Critics divided over ABBA's comeback album

·Contributor
·2 min read
ABBA are back after almost 40 years. (AFP via Getty Images)
ABBA are back after almost 40 years. (AFP via Getty Images)

ABBA’s eagerly awaited comeback album has received mixed reviews with one critic saying: “No thank you for the music.”

The Swedish band has burst back onto the scene with their first new body of work in 39 years.

Fans had said they were “shaking” with excitement when the band teased their comeback and then unveiled two new tracks - ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’ and ‘I Still Have Faith In You’.

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But Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson and co have now dropped their album, 'Voyage', and the reaction has been decidedly lukewarm.

The Guardian gave it just two out of five stars, saying “the glamour promised by this album’s two terrific singles goes horribly unfulfilled”.

jorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad of Abba (Baillie Walsh/PA)
jorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad of Abba (Baillie Walsh/PA)

Jude Rogers said in a review entitled "No thank you for the music": “In the past, they excelled when they twisted the sounds of their times in their own way, when they were within glam, disco and electronic pop but also apart from these genres; when their idiosyncrasies elevated them, rather than diminished them. 

"If only they had stopped at those two knowing songs, leaving the rest to our dazzling imaginations.”

It also got two stars from The i, which said it was a “strange, confused and overly sentimental attempt to recreate the magic”.

The new ABBA album
The new ABBA album "Voyage" on display at a local record store in Stockholm (AF /Jonathan NACKSTRAND)

Reviewer Kate Solomon said Christmas song 'Little Things' was “nauseating” and concluded: “There’s a sort of Sound Of Music feel to the whole endeavour; a slightly daggy, overly sentimental attempt at recapturing something that had already been lost.”

It only got three out of five stars in The Telegraph, with reviewer Neil McCormick saying ABBA had “drifted a long way from 'Waterloo'”.

(FILES) This file photo taken on February 09, 1974 in Stockholm shows the Swedish pop group Abba with its members (L-R) Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus posing after winning the Swedish branch of the Eurovision Song Contest with their song
This file photo taken on February 09, 1974 in Stockholm shows the Swedish pop group Abba (AFP/TT News Agency/Olle LINDEBORG)

However, The Daily Mail gave it four stars, saying it “rekindles the heartfelt storytelling and melodic genius” that made ABBA such a success in the first place.

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And 'Voyage' went down a storm with The Independent’s Helen Brown, who gave it five stars and called it a “terrific, family-friendly smorgasbord of a record that delivers all the classic ABBA flavours”.

Watch: ABBA return with new album

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