London (AP) – The surprising return of cult Swedish band Abba is causing a stir around the world. The fact that Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus have announced a new album (“Voyage”) with the original line-up after about 40 years is thrilling fans and media alike.
The two new songs released Thursday, “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down”, were mostly well received. “A moving, truly brilliant comeback,” praised the Swedish newspaper “Expressen”. But there were also some critical voices.
“The magic is always there – with a bittersweet disco beat,” wrote the British Times. “It looks exactly like Abba, but with a lifetime of experience.” Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad actually didn’t want to take a break until 1982, not knowing how long it would be before Abba was back together in the studio again.
“It’s so powerful to hear Agnetha and Anni-Frid sing ‘I Still Have Faith In You’ together after 40 years,” enthused the “Guardian”, “and the flirtatious and cheeky” Don’t Shut Me Down “is even better.” The singles are “sharpened” to trigger emotions – “unless you’ve always been immune to Abba’s charm, then these songs won’t wait for your cold heart”.
Andersson and Ulvaeus had presented the new songs as well as plans for a virtual concert which can be seen in London next year. “The Super Troupers are once again doing what they do best: catchy, high class pop music,” the “Daily Mail” subsequently summed up. “Thanks for the new music! “
The famous music critic Per Sinding Larsen, who is a kind of pop authority in Sweden, expressed his enthusiasm. “There are not many who compete with Abba in this league,” he told the “Göteborgs Posten”. He praised the fact that the band did not try to keep up with current trends, but stuck to their sound. “I think it sounds surprisingly good,” says Sinding Larsen, who sees potential for further global success: “Yeah, I really think so.”
The fellow musicians also reacted with joy to the return of the hitmaker. American rocker Gene Simmons shared Abba’s new music announcement on Twitter with a short “Yay !!!” The singer and bassist of the hard rock band Kiss has long been an avowed fan of Abba. Cult director and songwriter John Carpenter (73, “Halloween”) tweeted: “You look amazing. The new songs are pure Abba. I feel like I’m 28 again! “
The Telegraph newspaper, on the other hand, was less euphoric about the return. “This may be the most anticipated reunion in pop history, but Abba’s comeback single is kind of a dead man,” the newspaper wrote. “The album needs to improve significantly for (fan) loyalty to be rewarded.”
The newspaper “The I” admitted that – despite all the enthusiasm – the new songs cannot quite keep up with the great classics like “Fernando”, “Waterloo” or “Dancing Queen”. “But the sheer joy of making music is evident in both songs, as it always has been, even at Abba’s low. Abba is truly back. ”The album“ Voyage ”with ten songs will be released on November 5th.