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Final Gravity

Title - 'Hunting High And Low (Remastered Deluxe Edition)'
Artist - a-ha

a-ha's debut album, "Hunting High and Low", is 80's dance pop music at its best. While it has some slow moments, the album as a whole acted as an extremely successful boost into stardom for the Norwegian artists. The band uses digital synthesizers and prosthetic drum tones along with funky bass grooves and melodic guitar lines to create a listener-friendly, exciting sound. Combined with innovative music videos, a-ha was bound to blast off to stardom. That is exactly what they did, as their single, Take On Me reached the number one slot in thirty-six countries, and has sold over nine million copies.

The album opens with the debut single, Take On Me. This is the type of song that is still impressive over twenty years after its release. Its several layers of melodic synthesizer, along with its incredibly catchy chorus make for a nostalgic tune for those who were alive when it was first released, and a fun new song for those hearing it for the first time. It is simply a classic.

The album continues its upbeat, dance-friendly vibe with the second track, Train of Thought, which was also one of the album's five total singles. One of the coolest elements of this track is the super fast bass line, which acts as one of the instrumental leaders, along with a wind instrument, and synthetic strings that provide the basic chord progressions. The music videos for this track and Take On Me are virtually identical in their attempt to merge animation with real-life actors. They seem to use this element in most of their music videos, and, while it may have been mind-blowing in 1985, it seems boring that they would keep using the same concept when I watched them in 2010 (in Chicago).

The album, however, does have some slow moments. Hunting High and Low and Living a Boy's Adventure Tale lack the upbeat drive that a-ha were able to capitalize on in their first couple of tracks. Hunting High and Low was also released as a single, but it did not do nearly as well as a-ha's debut single, Take On Me. These two songs are both slower than most of the rest of the album, and were probably just used in an attempt to woo young teenage girls with Morten Harket's falsetto and strong vibrato. Whatever their purpose, they simply are not as exciting as the a-ha at its strongest.

The album picks back up with tracks such as The Sun Always Shines On T.V. and I Dream Myself Alive. The Sun Always Shines On T.V. acts as a good transition, because it begins with gentle strings and a soft timbre, but soon enough a heavy drum roll kicks in, and puts the album's pace back into fourth-gear. I Dream Myself Alive, while somewhat repetitive, is a really catchy track, and a-ha puts on an extremely entertaining live show of this song.

Truly, a-ha were one of the 80's defining bands and this wonderful newly digitally remastered, expanded, and limited edition digipack features two CDs from the Norwegian trio's 1985 debut album.

Released to coincide with the band's farewell tour, a-ha may have seemed to come out of nowhere when they released the worldwide hit Take On Me in 1985, but the band's roots stretched back to the early '80s.

And while the band will take their final bow in 2010, their last gig back at the very same arena they played their very first gig at all those years ago, their musical legacy will continue long after that last note has long faded away.

Hence, disc One features the original album plus four additional tracks including remixes and the original 1984 version of 'Take On Me'. Disc two contains 23 rare tracks including demos, early recordings, and so much more!

www.a-ha.us





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