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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Oct 2019 > POP UP



Summer may only just have ended, but A-ha’s Magne Furuholmen has unveiled a new solo album that aims to provide a dose of hard-bitten reality for the festive season.

Released on 25 October, White Xmas Lies is the third solo record by the Norwegian outfit’s co-founder and keyboard player. As the title suggests, it’s an album with a different take on Christmas. A melancholic winter LP, it consists of 14 original new songs and two surprising cover versions, including a downbeat synth take on AC/DC’s Hells Bells.

Furuholmen states that he wanted to make an album as an antidote to the “schmaltzy Christmas music which is spewed out every year… a seemingly never-ending stream of cheesy versions of existing songs. I am ashamed to be part of a Christmas which, these days, seems to be mostly about buying more and more shit that no one needs, or even really wants. It’s a tacky, superficial celebration in stark contrast to the original Christmas message of hope, charity and compassion.”

He adds: “I am lucky to have a family around me but for many people, Christmas is a rough time and a harsh reminder of loss, longing and crippling loneliness. I wanted to try to make an album which would also be meaningful to those who fall outside our commercial Xmas frenzy. An album which looks at the more melancholic, darker sides to Christmas: broken family ties, things we sweep under the rug, resentment hidden behind fake, jocular smiles. An album for holiday contemplation, not just sentimental decor.”

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About Classic Pop

In the latest issue we have a world exclusive with INXS about the forthcoming Michael Hutchence documentary Mystify and hear how their legendary 1991 Wembley Stadium show is about to hit cinemas as part of a revamped Live Baby Live release. Elsewhere, we chat to Five Star’s Denise Pearson about the latest incarnation of her group and meet video director Tim Pope to shine a light on his influential promos for the likes of The Cure, Soft Cell and Talk Talk. We also interview 80s icon Kid Creole as he launches a new record label and take an in-depth album-by-album look at the back catalogue of the imperious Grace Jones. Black Box’s Daniele Davoli lifts the lid on the controversial story of Ride On Time and Berlin’s Terri Nunn tells us about the band’s latest studio LP, Transcendance. Our classic album this month is Janet Jackson’s game-changing Control and we also look at the early years of Depeche Mode as the band recovered by the exit of Vince Clarke. On the reviews front, we run our critical eye over new releases including The Lilac Time, Liam Gallagher, Simple Minds, Elbow and Mika while in our packed reissues section there’s releases by OMD, Mel & Kim, Haircut 100, The Specials, Prince, Midge Ure, A-ha, Marc Almond and much more. For live reviews, we check out Pet Shops Boys’ latest theatrical show Musik and elbow our way to the front for gigs by Edwyn Collins and Salt-N-Pepa before finishing the festival season at Victorious, Towersey and Paredes de Coura.