Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
Graham Clark
Features Writer
12:25 AM 13th November 2021

Album Review- Abba - Voyage (Universal)

Abba - Voyage;
4 Stars

I Still Have Faith In You; When You Danced With Me;
Little Things; Don’t Shut Me Down; Just A Notion; I Can Be That Woman; Keep An Eye On Dan; Bumblebee; No Doubt About It; Ode To Freedom

Catalogue Number 3869080

When Abba first said that they were going to release some new songs no one realised that a whole new album was on the way.

Over the 40 years since Abba last released an album the group have remained popular with the Mamma Mia musicals and films besides the tribute acts, all in no small part to the quality of the Abba back catalogue.

The new album Voyage in its first week of release is already outselling the rest of the album chart Top 10 altogether.

Rather than try and alter the classic Abba sound the production stays true to the band’s original sound which is probably better than trying to make them sound like Swedish House Mafia!

The tracks are a mixture of uptempo and ballads, though the lyrical content always seems to be looking back at the past or of relationships that have ended up going wrong.

When You Danced With Me has a Celtic influence that reminds me slightly of Rhythm of My Heart from Rod Stewart whilst Little Things could become a Christmas song that will be played on radio for years to come, some might find the children singing on the track either annoying or sweet.

Don’t Shut Me Down could fool the listener that the song is going into Fernando before a typical Abba piano sweep leads into a strong melody: the song has all the components of what you expect from an Abba song - the vocals, the memorable chorus and uplifting feel.

Keep An Eye On Dan looks more like the synth pop that came along after Abba split up. Think of an Erasure production sung by Abba and you will get the idea. Bumblebee follows with a track that could be the cousin to I Have A Dream, though the lyric gives a nod to climate change and saving endangered species.

No Doubt About It, is for me the best track on the album, at times a funky groove undercuts a song that could have been released anytime during the late 70’s. No doubt it will surface, like many of the songs here, in a revamped and updated version of the Mamma Mia musicals.

Ode To Freedom closes the album, a lush classical orchestrated opening sweeps the song along with a touch of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake about it. What the actual freedom is I’m not sure, perhaps this will indeed be the last Abba album of new songs and the four members are free again to do whatever they choose?

If this is really the last new Abba album they have given the fans a strong set of songs albeit with a touch of sadness.