Three-and-a-half years since their latest album was released, Norway’s pop icons a-ha return with a new studio album. ‘Analogue’ bears witness of a revitalised and focused trio eager to recapture the throne of classic pop.
After a three-and-a-half year break, Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy are back with a new studio album titled ‘Analogue’ which is out now on Universal.
The album ‘Analogue’ and the tour of the same name mark the 20th anniversary of their first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 when the trio captured the throne of pop with their all-time classic Take On Me.
‘Analogue’ is an album that treads new ground and thereby undeniably represents a-ha, starting with the first single Celice, which is both cold and affectionate, up to the irresistibly catchy Analogue and Halfway Through The Tour, up to the reflective, sensitive Keeper Of The Flame as well as the band’s personal favourite Cosy Prisons.
Analogue is more than ever the result of a rare collaboration, the trio tells Norwegian daily VG. "I feel we're a band in the melting pot right now," Morten says. "a-ha is not something that can be done halfway. a-ha means dedication through continuous motivation. For me a-ha contains something I really want to do. I want to see it, lay hold of it and realise it. Then there are great experiences in store."
"This is a revitalized a-ha," says Magne to VG, "An a-ha that is about to shed its skin. An a-ha that takes its own destiny seriously, and has become more insightful. This is the first record since the comeback where I have a really good feeling we have worked in the best possible way and attained the form we want. We have taken the consequence of how important it is to give each other space, where the two earlier records disappeared in internal obstinacy. Now it's constructive and extremely giving. It's great to know that we have made something that can compete with the best we have ever made earlier."
"The last record was a total waste to me," Paul tells VG. "It was very uneven, with a lot of different producers involved. This time it was completely different. All three of us have come up with suggestions. The challenge starts when we are gonna make these three sides communicate with each other. But it would be boring - perhaps mortal - if we all had the same meanings."
"We have finally made a record since the comeback that we can be proud of," Magne says. "It is easier now that we are on a label that seems genuinely and glowingly interested in working with us," Paul comments. Morten tells about the comeback when he first heard some songs from Paul and Magne: "This is the way it is - and this is the way it always has been, I thought. That simple. This is fun, damn it - we are lucky!"
Says Jochen Schuster of Universal Germany to Norwegian daily Aftenposten:
"To me a-ha is still one of the world's greatest pop bands. It's not often you get a chance to sign a band like that." Schuster says that they will put everything behind a-ha now. Both in Germany and the rest of Europe, in the UK, and after a while, in the USA. He says that there's a lot of enthusiasm around a-ha these days, with their status as "godfathers" for bands like Coldplay and Keane. "Not a bad word about the people in Warner," he says, "but they didn't even release the last two albums in England."
"We almost feel like this is a debut album," Magne says about ‘Analogue’. "I'm very pleased with the collaboration on the album this time. That has made the album more focused." He is also pleased with the collaboration with Universal and the enthusiasm they put into a-ha. Magne describes the relationship with Universal so far as "a honeymoon."
The album is set for UK release in January. "The date for US is not set yet, but we're working on it," says Jochen Schuster of Universal. “There will be more concerts next year, probably also in America”, he concludes.
a-ha are currently touring in Europe – dates are found in the calendar section.