Written Before Listen
ABBA are back after 30 years. ABBA are the legendary Swedish hitmakers who are more relevant than they ever were. Personally, I never LOVED ABBA but “Dancing Queen” and “Fernando” are great songs. Other than that, I never saw them more than likable. With that being said, I’ve never listened to an ABBA album in full so this will be the first time so without further ado, let’s get into this.
ABBAs Place In Pop
ABBA is one of the most celebrated pop groups of all time. ABBA is a top 5 most listened artist from the 60s & 70s only behind Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Queen and The Beatles. With that being said, ABBA really tried their best to be as famous as possible. I dont know if its just me but the play Mamma Mia has been extremely successful in boosting ABBAs music, Also their ‘Gold’ compilation too. With those two being more and more famous, this time period was the perfect time for them to comeback.
With all honesty on the table, Bjorn and Benny are amazing producers. Whether you like ABBA or not, the ABBA music wouldn’t be what it was without the grandiose production. This time around, the production really feels…too orchestral and cinematic. The ballads on this thing (with the exception of “Little Things”) sounds like Christmas radio. The bangers on this thing are a little stronger but dont compare anywhere near the production on ABBA’s pure hits.
Queen had their opera, Beatles had their avant Garde, Fleetwood Mac had their folk and Elton John had his country. ABBA on the other hand had their disco. This time around, ABBA takes influence from Celtic Music with songs like “When You Danced With Me” and “Bumblebee”. “Just A Notion” for some reason takes influence from Scandanvian music. Personally, I think all of the genre bends they do are campy. They contain too much quirk to the verge of sounding like musical theater. It’s just not for me
Let me get this straight. The singers of ABBA are in their 70s. Thats impressive but does downgrade their chops. It’s not the most obvious that they are in their 70s through the music, but it does still sound like a group past their prime. Anni-Frid and Agnetha are still great singers, but they were obviously better singers back in 1976.
I did enjoy “Don’t Shut Me Down” and the last two tracks were pretty enjoyable too. The other tracks were decent but also below average. Its a comeback album and ABBA makes a comeback album that doesnt have the excitement that a comeback album should have
This was disappointing, even for a person who was never big on ABBA. If you really love ABBA, maybe you’d love this album but im not one of those people.