Say the words cos I need to hear them. Again. Swedish pop group ABBA have today released their new album ‘Voyage’.
How long has it been since their last? It’s been 40 years we’ve waited – or, essentially, if we’ve not been around that long – it’s been all our lives we’ve waited. But it’s here now.
What’s it like? In a way it feels like they’ve revisited so many of their old album eras – from 1973 to 1982 – and taken influence from each one, sprinkling the occasional homage carefully and sporadically onto the new tracks. There are also more obvious hints of specific classics – ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘SOS’ and ‘Fernando’, for example – that have been incorporated into a split second here and there, whether subconsciously or not. It’s an album that celebrates ABBA for everything that they were, as well as unveiling what else they have in them all these years later.
Highlights? ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’ is the obvious highlight – if anyone is looking for one – already standing out as one of their all-time greats only two months on from its release. Elsewhere in the fan-favourite realm, ‘Keep An Eye On Dan’ and ‘No Doubt About It’ look set to be thought upon fondly by all those who consider ‘The Visitors’ their best album – and really, who can argue with those people? And then there are the ballads: each one timeless, but ‘I Can Be That Woman’ in particular comes across as something that may well go down in history as one of their most lyrically potent love songs of all time, which is no small feat. Special mention must also go to ‘I Still Have Faith In You’, which was understandably overlooked upon its release alongside the might of ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’, but which now stands out as something much more special as the opening to this album, particularly when considered alongside the song it book-ends the album with – closing track ‘Ode To Freedom’.
In short? ‘Voyage’ feels like it could really be the closing of a chapter that we were denied upon their initial parting of ways all that time ago, when they just sort of disappeared without any kind of fanfare. This is the four talents getting back together to give us an album of ten swan songs, albeit 40 years later. But it also very much feels like it is paying homage to every chapter that has gone before it. After all – life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the ‘Voyage’.
You can find ‘I Can Be That Woman’ and ‘Keep An Eye On Dan’ on our Best New Pop playlist.