Friday, 28 January 2011

A-Ha - Stay On These Roads (1988/ No. 5/ 6 weeks/ Warners)

"The cold has a voice
It talks to me"

A-Ha had a lot more depth than most - more ostensibly serious - acts. This is a wholly non-gimmicky song about mortality. The old man is dying of the cold. A voice, which may be either the cold or the remembered loved other implores him to stay alive, to keep hope, before it "trails off again".

"Stay on these roads
We shall meet I know
Stay on my love
You feel so weak
Be strong
Stay on stay on"

For once an eighties production actually compliments the song, the drums echoing icily rather than booming, the synth melodies sounding ethereal rather than artificially imposed. At no point does the song overstretch itself lyrically.

This is a lot closer to the Ibsen of Brand than Curiosity Killed the Cat or Bros.

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