Naturally, the new album after a 40-year hiatus raises high expectations. And with a successful band like Abba, they’re growing up. In addition, “Return of the Year” naturally raises expectations.
“a trip”, Aba’s return album, does not live up to these expectations. Only five of the ten songs have the typical oppa of happy pop songs from the past. And one of them, “Just a Notion,” also comes from a previous recording session – the sounds here sound significantly different than the other songs. The band recorded the soundtrack in 1978 and added new guitar and drum sounds.
Half of the album is made up of stories
Five of the ten songs are faster, the other half are quiet, poems and a Christmas song filled with cheese on top. Of course, Abba’s have had songs in their repertoire in the past, just think “I Have a Dream”, “The Day Before You Came” or “Fernando” – but it’s not their trademark.
However, ballads make up half of the album, which would be halfway tolerable if the other five albums – the fastest – had a catchy tune from well-known songs from the past like “Waterloo” or “The Winner Takes It All”.
But apart from the song “Don’t Shut Me Down” heard before the album’s release, and at most “No Doubt About It,” there are other songs missing, which unreservedly remind us of the sexy daddy of the past.
Abba remained at a lower level
Forgive me that ABBA didn’t include any “features,” i.e. no guest musicians, on their album, as Elton John did recently on his album Closing Sessions. Fans would even consider themselves lucky that oppa didn’t even try to look different from oppa or even contemporary.
Abba remained an ABBA, with the difference that the song’s material was no longer up to the level of ABBA’s earlier days. It turns out that “Voyage,” her ninth studio album, is rather mediocre by ABBA standards and certainly not her best.
SRF Music Editor
In the past, Dano Tamásy worked for the Swiss branch of a large record company (EMI) and for the largest Swiss concert organizer (Good News).
Since 2010, he has been part of the SRF music editorial team and editor in charge of the Radio SRF1 “Swissmade” music program.
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