If you love ABBA and that you’re frustrated we won’t get to hear anything new from them as a group anymore, I can confidently declare after listening this album that it might be a good way to move on, or kind of. Agnetha might not be too much of a bad choice.
Just like Eurovision fans who can’t get enough with the 40 rubbish songs they’re fed with every year, if your tastes always drive you to listen to the same style of music – until the contest features styles they hypocritically start to get interested into – A is here.
While listening to this album, the phrases my hand really felt the need to write the most for individual song notes is cheese or cheesy.
I know that with the tone I have been using so far you must believe that I didn’t really enjoyed Agnetha Fältskog’s last release, and this would be wrong because the surprising person that I am actually did.
A is an album that I would separate in two, the first half being more interesting and pleasant to listen than the other.
When you love someone, that I actually got to hear recently on the radio (and I will precise French radio because I do listen to a lot of foreign radio) is very nice and really stands out as the very likely best track of this album. Although I wrote it, I am not sure if modern would be the best phrase to define it individually, but it sure it when you compare it to most of the other songs.
The two halves that I perceived this album to be constructed like, have more than just the overall quality separating them. The choices made in the different songs of this album and the originality of the pieces proposed from the obvious influence of most also play a lot in making you feel the certain shift from beginning to end.
Even though you’d listen to this album blindly, you’d easily know who it is or where it comes from because it really does sound like a former ABBA member album, 80% of the songs have that impregnated in them and it’s something you stop even if you listen to only of few second of them, which is something playing both for its good and its bad.
Therefore, The One Who Loves You, Perfume in the Breeze and I Should’ve Followed You Home, to cite a few sound like very nice pop pieces that you would easily listen to on a lot of occasions, at home relaxing or so. Perfume In The Breeze sounds very light almost peaceable and has this great ability to recall memories, being this kind of song that anyone could associate to a place or a time, which is such a great quality resulting from the important musical power and efficiency it is built with.
On the other hand, Bubble, Back On The Radio and I Keep Them On The Floor Beside My Bed, apart from trying to break long titles records, sound much less accessible to a large audience and correspond much more to what ABBA fans who were the same age as them back then and by extension about the same age as Agnetha today would expect. There is a certain narrowness in this and we can be left a bit frustrated by this evolution, which doesn’t especially feel like one. We feel like stuck in the 70’s and these last three songs although not so unpleasant kind of break the fresher spirit of the first few songs.
In the end, I couldn’t say that this album is for all audiences, or something that you would gladly often listen to unless you’re on something. On the whole, it feel like a nostalgia cure, like old pictures you get to look back at every once in a while but not too often because of the feeling of embarrassment most of them give you, the problem being that in music, the original ABBA songs are already there for that.