Posts Tagged ‘out of my hands’

Out Of My Hands enters UK album chart

Following a solid amount of promotion, Out Of My Hands has entered the official UK album chart at #37 in its first week, selling 3,455 copies. This is his first solo album to reach the UK top 40.

Additional radio interviews with Morten this past week include BBC Radio Scotland with Janice Forsyth on May 19th (starts at 0:19) and BBC Radio Lincolnshire with James Hoggarth on May 21st (starts at 3:25).

Number 1 in Norway

Out Of My Hands climbs up to #1 in its second week on the Norwegian album chart, making it the third of Morten’s solo albums to reach the top spot in Norway.

The album is also starting to appear in album charts outside Norway and Germany:

  • Switzerland: #23
  • Austria: #30
  • Netherlands: #77
  • Belgium: #90

And in the German single chart, “Scared Of Heights” climbs up from #92 to #60 in its third week.

Yekaterinburg concert, April 22nd

Yekaterinburg, April 22nd

Reports from Russian fans indicate that yesterday’s concert at the Cosmos hall in Yekaterinburg had the same setlist as in Tomsk.

Video clips on YouTube so far include Burn Money Burn, Crying In The Rain, Forever Not Yours and Take On Me.

The tour continues in Moscow tomorrow.


And some news from Morten’s official website; Out Of My Hands enters the German album chart at #3 in its first week, which should be considered a very good result.

Out Of My Hands at number 2

Despite bad reviews, Out Of My Hands has entered the Norwegian album chart at #2 in its first week, only beaten by Hver Gang Vi Møtes – a collection of songs from a popular TV2 show, where various artists perform cover versions of each others’ songs.

In comparison, Wild Seed and Letter From Egypt both entered the album chart at #1. Vogts Villa entered at #21, while Poetenes Evangelium did not chart.

In Germany, “Scared Of Heights” falls from #48 to #92 in its second week on the single chart.

Out Of My Hands gets lukewarm reception

Morten’s new solo album Out Of My Hands is released in Norway, Germany and seven other European countries today (see release schedule on

As expected, the album is getting a lukewarm reception from Norwegian music critics. Here are some samples of the reviews that have been published so far:


Dagbladet (3 out of 6):
“Harket is a formidable pop singer with an ability to single-handedly lift the quality of even the most clichéd, commercial songs. He’s not necessarily dependent on the sophisticated and demanding songs that Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Magne Furuholmen traditionally have written specifically for his register in a-ha. But unfortunately Out Of My Hands turns out to be a lazy and unsubstantial addition to Harket’s five-album solo discography. Safe and solid. Catchy at times, but unimaginative. And strikingly predictable.”

Dagsavisen (3 out of 6):
“I have to admit that both Pet Shop Boys and Steve Osborne are among my favorites, along with Kent as well. Therefore it’s sad that Out Of My Hands isn’t characterized by good songs and an overall creative energy. (…) In contrast to a-ha, the tempo is quick and almost all the songs have a 1999-feeling. Which means modulated synths and echoed drums, plus a lot of broken chords, designed for radio. Understandably so, as Osborne has made this sound his trademark, and used it successfully a number of times. But in order to create something special, some rougher elements should have been added. Something to contrast the very nice and clean production, and Morten Harket’s constantly high-pitched voice.”

Bergensavisen (3 out of 6):
“Ever since Poetenes Evangelium (1993), the solo projects of the a-ha members have been noticeably different from their main band – with varying degrees of success. But Harket is now leaning much closer to the a-ha sound.  His last solo offering Letter From Egypt (2008) could barely be considered a footnote, and the fact that he’s now chosen a more synth-based sound is understandable. (…) But Out Of My Hands lacks the essence of what a-ha (after the 2000-comeback) were always chasing, but only sporadically succeeded in doing; triggering the three persistent and twisted pop musicians’ goal of remaining vital long after their most successfull period (both creatively and commercially).”

Adresseavisen (3 out of 6):
“Any warmth and sincerity is lacking on Out Of My Hands. (…) Harket’s sensitive vocals are almost drowned out by the synth arrangements. By all means; the arrangements are good and the production is flawless, but that’s exactly what makes it all so boring.”

Drammens Tidende (3 out of 6):
“Out Of My Hands is an unexciting album with a number of mediocre songs, and Harket disappoints by including new versions of two fairly recent hits. As usual, his vocal performance is very good, but he should try a different approach on his next album if he wants to distance himself from a-ha.”

VG (3 out of 6):
“You could say it’s a problem that the best song on this album is an English version of a ten year old Kent-song.” (2 out of 6):
“It seemed promising when Pet Shop Boys and Kent joined in on the project, but when everything that has come out of this collaboration is so boring that it could give you a rash, it doesn’t help much. (…) We’ll just have to be relieved that this isn’t a-ha’s name being defiled – it’s not easy to understand what Harket’s intentions are this time.”
“This may be the pop-album I’ve had the highest expectations to, this spring. Which makes for an even bigger disappointment. (…) There is no direction in this product, nor in the production. Some synthpop, some middle of the road-pop. Weak or mediocre songs. In sum; a mediocre environment that doesn’t suit Morten Harket at all. Because he can be world’s greatest, when he just puts his mind to it!”

NTB interview

Picture by NTB/Scanpix

In a new interview with NTB, Morten talks about the process of choosing songs for the album:

“Ten songs aren’t much. But those are the ones that made it through our filters”, he says, referring to a team consisting of manager Harald Wiik, Erik Ljunggren and in part producer Steve Osborne. Especially Wiik and Ljunggren have what he calls “an entirely different taste in music”.

– But are you in control?

“I won’t let anything make it to the album that I can’t stand behind, I’m not compromising myself. I could have been more hands-on, but we’re a team”, he says, while admitting that his team’s views of what makes a good Morten Harket-song and his own views don’t always match up.

“a-ha would have benefitted from a larger degree of playful collaboration between the three of us. And that’s not been easy to accomplish on this album either. We’re all grown-up, busy people with obligations in life. The kids, your home life, bed times. Every day. You need to have a strong desire – strong enough to want to break free of your daily life in order to do it.”

Of the songs on the album, he describes “Quiet” and the title track “Out Of My Hands” as “classic, complete ‘me-songs’ “. He says the following about the latter song:

“There’s a lot of me in it. It’s a purely spiritual song, about where we come from and belong, and it makes quite a firm statement about the real nature of life – beyond the reality we experience.”

Morten interviewed in VG

Picture from VG

VG’s paper edition has a 2-page interview with Morten today. Here is a translation of some of it:

You’ve made a quick return as a solo artist, even though you could have been resting on your laurels. Why do you keep going?

Because I want to! There’s still a lot left to do, I’m not finished with what music can provide.

How has the time been, since the last a-ha concert?

There was a great period of relaxation in January and February [2011]. But in March I was at it again. I couldn’t wait any longer. If I was going to continue, it didn’t need any pondering. It was time to start planning. The machinery was still warm, the system was up and running. So I didn’t want to wait until I became slow and lazy.

Are you still in contact with Paul and Magne?

It’s like usual. Which means never. No, just kidding, but we have been living so intensly on top of each other that now we’re in contact when it feels natural. It can be at one of Magne’s exhibitions. But we don’t write letters to each other. Magne writes an enormous amount of e-mail, but I never reply to e-mail. Paul and myself aren’t chit-chatting either. We’re grown men.

But those two will always be a huge part of your life?

Yes, we’re eternally connected. But we’re stubborn individuals, all three of us. We will always have a lot of respect for each other and everything we do individually. a-ha is a unique forum. You can’t take away any of us and still call it a-ha.

Paul has written many of the songs you have made classics. As a solo-artist, could you still have performed songs written by him?

Yes, I could. And songs written by Magne.

There isn’t any prestige in that?

No, definitely not. The prestige lies in choosing an interesting selection of material. And it’s even more interesting if you’re both the songwriter and the singer. But that’s often not the case, as well. Sometimes I write songs that would be better suited for someone else. That’s how it works when I’m choosing songs – I don’t look at who’s written them.

On the last a-ha tour you left most of the talking to Magne, you hardly spoke at all in between songs. How will that work on your solo tour?

I will have a live connection to Magne on stage, so he’ll still do all the talking!

Why is it that you don’t talk in between songs?

You’ve been to an a-ha concert. I’m standing there howling the whole evening! Enough is enough. No, just kidding. I mean, I don’t represent myself when I’m doing an a-ha concert. I’m representing the spirit of a-ha, which is neither Paul, Magne nor myself. It’s different from when I’m doing my own thing. So I think I’ll naturally be speaking more – I can’t possibly speak any less!”

Morten interviewed, Oslo concert announced

Morten has recorded parts of the new album in this old farmhouse from the 17th century 
(Picture from Dagbladet)

Morten’s “Lightning”-single was released in Norway on Friday and can now be purchased from iTunes and other download shops. It can also be streamed in Spotify and Wimp.

Meanwhile, in Germany, the “Scared of Heights” 2-track CD single can now be pre-ordered from, along with the Out Of My Hands album.


In connection with the “Lightning” single release, Morten has done a few Norwegian interviews in the last few days.

On Friday he was a guest on P4s Radiofrokost, where he talked about the new album and a variety of other topics. The complete 23-minute interview can be downloaded here.

Yesterday, there was a story on him in TV2’s Lørdagsmagasinet. The video clip can be seen on or on YouTube.

There was also an interview in Dagbladet yesterday. Here are a few quotes:

“The collaboration with [Kent members] Jokke and Martin was very interesting on many levels, and I really like Kent. They are straight to the point, no bullshit, and they’re a friendly and seasoned bunch of guys. We wrote two of the songs on the album together, and there’s also an English version of “Kärleken Väntar”, for which I’ve written the English lyrics.”

“Burn Money Burn” is unavoidably a political song. It’s first and foremost about values, but there’s also a direct criticism of the money system we live by, which I quite frankly feel is extremely dangerous, because there are only certain values in life that can be measured in money.”

“I’m looking to find something new in myself by interacting with others. Incredibly exciting things can happen when different people come together, and that’s what I’m after. a-ha is also an example of this.”

“There are parts on this album that I feel are shamelessly commercial. And that’s fun. But the difference between a show like “Idol” and myself, is that they give people what they want, while I try to give people something they didn’t know they wanted. For me, that’s where pop music starts to get interesting.”


There was also an announcement made yesterday by, that Morten will do a solo concert at Sentrum Scene in Oslo on September 14th, as part of the 30th anniversary celebration of a-ha that weekend.

For more info about the events in September and a special fan pre-sale starting on Monday, check out this article on

Interview with Just Loomis

Acclaimed photographer Just Loomis, known for his past work with a-ha, teamed up with Morten again in Los Angeles last year to take the cover- and press photos in connection with Morten’s upcoming solo album Out Of My Hands.

I recently had the chance to ask him some questions about those photo sessions. Loomis also shared his thoughts on the trip he did with Morten to Jamaica, seeing a-ha live on the Farewell Tour and visiting Norway for the first time last year.

Read the full interview here.

Album tracklist

The tracklist for Out Of My Hands has now been posted on Morten’s official site:

1. Scared of Heights 
2. Keep the Sun Away 
3. Lightning 
4. I’m the One 
5. Quiet 
6. Burn Money Burn 
7. When I Reached the Moon 
8. Listening 
9. Just Believe it 
10. Out of my Hands 

“When I Reached The Moon” (aka. “When I Reach The Moon”) is a previously unreleased song from the Wild Seed-era that Morten has performed live on occasion.

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