East of the Sun, West of the Moon All over the country, aging MTV junkies await the day when the Norwegian electropop mimics in a-ha come up with another ditty as miraculous as… East of the Sun, West of the Moon All over the country, aging MTV junkies await the day when the Norwegian electropop mimics in a-ha come up with another ditty as miraculous as… A-Ha Pop
Music Review

East of the Sun, West of the Moon (1991)

EW's GRADE
D+

Details Lead Performance: A-Ha; Genre: Pop

All over the country, aging MTV junkies await the day when the Norwegian electropop mimics in a-ha come up with another ditty as miraculous as ''Take On Me,'' the go-for-broke plea for a love connection that topped the charts in 1985. Judging from the new album, it looks like fans will have to keep waiting — and as with followers of the long-defunct ABBA (that other Scandinavian act with a palindrome for a name), they may have to wait forever. With titles like ''Crying in the Rain,'' ''Cold River,'' ''Rolling Thunder,'' and ''(Seemingly) Nonstop July,'' East of the Sun appears to be a song cycle about the seasons, sort of like the British band XTC's ''Skylarking'' only not half as catchy. Symphonic piano grandeur and alternating blues/metal/flamenco/funk additives collapse beneath the bloated synthesizer slush. On ''Take On Me'' Morten Harket's croon sailed toward the horizon with the abandon of a bright-eyed prep-school grad anticipating great days ahead. But here his unyielding groan suggests something closer to a mid-life crisis. Just what we need: another washed-up art-rock curmudgeon, probably bitter because his hackwork was never taken as seriously as his mom tells him it should have been. D+

Originally posted Jan 18, 1991 Published in issue #49 Jan 18, 1991 Order article reprints