‘Voyage’ marks a lukewarm comeback for iconic band ABBA – the Oswegonian

Almost 40 years after the split from ABBA (“Dancing Queen”), the popular music group reunited to present their latest album, “Voyage” to fans.

Released on November 5th, “Voyage” is a nostalgic album containing songs that will remind fans of the qualities that made ABBA so successful at its peak. However, with a few memorable tracks outside of its three singles, the album feels more like a humble sampler, rather than the triumphant comeback the band might have hoped for.

Without its singles, the album would give listeners little reason to revisit it. While these songs are far from ABBA’s best, their upbeat qualities and nostalgic subject matter are sure to delight diehard fans.

The album’s headliner is “I Still Have Faith in You”, a powerful and heartfelt ballad that recalls the strong bond shown by the members of ABBA during the band’s glory days. Recalling tunes like “Chiquitita”, the song contains an uplifting sound that is sure to warm listeners’ hearts with its evocative lyrics.

The album’s next single, “Don’t Shut Me Down”, comes across as a less fun, but more thoughtful, version of ABBA’s hit “Take a Chance on Me”. A rowdy disco number, the song turns out to be the most exciting song on the album. With lyrics like “I’m not the one you knew / I am every now and then combined / And I ask you to have an open mind,” the song alludes to ABBA’s downfall due to the failed marriages within the group, while emphasizing the willingness of its members to forgive one another.

Although originally produced in 1978, “Just a Notion” received a much later release as the final single from “Voyage”. Pairing the vocals from the original recording with updated instrumentals, the song takes fans back in time with upbeat melody and lyrics that could only have been produced by ABBA in its prime.

Aside from “No Doubt About It”, the other tracks on the album are slow, thoughtful ballads. While songs of this type are some of ABBA’s best, those found on the album are sure to lull listeners to sleep with their long and hazy compositions.

The band, who are known for letting personal and group experiences influence their songs, don’t hesitate to do so with “Voyage”. However, while their past works are more nuanced and accessible in this regard, songs on the new album like “Keep an Eye on Dan” feel a bit on the nose with their messages.

Despite its flaws, the group behind “Voyage” deserves praise for coming together after so many years to put it together. Friends and collaborators since ABBA’s disbandment, backing vocalists and songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus join forces again to produce an album that broadly shows the core of the group’s popular works. With them, the singers Agnetha Faltskög and Anni-Frid Lyngstad pick up where they left off with the group thanks to their confident performances.

To celebrate the album’s release, a series of ABBA concerts will take place in London from May to December 2022. Rather than the band itself, performances will be provided by a bunch of digital avatars designed to resemble their members.

Image of ABBA via YouTube

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