ABBA’s Amazing Comeback

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.”

To recap…

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.

Voyage

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.

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Yin | Yang | Raunchy

songsaboutmermaidsWhen I Googled “Songs about Mermaids,” I came up with 1,270,000 hits. While I don’t plan to visit all those sites, I will share a selection of songs over the next few months.

In today’s post, I’m featuring a group of Canadian artists, two of whom are near and dear to me.

After receiving my contract for Between Land and Sea, I asked my musically talented brothers to compose the music for the trailer. I had envisioned my brothers collaborating and composing one theme song, but that’s not how their muses worked. Each brother had his own unique interpretation of the middle-aged mermaid who was aged beyond recognition and then dumped on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England. Unable to choose between them, I decided to use both versions and hired Erin Kelly to produce the trailers.

Ernie G came up with the Yin version. Aptly titled, “It’s Your Time,” the soft, contemplative music gently skims over the heartbreak, encouraging Isabella to imagine a happier future.

Augy G delivered the Yang version in “Father Time Blinked.” Very different music with several pointed comments and questions sprinkled throughout the lyrics. Is Augy taking Isabella to task?

I couldn’t resist adding “The Mermaid” song performed by Canadian folk rock band Great Big Sea in 2005. Written and originally recorded by Shel Silverstein, this song features the lament of a whaler who has fallen in love with a mermaid but despairs over her fish parts.

Enjoy!

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