Today is the day!
ABBA, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Björn Ulvaeus, have reunited and released their first album in 40 years!
‘Voyage’ is the ninth and final album from the Swedish pop quartet and features ten new songs, including three recently released tracks, ‘I Still Have Faith In You’, ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’ and ‘Just A Notion'.
All of the new songs were composed by ABBA’s songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. The unmistakable harmonious ABBA sound is evident from track one and in many ways it feels like they have never been away.
It is hard to believe that ABBA officially disbanded in 1982. Their musical presence has transcended decades and genres such as movies, theatre and television. ABBA of course hold a special place in our hearts here in Australia within the soundtracks of our cinematic masterpieces ‘Priscilla Queen Of The Desert’, and ‘Muriel's Wedding’.
Although we have not had a new album in 40 years, with sales of 30 million, ABBA Gold is one of the best selling albums of all time, enjoying multiple re-releases from its debut in 1992, to the most recent release in 2014 to celebrate the group's 40th anniversary of winning Eurovision.
‘Voyage’ is a fresh new album and is considered by Björn to be a follow up to the 1981 album ‘The Visitors.’ ‘Voyage’ is not a stand alone album, it is very much part of the ABBA legacy and the group’s latest album.
Before ‘Voyage’ was penned as an album in its own rights, the members of ABBA were focussed on their Avatar (Or ABBAtar!) concert. There was an idea of giving the avatars new songs to sing as well as the originals, all four artists combined their vocal talents once more in the studio and thus the album ‘Voyage’ started coming to life.
In an interview with Apple Music, Björn said that during the recording of the album they were “pleasantly astonished” to hear the sound of ABBA, as if it were yesterday. Interestingly Björn also said in the interview that there is nothing speculative on the album, no influences from today’s music. Whereas in the 1970’s the band looked to see what music The Bee Gees or Rod Stewart were producing, with ‘Voyage’ the sound is delightfully pure ABBA, they had no need to look elsewhere for inspiration.
There are beautiful layers of depth and meaning within the tracks on 'Voyage.' Within ‘I Still Have Faith In You’ for example we are pulled back into the unmistakable sound of ABBA, from their sublime harmonies to lyrics that have to be about the band reuniting whilst simultaneously being a love letter to the stalwart fans across the decades.
When talking to Apple Music Björn said that ABBA are as proud of ‘ ‘Voyage’ as they were of their albums in the 1970’s, clearly the fans are in for an absolute treat. In the words of Björn Ulvaeus himself, "they are really good songs!"
ABBA - ‘Voyage’ album track list:
I Still Have Faith In You
When You Danced With Me
Don’t Shut Me Down
Just A Notion
I Can Be That Woman
Keep An Eye On Dan
No Doubt About It
Ode To Freedom
‘Voyage’ is accompanied by an eight month digital concert residency (at the aptly named ABBA arena) in London. Tickets are available now with new dates recently added.
‘Voyage’ is available now on iTunes and Google Play and is streaming on Spotify and Apple Music. Physical copies and exclusive merchandise are available through the official ABBA website.
Thank you ABBA for the (new) music!