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ABBA makes its comeback on Friday with a new album “Voyage” after 40 years of silence. The Swedish group is preparing for next year a concert of digital avatars in a hall under construction in London.
Will the quartet return to the heights of its youth? ABBA makes its comeback on Friday November 5th with a new album “Voyage”, after forty years of silence from Swedish disco-pop legends, who are putting the finishing touches to a concert of digital avatars in a hall under construction for next year in London.
Since their de facto separation at the end of 1982, a year after their last album “The Visitors”, Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid (acronym ABBA) had not released songs and put away their famous kitsch costumes in the locker room.
The announcement, in early September, of their reformation, during an XXL ceremony toured in several capitals, had gone around the world, after years of speculation.
Rumors of return
Composed of ten tracks, “Voyage” is the unforeseen fruit of a project on which ABBA has been working for years: a concert of “revolutionary” digital avatars, supposed to relegate to the shelf of junk the holograms that have flourished in recent years in the music world.
Certain points remain mysterious but one thing is clear: it is the ABBA of today that we will hear singing and it is they who will have commanded the movements of the “ABBAtars”, but the latter will represent them with their physical appearance. .. 1979.
It was while preparing this project in partnership with a special effects company of the father of Star Wars, George Lucas – often delayed by technical difficulties, then by the Covid – that the idea of making music together was born.
As early as 2018, ABBA had confirmed the rumors of his return to the studio and it was known that the recording of at least two new songs was kept safe from prying ears.
“At first it was only two songs, and then we thought, ‘Maybe we could do a few more (…) and then I asked:’ What if we do an album full? ”, said Benny Andersson, 74, when the album was announced.
He and Björn Ulvaeus, 76, have been promoting it in recent weeks, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad having chosen to spare themselves this event at 71 and 75 spring respectively.
The voices have “lost in the treble”
Three of the ten songs on the album, available since midnight local time in all countries of the world, had already been released: first “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down “. Then a modernized version of “Just A Notion”, recorded in 1978 but never released until now.
“Waterloo”, “Dancing Queen”, “Mamma Mia”, “The Winner Takes It All”, “Money Money Money”: won’t the new delivery suffer from the comparison with the golden age?
“We have nothing to prove – what does it matter if people think we were better before?”, Kicked Benny Andersson in an interview with Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter. “If it hadn’t been good enough, we wouldn’t have done it.”
For Jean-Marie Potiez, one of the best international experts in the group, “Agnetha and Anni-Frid’s voices have lost their treble, which is normal given their age, but have gained in depth and sensitivity”.
“When they sing together, the two of them, like on ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’, it’s ABBA sound.”
“It’s the ABBA sound, but it’s not nostalgic, not stuck in what they were. It matches who they are today,” enthuses Swedish fan Peter Palmquist.
Despite the years and two divorces – Björn with Agnetha and Benny with Anni-Frid were married for several years – the four had remained good friends.
But “Voyage”, the group’s ninth studio album, will indeed be the last, the two “B’s” confirmed in an interview with the Guardian in late October.