They unequivocally sound like ABBA, the Swedish band’s two new songs Thursday released. Forty years passed between this new act and the band’s recently released music. It is remarkable how easily Agnetha Fältskog (71), Anni-Frid Lyngstad (75), Benny Andersson (74) and Björn Ulvaeus (76) capture the string of music they played in the 1970s. One of the biggest pop groups in the world.
Benny Anderson announced it already in 2017: ABBA will no longer tour themselves, but will send ‘avatars’ (3D) on stage, so that during concerts it will look as if young Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni- Farid (the initials of the group name) come into play again. “While you’re watching me, I’m walking the dog in the house,” Benny joked. “It’s the only chance to see me perform again on platform shoes.”
I still believe in you:
ABBA’s new album will be released on November 5. address will be a tripThe release date is exactly forty years after ABBA’s last album Visitors. In May next year there will be performances in London, where a private arena is being built in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Erwig as usual
What do the new songs look like? The ballad ‘I Still Have Faith in You’ is reminiscent of ABBA’s golden songs like ‘Thank You for the Music’, with an opening line that instantly settles into memory like an earring. Two minutes later, the melody takes a gentle turn: “Do I have that in me? This immediately reminds us of ‘I Believe in Music’ from I Have a Dream” (1979).
Also read this interview with Benny Andersson: “After Those Crazy 10 Years, I Put an End to ABBA”
Remarkably, the Swedish E-flat’s solid sound with Frida and Agnetha is getting more and more pronounced in the meantime. Voices may sound a little weaker than before, but in the text line “A New Soul Has Arrived” an upsurge breaks as the voices merge effortlessly into the big pop sound. This is ABBA at its finest, as a prelude to the singing festival that the Avatars (even the Abbatars) will be launching next May. The phrase “I still believe in you” also carries a reassuring message to all who have grown old: “We have a story and it has survived.”
don’t shut me down:
happy reggae rhythm
The second song already released, “Don’t Shut Me Down”, is reminiscent of “The Day Before You Came” (1981) through its narrative structure. Agnetha seems more alive here than a text about lost love rekindling: “I’m excited, I’m sexy, don’t silence me.” Forty seconds later, a cheerful reggae beat kicked in, elevating the song to fairground music that ABBA has always featured in – from “Waterloo” to “Gimme Gimme Gimme.”
“Don’t Shut Me Down” is a song about new opportunities: “Once these rooms witnessed our love/My tantrums and my frustrations.” But the time has passed. Can they try again? ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’ also ends as irresistible vocals, before slowing down at an open end: “I’ve learned to cope/And love and hope is the reason I’m here now.”
ABBA is back, with music so familiar that they’ve never left.
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