Cast in Steel is a gift. A gift for all the people who were still trying to get over the fact that time passes and ‘everything fades away’, ‘everything just falls away’ and that ‘boulders slowly molded over time’…and then they were back to demonstrate that it pays to be nostalgic and to always have an eye for the past if it has bought you to where you stand now.
This album reveals an expressiveness in Morten’s voice as always, its contemplative lyrics make us feel, and that is something that not always happens. These songs brim with melancholy (‘don’t you hate how everything falls’ (“Cast in steel”), ‘tenderness escaped so easily’, ‘this is how it ends’ (“Under the Makeup”), ‘what comes after what was that was once strangely new’ (“Goodbye Thompson”), ‘we are not who we once were’ (“The end of the Affair”).
Sad lyricism bring on a typically a-ha atmosphere, but there are some sparks of optimism too in the song “Forest Fire”, where we are flames dancing from within and leaving a silver lining, out of every ditch a path – now that is really something the three boys never sing about! And again…objects of your past which loom on you at first, seem to disappear at the end of the song when you decide things are not so bad and you can stitch a life together with the fibres of the past (“Objects in the Mirror”).
I really adore “Under the Makeup”, it is as if Morten is talking directly and connecting to who is listening and only the person on the other side can understand his words. This song is a romantic ballad that makes your heart beat and tears trickle.
In their 10th album a-ha have written songs that sound like poetry and Morten’s voice is faultless, there is no doubt that it is a great comeback.