It’s been a while since we made music together. Almost 40 years, actually. We took a break in the spring of 1982 and now we’ve decided it’s time to end it. They say it’s foolhardy to wait more than 40 years between albums, so we’ve recorded a follow-up to “The Visitors”.
Group Statement By ABBA
With Dancing Queen being one of the greatest songs of all time, who doesn’t like ABBA? Having taken a break since 1982, the likelihood of the pop band reforming appeared bleak, with Ulvaeus even claiming:
We will never appear on stage again… There is simply no motivation to re-group. Money is not a factor and we would like people to remember us as we were. Young, exuberant, full of energy and ambition. I remember Robert Plant saying Led Zeppelin were a cover band now because they cover all their own stuff. I think that hit the nail on the head
Yet, in the ’90s, the group’s popularity soared with many acts, such as Sinéad O’Connor paying tribute to the group by recording covers. In addition, ABBA’s compilation album “Gold”, in the ’90s, became the group’s best-selling album reaching over 5.5 million sales worldwide. As many public appearances of the group occurred throughout the years, we started to get some hope that a reunion would take place. Finally, in 2016, ABBA’s manager Simon Fuller made official that the four stars would return once again! Now, waiting what seemed to be an eternity, the legendary pop quartet, ABBA, returns with their newest album, “Voyage”. After listening to the album, Here are some important notes about the singles off the LP.
Opening with “I Still Have Faith In You”, ABBA instills hope in the listener with a happy ballad that reminds you the group is back and better than ever. The lyrics in the single are ever-so-inspiring and go well with the slowed-down instrumentals. Particularly interesting are the piano and synth combination, which makes the single incredibly hopeful. Bombastic drumming during the chorus also adds a crescendo that makes the single feel like an ending of a sports movie. The song’s general vibe also reminds me of other tunes off the album, “I Can Be That Woman”, and “Bumblebee”, which are equally as good.
As we move forward across our voyage (hehe, get it?), the Celtic twang of “When You Danced With Me” can be heard from miles. Compiled with delightful flutes, a string section, and 80’s-esque synth, the single makes for great dance music at any bar.
Strikingly tender, the “Little Things” is by far the most wholesome song on the album. Full of Christmas cheer and a piano backdrop, the lyrics reminisce about adorable grandchildren and the glee it brings Grandma to see them so happy during the holidays. Comprised of a glockenspiel and choir, the song is very child-like and makes the audience feel safe at home. It’s almost as if the elderly gaze that Agnetha and Frida give is upon us, which adds to the anthem’s loving nature.
Nonetheless, the three songs that remind you of the band’s peak have to be “Don’t Shut Me Down”, “Just A Notion”, and “Keep An Eye on Dan”. These singles are pure ABBA and can compete with the likes of Fernando and Waterloo. It’s a joy to listen to these up-tempo standards and bop your head to the beat.
As with most great ABBA songs, you’ve got certain elements that are so signature. It almost sounded like time hadn’t passed… ABBA can do no wrong.
Dave Grohl – Foo Fighters Frontman
Even though all the singles are amazing, the standout song from the LP has to be Ode To Freedom. Much like going to church, the song is a religious experience and is relaxing to a tee. I felt a calm come over me with each listen that graced my ears. The ambient string section and beautiful harmonies transcend your body and soothe your soul. In other words, If you’re having a bad day, Ode to Freedom gives you a warm hug and tells you everything is alright.
From Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie to No Doubt About It, ABBA always delivers. Much like Radiohead, ABBA stays true to its audience and continues to evolve with old age. The themes of their music continue to be overtly positive and delightful for any age group. If you haven’t listened to Voyage yet, go ahead, I guarantee you’ll enjoy it.
With Voyage out now through Capitol Records, be sure to get more ABBA via Glasse Factory.