so this album’s got that going for it, which is nice.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
3

Has anyone heard this "unplugged" version of "Take On Me"? Shows how good the song is, even without its lush synth arrangements and Morton Harket having to go to the famous falsetto highs at the end of its chorus. https://open.spotify.com/track/7htt7UuxHL5wneOcMWJP5E?si=K-aG8WMmS5qCORpI0R96sg&utm_source=copy-link To return to the original album from which this timeless hit is taken from, not all of those eighties arrangements and vocal feats have aged as well as "Take On Me", unfortunately. As a matter of fact, and under closer scrutiny, a lot of the songs in this record are somewhat disappointing, and this only in the compositional level. For example, there's "Train of Thought" and its awkward faux post-punk grunts on verses, followed by incomplete choruses, leaving you dangling in the air--a bit of a problem that can also be found with "Here I Stand And Face The Rain". And speaking of chorus, there's much to complain about the ones of "The Blue Sky" and "Love And Reason", but this time for opposite reasons, as they confuse catchiness with bland, pointless repetition... Fortunately, two exceptions are saving this record from a 2/5 grade (which is a tribute to their inherent greatness, given how hackneyed and cheesy-sounding a lot of the other tunes are sounding today). There's the title track, whose epic chorus and incredible orchestral flourishes could have been recorded yesterday, and "The Sun Always Shine On T.V." that somehow transcends its dated sound through the sheer force of its vocal melodic lines, pretty much in the same way "Take On Me" does. Now I have two questions: can three great tracks against seven tedious ones make an essential album? But more importantly, where can I find those tracks without the clunkers and add them to my record collection? Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 835 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory: 90 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 40 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important: 36 (including this one)

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Wed Jul 28 2021
3

Correct pop album

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