The story of A1’s return to pop is really heartwarming and an inspiration to all pop hasbeens. Their UK following may have diminished but their fanbase remained strong in Christian’s home country of Norway, and they’re now one of the nation’s biggest pop acts. I’m sure they’d all love to regain their UK success, but they’ve just released an album, Waiting For Daylight, they should be very proud of. They get to perform live for appreciative crowds and live the popstar life that they had lost. It’s a pretty good deal compared to the Big Brother appearances and disastrous solo career attempts of the past few years.
The album continues where Make It Good left off, with A1 as an instrument-playing singer-songwriter type boyband, but the songs are just as pop as ever while actually managing incredibly well to move with the times. A1 were doing the Coldplay-pop thing in 2009, before The Wanted even existed! I much prefer A1’s new sound to Take That’s comparatively very dull version of how a grown-up boyband should sound. The album’s hit singles In Love and I Hate It, Take You Home (below) and Don’t Wanna Lose You Again are the best tracks but other standouts include Bad Enough, It Happens Every Day and Nothing In Common.
One album track, Perfect Disaster, clearly speaks of the band’s experiences of returning to pop in a very different era: “now the world’s moving faster, this could be a disaster, is the change that I’m making worth the risk that I’m taking?” The world certainly has changed since A1’s heyday (see video above!) but they have responded to it in the best way imaginable. By relaunching in Norway they have made the best of what they have rather than wasting time trying to force a UK comeback to succeed, and they’ve given us a collection of songs that stands up against any male pop group around today. It’s not the coolest thing to listen to long-forgotten late 90s boybands but when they make music as good as this it really should be!