Thank you to everyone who took the time to write a review of ‘Cast In Steel’! We really enjoyed reading them all.
Out of over 250 contest entries, we have published a selection of 44 fan reviews which we believe are representative of the range of your thoughts and feelings about the music.
There are very positive reviews, of course – these were written by fans, after all! – and there are some critiques as well. However there are a couple of common themes that came up again and again: gratitude that the band returned and created more music, and conviction (hope?) that they have not yet written their best album together.
We heard from fans in their teens and fans in their 50s, and everything in between; we heard from fans who discovered the band during the ‘Ending on a High Note’ tour in 2010 and fans who have been following their career since the beginning; we heard from fans in many languages, who wanted to share their love and appreciation for the music with kindred spirits.
The idea for this contest was to encourage people to share their experience of the music, not to ‘judge’ reviews by any kind of journalistic/editorial criteria. Therefore the winner of the contest was chosen at random from all the entries. We thought – and hoped – that we would receive more entries, and an interesting variety of formats and perspectives, if we opened the contest up to everyone, not just to those who write proficiently in English or in a particular format.
We’re so pleased to see that we were right! And although we couldn’t publish everyone’s entry, we are grateful to everyone who took the time to participate. We put together some interesting quotes from the reviews, which you can read below, and an index of the individual reviews as well. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did!
The winner of the signed ‘Cast In Steel’ fanbox is Tuulika Vaiknurme, from Tallinn, Estonia. Congratulations!!
“There many gems on this album, with an amazing amount of depth & emotion; the addition of various orchestral instruments really adds to the richness of many of the songs. As such, most of the songs would be at home as an integral part of a musical or on the soundtrack to a film.” Jackie Wright
“On one hand Cast In Steel sounds for me like a natural continuation of a-ha’s activity – like there never was the split-up of the band, the farewell tour, the five years, that diprived me of hope, that I would ever hear their new songs again. On the other hand, I find it as a summary of the whole thirty years of Morten’s, Paul’s and Magne’s career. Every song has a tidbit of something from Hunting High and Low, Stay on These Roads, Analogue, Foot of the Mountain and other past albums.” Jacek Miernik
“Cast in Steel is more than an album to me. Cast in Steel is the realization of a dream and marks a stage in my life that really only the songs of a-ha can describe.” Carla Fernandez
“In conclusion I’d like to say that over the years a-ha has written different songs. There are rocky songs, there are intimate songs, there are broad songs that demonstrate Morten’s voice, there are painful songs, there are songs which have very happy melodies but the lyrics are desperate, there are wise songs, there are songs that are just so beautiful that it is mind-blowing, there is even a song that sounds like a Beatles song and so on and on. I like the variety very much because it reflects the different sides of the souls of the musicians of a-ha. All these different sides are in my soul too and that’s one of the reasons why I love a-ha so much. It seems to me that if there was a possibility to translate my soul into the language of music, it would sound like the music of a-ha.” Tuulika Vaiknurme
“Cast In Steel is a true favorite with me because this is the album that introduced my grandchildren to a-ha and now allows me to share all the wonderful experiences people share through music. […] The beautiful music of Cast In Steel proves that a-ha is still as talented and fresh as they were 30 years ago and that there is still such a strong fan base of followers, as well as a new/next generation, out here that is wanting and waiting for more!” Tiffany Crotty
“My name is Alice. I am 16 years old A-ha fangirl and I live in Latvia […] When adults say I’m too young to understand lyrics and music like this, I always answer that age doesn’t matter. I can understand the lyrics perfectly and those three wonderful Norwegian boys, named for Magne, Morten and Pal, have shown me what beautiful music is!” Alice Aboltina
“Each song fresh and original, which after over 30 years in the music industry is talent in itself. Their consistent rejuvenation touches fans old and new (including my 11 year old daughter!).” Sarah Wright
“Overall this album is simply nostalgic, reflective, catchy and evocative. Each song feels and sounds attractive. In my personal opinion, this has to be the best album to date and truly is a beautiful gift to the fans. It will leave you wanting more of this unadulterated pop music that a-ha do so tremendously well. Thank you guys for producing this fine piece of art.” Melanie Gardiner
“When I pressed the “play” button of my iTunes for the first time, I had the full sense of what A-ha is: three complementary talents that when added together, actually multiply in geometric scale. The best of each one drives the other getting even better. It’s magic! Even when the music was done individually, the result is connected by a force called A-ha that is in the soul and thoughts of their members. That’s what I feel.” Mariele Leal
“The production and experimental elements on almost every song on Cast in Steel make this arguably one of the best albums from one of the world’s most commercially under-rated bands. So how do they sound in 2015? The break has done them good, and has perhaps enabled them to be even more creative, playful and time-pressure-free with the arrangements.” Andre’ Moreitz
“While I realize that I have had one or two critical things to say about this album, for me the highs more than make up for the occasional low. Paul loves to tinker, and I imagine he will release some other different versions of some of the songs on top of the mixes already released, which I look forward to, if they happen. After thinking I’d lost new a-ha songs forever, I cherish these. I’ve listened to Cast In Steel a lot, and haven’t become tired of it due to it’s eclectic mix. Which sums up both the album and the guys themselves. A thought provoking, soulful, inspiring, beautiful, wonderful discordance of artistic harmony.” Wendy Smith
“Cast in Steel is a modern and fresh album and somehow it leaves us a sense of nostalgia. Mags, Morten and Paul have created a thrill of euphoria among their fans when they announced their resurrection. How long will this reunion last? No one knows. But we all know that a-ha is back and they are brilliant. And their contribution to music and the fans’ admiration are ‘set in stone and cast in steel’.” Nátali da Cruz Belfort
“The album Cast in Steel is the meeting of various phases of a-ha, bringing the best of each member. The melancoly, the lyricism, the depth of the lyrics are there, but Morten, Pal and Mags are no longer the same that they were 30 years years ago. Neither are we and neither is life. People come, people go, situations change and we change. And after all, a-ha changed too, but the essence that enchanted fans worldwide remains the same.” Mirella Stivani
“It is a better album than what I hoped for, but not as good as what they would be able to produce if they used their tensions and history to work together in the same direction. Cast in Steel proves they are closer than they probably know themselves.” Emmanuel Reymond
“Cast in Steel is a triumphant return. Its so refreshing to hear a-ha return with such a powerful musical statement.” Kevan Pearson
“One thing is certain, though, and that is Cast In Steel stands alongside all of a-ha’s previous work and shows why this is a band that should keep on recording. It is well-known that there is a feeling internally that the ultimate a-ha album hasn’t been recorded yet, and their drive for this should hopefully give them the legs for album 11, where they might just be able to say: Bingo!” Marc Percival
Read all the album reviews:
• Adele Sunderland
• Alessia Mariacher
• Alexandra BayatD
• Aline Pequin
• Andre Moreitz
• Anthony Zehetner
• Barry Page
• Carlos Macia
• Caroline Mackie
• Celine Feldis
• Claire Farr
• David J Walton
• Dino Mallas
• Eliana Ramalho
• Elisa Rossi
• Emmanuel Reymond
• Eugenia P.
• Fazila Benoit
• Helen Andrews
• Inma M.
• Kathleen Moraes
• Kevan Pearson
• Laura McPherson
• Lucia Matusik
• Luiz Oliva
• Marc Percival
• Maria Bellotto
• Maria Gabriela Solimano
• Marta Kizina
• Matteo Buffo
• Maximilian Krotz
• Melanie Gardiner
• Natlie da Cruz Belfort
• Renata Fontana
• Richard Todd
• Ruslan Batenkov
• Silvia Barboza
• Susan Cunningham
• Suzanne Lawson
• Tania Pages
• Tiffany Crotty
• Tuulika Vaiknurme
• Wendy Smith
Tags: a-ha.com, Cast In Steel, Contests, Releases