ABBA - “Voyage” Album Review
From their past of “Dancing Queen” and songs from “Mamma Mia,” the creators of these hits are back with “Voyage.” ABBA’s success in the ‘70s and ‘80s is undeniably huge, but they have not regained their title of fame yet. It has been 40 years since the four-member band has released an album.
In 1981, their album “The Visitors” did chart in many countries, however, that was the 80s, the twenty-first century is a different music industry. They need to make a bold statement if they want to be awarded titles like “Vocal Group of the Year” like they did in 1981.
Talk of a new ABBA album all started when they tweeted “Join us.” This sparked the rumors of a new tour which is of course started with a new album. Then, the announcement came of the new album.
Their single teaser for the album was “Don’t Shut Me Up.” The song throws listeners back into the feel of ABBA. With the funky-pop and their classic piano, ABBA does make their comeback. No doubt, this is a ‘70s vibe song that is very strong and well written.
The album then starts with “I Still Have Faith in You.” Starting an album with an extremely slow song for a band known for uplifting and pop songs is not good. It misinforms listeners, making them assume the album will be slow throughout.
Around the two-minute mark, the song does pick up. However, the instrumentals are very weak. The orchestra sounds as if it was recorded off an electric piano that has a setting to sound like stringed instruments. Very bland and pathetic, even in the part where the song gets more powerful.
The lyrics are just not good. Believing in someone who doesn’t believe in themself is always a nice thing, but no piece of the song stands out. Just like the instrumentals, the lyrics are weak.
Next on the album “When You Danced With Me.” The song first hits with a very European-folk sound. ABBA is from Sweden, and it seems they tried to incorporate a piece of the culture. The instrumentals are way better in this song.
The lyrics have a very “Mamma Mia” feel. About a lover running away from them and reminiscing on their time together. If ABBA wants to make a statement, they have to overcome the “Mamma Mia” phase and move on. They don’t with this song.
“Little Things” is the third song of “Voyage.” It is a song about children waking up at Christmas and opening presents. A cute thought- for a Christmas album. “Voyage” is not meant to be a Christmas album.
The lyrics thank Santa from bring joy and presents to children. What an awkward song to just throw in this album. A terrible decision by the group to put this song on the album. The album was not doing so hot already, now, in song number three, it truly is not doing well.
The rest of the album goes back and forth from slow, sappy songs to funk-pop music. ABBA clearly could not pick a lane with this album and just wanted to see their names in the media again. That is not a good reason to release an album.
“No Doubt About It” is a song that can save this album from being a complete joke. It is a song ABBA is known for. Finally, listeners are given a song the hope and expected from the band.
It is good musically, but sounds extremely close to their song, “Mamma Mia.” It is well written, but a lot of the inspiration was from their previous actual hits. Some fans may think that is ok, however, to prove you can make it in the age of music, you have to be unique in every piece. ABBA does not prove that.
And back into the flop of the album, “Ode To Freedom” falls back in to slow beat and cheap sound of an orchestra. The lyrics talk about how thankful they are for freedom and how they wish someone would write an ode for freedom. Is that not what they just did?
Overall, the album is messy and cheap. It seems as if ABBA just wanted to be in the light after a year of quarantine. The album was poorly written and a complete wreck. ABBA has seen the top of billboards before. With “Voyage”, they get to see a different side of the music industry- the bottom of the music charts.
Reviewer’s Favorite Song: N/A
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Little Things,” “Just a Notion,” “Bumblebee” and “Ode To Freedom”
Cade Miller is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Second-Year / Broadcast Journalism