Ace of Base: ‘The Golden Ratio’ – our review!

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So….as we all know by now, Ace of Base are back. ‘The Golden Ratio’ is released on Friday and is their first album of new material since 2002’s ‘Da Capo’. And whilst they might have two brand new members (new girls Julia and Clara replacing sisters Jenny and Linn), musically, Ace of Base really are BACK!

It’s a jaw droppingly good album. They’ve gone back to everything that made them so brilliant when they first started out in the early nineties. Brilliant pop tunes packed full of irresistible melodies and bright and breezy music. Both classic eras of Ace of Base (yes, there were two) are visible here. There’s the reggae-lite summer pop of their first album, with tracks like ‘One Day’, ‘Precious’, ‘Mr Replay’, and ‘Bla Bla Bla (On The Radio)’, and then there’s the euro-dance synths of their third album with songs like ‘Doreen’, ‘Black Sea’, ‘Vision In Blue’, and the lead single ‘All For You’. Personally, we always enjoyed both of those Ace of Base albums equally as much, so it’s wonderful that the sounds of both are present on here. And why shouldn’t they go back to their sound of yesteryear? The 90’s are in vogue right now, and both Lady GaGa and Katy Perry have publicly referenced old Ace of Base as one of their inspirations for their current musical output.

It’s a 13 track album and we have a lot of favourites. ‘All For You’ is of course a perfect piece of pop still. ‘Told My Ma’ has a simplistic and schlager like melody going on, it’s very catchy. And it’s on that track more than any other on the album, that the two new girls’ voices sound great together – the harmonies are really pretty. ‘One Day’ is such a delightful pop song, and probably sounds most like their debut. You can close your eyes and be back in the summer of 1994, if you’re old enough! ‘Precious’ is another one that evokes nostalgia, but is thoroughly modern in its instrumentation. We love the production in this one, it’s up there with ‘All For You’ in terms of strength. ‘Black Sea’ provides one of the album’s euphoric moments – the vocals in the lead from the middle eight into the final chorus – oh my word! ‘Doreen’ is pure dance pop, it has everything that made the ‘Flowers’ album so great in 1998. And then there’s ‘Bla Bla Bla (On The Radio)’ which was supposed to be the first single. And it could have been – the melodies here are possibly the catchiest on the album, and the music is lush. It’s a classic Ace of Base radio track. Out of the 13 tracks, 10 are uptempo and 3 are ballads. And it’s within these 3 ballads that we find the only two moments on the whole record that disappoint (see below).

After only one listen, we’d say it’s one of our favourite albums of the year. And it had bloody want to be after how long we’ve waited for it! Incredibly though, after a 7 year wait, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s an amazingly strong album, and if you like pop, we can’t recommend it enough!

The quite frankly, brilliant:
All For You
Bla Bla Bla (On The Radio)
Told My Ma
Black Sea
One Day
Mr Replay

The very good
The Golden Ratio
Southern California
Vision In Blue

The not very good
Who Am I

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