Since their last studio album in 1981, and their separation in 1982, the legendary Swedish group, which has sold tens of millions of albums, has not released any new material.
The comeback announcement, which came out in September, during an elegantly held party in several capitals, quickly spread around the world, after years of speculation.
In the early hours of Thursday through Friday, fans of the group around the world finally heard ABBA’s new songs. “It doesn’t look old, it doesn’t seem like something that was done 40 years ago,” Emily de Laer said during a party in Stockholm to hear the band’s new album.
“Voyage,” made up of 10 songs, is the unexpected result of a project ABBA has worked on for years: a “revolutionary” hologram display. Some points remain a mystery, but one thing is certain: Who will sing will be ABBA today, whose members will control the movements of their avatars, and who will represent them with their 1979 appearance.
While preparing for the project – in collaboration with the special effects company of “Star Wars” father George Lucas – the idea of making music together came up. In 2018, ABBA confirmed rumors of a return to the studios, and it was known that the band was recording at least two new songs.
Benny Anderson, 74, and Bjorn Olvaius, 76, have been promoting the album in recent weeks, while Agnetha Waltzkog, 71, and Annie Fred Lingstad, 75, have pulled out.
Three of the ten songs on the album have already been released: “I Still Believe in You”, “Don’t Shut Me Down” and an updated version of “Just A Notion”, recorded in 1978 but not yet shared.
After hits like “Waterloo”, “Dancing Queen”, “Mamma Mia”, “The Winner Takes It All” and “Money Money”, can’t the new album be compared to the golden age of ABBA? “We don’t have to prove anything, what does it matter if people think we were better before?” Benny Andersson commented in an interview with Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
“If the album wasn’t good enough, we wouldn’t have done anything,” he said.
For Jean-Marie Botties, one of the group’s greatest international experts, “the voices of Agnetha and Annie-Fred lost their high pitches, which is normal for their ages, but have gained depth and sensitivity.” “When the two sing together, that’s the sound of a dad,” he asserts.
“So now we have ten songs – an entire album called “Voyage” – because it was a trip into uncharted territory… There must be something about the combination of Frida and Agnetha that makes this unique sound – when they started singing, it was ABBA,” Bjorn advocates. Ulvaeus, citing Universal Music.
Upon the album’s release, Benny Anderson confirmed that they knew “that if there was a scene, we’d need some new songs to accompany it.” “When we entered the studio after 39 years, it was like no time had passed…we had a great time. I spoke to Frida and Agentha and I know they are so happy to be a part of this,” she says.
Anni-Frid Lyngstad continues: “Those first sessions in 2018 were so much fun and when Penny called me and asked if I’d consider singing more, I jumped right in! And what songs!! My respect and love goes out to these exceptional songwriters! They are really talented and creative!” It has been a pleasure working with the group again. I am very happy with what we did and I sincerely hope that our fans feel the same.”
“When we got back to the studio, I had no idea what to expect…But Penny’s recording studio is such a friendly and safe environment, and before I knew it, I was really enjoying myself! I can’t believe he’s finally here! The moment I share all this with the world”, Agnetha Fältskog adds.
Despite years and two divorces – Bjorn, Agnetha, Benny and Annie Fried have been married for years – the four have remained good friends.
“Voyage,” the band’s ninth album, will be their last, the two confirmed in an interview with The Guardian last month.
- I still believe in you
- when you danced with me
- few things
- don’t shut me down
- just an idea
- I can be that woman
- Keep an eye on Dan
- No doubt about it
- poem for freedom
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