a-ha

How Can I Sleep with Your Voice in My Head

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How Can I Sleep With Your Voice in My Head documents a-ha's 2002 world tour in support of Lifelines. The album's 14 tracks were compiled from various performances recorded over the tour's final six weeks. Rather than focusing on newer material, the album gives almost equal due to the seven years between Hunting High and Low and Lifelines. The years have clearly been good to a-ha, as they present here both a youthful rock swagger and a mature sense of confidence. Morten Harket's glorious voice rings true through most of the songs, while his bandmates attack their instruments in a surprisingly epic fashion. It's safe to say that these live renditions are more cinematic and bombastic than their studio album counterparts. Able backing is provided by the sweet vocals of Anneli Marian Drecker. While the quality of the mix isn't always up to par, there is decent separation between all of the key elements. Casual fans, and probably most U.S. listeners, will probably be seeking quality live renditions of "Take on Me," "The Sun Always Shines on T.V.," and "The Living Daylights," but strangely, the versions here are somewhat weak. Harket is out-of-breath for much of "Take on Me," though he does recover to offer some majestic closing lines. "The Living Daylights" suffers from too much audience participation. Diehard fans will most likely look past these issues and find much to love. More than anything, How Can I Sleep With Your Voice in My Head proves that a-ha's sweeping emotional songs are as suited to a live setting as they are to a stereo.

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