According to the men—Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaenus—there was no elaborate plan to release an album forty years after their extraordinary first run. In a recent interview, Mr. Andersson commented, “What is there to prove? They’ll still play ‘Dancing Queen’ next year.”
Between 1973 and 1981, the quartet released eight studio albums that generated 20 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, sold tens of millions of albums, and built a loyal fanbase. That fanbase has continued to grow across all generations and borders. At Colin Powell’s funeral service, the U.S. Army Brass Quintet played ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” a personal favorite of the trailblazing leader and diplomat.
Considered one of Sweden’s top figures in pop music, ABBA has its own permanent museum in Stockholm.
Their new album, Voyage, was made in secret and launched on November 5, 2021. As before, the men wrote the songs but left the singing to the ladies—Agnetha Faltskog and Anna-Frid Lyngstad.
Described as “vintage ABBA, on par with their classic 1970s run,” the 10-track CD was definitely worth the wait.
The Swedish septuagenarians have made an amazing comeback, recapturing the spirit and themes of their trademark music: love, betrayal, estrangement, and reunions. In sync with the times, they’ve included an environmental message in “Bumblebees”:
“It’s quite absurd, this summer morning/To think we could be trapped/Inside a world where all is changing/Too fast for bumblebees to adapt.”
I could easily listen to the entire CD without skipping a single track. Right now, I’m leaning toward “When You Danced with Me” as a personal favorite.