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Minor Earth Major Sky

A little [a]Crowded House[/a], maybe, but you've got to remember they [I]are [/I]pushing 40...

Boyzone take note - compared with A-Hayou're amateurs. With no endless sappy covers or clanking dance routines, Norway's biggest '80s export relied solely on bootlaces round wrists, heartthrob good looks and 'proper' self-written pop songs. And they still managed to sell 36 million records and have a University Of Santiago course devoted to them.



Still looking Faustian fresh-faced seven years after 'retiring', they're even doing a pretty good job of growing old gracefully. Admittedly they were never exactly wild, but this comeback record is still older, wiser but crucially just as melodic. True, they occasionally stick out like a sore thumb with the bubbling '80s synth funk of 'I Won't Forget Her', or foolishly bow to modernity with a sprinkling of trip-hop, but mainly the heartbroken minor keys, Morten Harket's aching falsetto and the lush, string-laden atmospherics of the title track or 'Summer Moved On' are the epitome of good taste. A little Crowded House, maybe, but you've got to remember they are pushing 40.



Infinitely better than anyone has any right to expect, it's barely relevant, but most teen bands couldn't write an album of this emotional scope at the height of their powers, let alone 15 years after their faces were first pinned to a bedroom wall.
6 / 10

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