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Legendary ABBA and a controversial return to the art scene

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Very few artists have truly timeless music, one that remains as fresh, cool, and beautiful 40 or 50 years later as it was the day it was first released, but the legendary ABBA is almost very close to that description.

The musical “Mamma Mia” and the films that resulted from it are among the most successful works of the band that immortalized it even among an audience of young fans who were not yet born, when the songs of that play became popular in the seventies of the last century.

Forty years after the band’s last album, ABBA achieved by releasing her new album Voyage, one of the long-awaited comebacks on the artistic scene.

Despite this, the 10-song album created a huge divide among critics.

Rolling Stone magazine saw that after forty years, Abba’s album came out to prove that it was worth the wait, and the site gave a four-star rating to the band, commenting, “It’s the classic Abba, the new album is nothing but a continuation of her impressive career in the seventies.”

The Guardian newspaper gave the band’s new album only two stars, describing it as “disappointing” and apparently “unable to regain the momentum and influence of the band’s old work”.

Apa Travel
The band members met again in 2018


Voyage comes two months after the legendary pop band released their first two new singles, “Voyage”. I still believe in you, and the song does not shut me down.

Guardian writer Judd Rogers said: “The two great singles released gave the impression that this album would be on par, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to expectations.”

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She added, “Rather than the rest of Voyage’s songs reflecting the past and the band’s wonderful legacy, most of them seemed to be negatively bound and stuck in that past.”

Rogers went on to say, “Among the album’s songs, the song When You Danced With Me is a little nauseating, and the Christmas song Little Things is a “huge crime against feeling and emotion.”

She wished the legendary band had “stopped the two songs they released before the album and left it at that, allowing our imaginations to maintain the dazzling image.”

Although Rolling Stone magazine liked the album, it did provide a critique of some of the little things under the rubric of “annoying filler”.

“But beyond a few simple things, Voyage reflects the distance these four have traveled, both musically and emotionally,” magazine critic Rob Sheffield said.

He also saw that there is no harm in the band trying to address the new generation in a way that enables it to communicate with it.

But he took the legendary band to drown it in the sad drama reflected in the album’s songs, commenting that it resembles the Mamma Mia album, which achieved wide fame with its beautiful songs that lived for many generations, but it lacks the cheerful songs that characterized the latter, such as Mamma Mia and Take A Chance On Me.

He concluded, “The return of these Swedes to the art scene is a great and pleasant surprise, but the biggest and most wonderful surprise is that they have returned full of musical vigor.”

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The band’s work is still very popular despite the 40th anniversary of its hiatus.

Writer Helen Brown of The Independent gave Voyage five stars and agreed that it was “a work infused with the ingenuity of a spirited band that delivers all the flavors of classic Abba”.

“The band didn’t try to update the old, flashy embellishments of their songs in the ’80s, and Bjorn Olpheus and Benny Andersen have always been savvy businessmen, knowing that their appeal was never about catching up with the trend or the whims of the times no matter what,” she said.

The Times critic Ed Botton called Voyage a “beautifully familiar mixture of palpable emotion, cool music and sheer indifference to fashion”.

“Like a lot of Abba’s previous songs, these songs can sound understated when first heard, yet the musical allure of Benny Anderson’s melodies and Bjorn Ulvaeus’ whimsical visions captivate you.”

He goes on to say, “Agnitha Feltskoog and Annie Fred Lyngstad sing like they used to, and although their voices are lower than before, they are still pure, graceful and lively.”

“Strange and Confusing Album”

Kate Solomon of i newspaper pointed out that the legendary band was unsuccessful on their new album, calling it “weird and confusing”.

She explained, “It seems as if we were promised a qualitative leap for new songs, but we ended up with a product that was different from what we expected.”

“The songs feel like an quest to mimic the atmosphere of the musical The Sound of Music; an antiquated and somewhat lackluster effort, and very emotional in its quest to recover something that seems to have already been lost.”

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Billy Walsh
The band members wore a special motion-capturing costume to design their digital show.

The Telegraph’s Neil McCormick said Valtzkog and Lyngstad “remain able to play the songs seamlessly”, while “Anderson and Olvaius have not lost their ability to craft a flowing melody embellished with shimmering accents”.

“Voyage is a gentle cruise that takes you back to faraway regions where the band once shined,” he added.

“We are not trying to prove anything.”

Band member Benny Anderson told BBC News: “We don’t need to prove anything… I don’t think we’d take the risk of releasing this album as I don’t see any harm if the public thought we were better 40 years ago.”


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He also said he believed Voyage would be the band’s closing act. He told BBC entertainment reporter Colin Patterson: “I told my bandmates that I had no desire to do another work after Voyage and that it would be the finale of ABBA’s work, but I’m not the only one, we’re four partners, and if they try to convince me they might work and I’m given up.” my decision.”

As for Bjorn Olvius, he said, “Although I am not sure that there will be no further works by ABBA, I agree with Penny. I think this was our farewell.”

The band is scheduled to present a digital show using “hologram” technology and its members will be called Abbatars, and they will perform virtual concerts in a specially built arena in London from next May.