Abba comes back with a mediocre album

The newest Abba album, Voyage, released 40 years after their previous album

Polar Music

The newest Abba album, “Voyage”, released 40 years after their previous album

Andy Eyerman, Staff Writer

40 years after their last release, Abba has released a new album. The album, “Voyage,” was written by two of the four band members, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.
The album is a continuation of their last release, “The Visitors.” It consists of 10 songs and was produced by Andersson.
The first song, “I Still Have Faith in You,” starts out very slow, but is recognizable as an Abba song. The song stays at a slow tempo throughout the song, but the instrumentation varies, so the song isn’t boring. Although slow, more instruments are introduced about two minutes through the song during the chorus. The chorus is my favorite part of the song, since it has more substance than the rest of the song. It’s not the worst song on the album, but not a favorite either.
Following that is “When You Danced With Me,” which has a very upbeat introduction compared to the last song. The song has Celtic undertones, giving it a very jovial sound. The lyrics are not very interesting, as half of them are the same throughout the song. It’s a shorter song compared to many other tracks on the album. It’s not a bad song, but it isn’t one of the best featured on the album. The Celtic sound stands out and fits well with the song.
Next up is “Little Things,” which is flat-out bad. It starts off very slow, and the lyrics sound like a normal song at first, but quickly change. The lyrical content revolves around Christmas and I think it doesn’t match the album at all. On top of that, it stays slow throughout the song and gets very boring and repetitive. During the last 30 seconds, there are children singing. It doesn’t match the song well and the song would sound better if this part was taken out. This was my least favorite song on the whole album, it would be more fitting in a Christmas album, but that is not what the album is, making it stick out like a sore thumb.
After that comes “Don’t Shut Me Down.” The introduction has a classic Abba sound, starting off slow but getting louder and introducing more instruments about 40 seconds in. The bassline stands out in the background music, making it very catchy. The chorus is very attention grabbing. When listening to the album for the first time, it was one of my top three songs from the album, and it still is after the fact since it is actually memorable and has a good beat to it.
“Just A Notion,” another one of my favorites, plays next. It starts off with an organ playing, which is an appealing sound. It’s an upbeat song, with a catchy beat. There isn’t a huge variation in instrumentation throughout the song, but it doesn’t get boring. I really like the chorus, it all has a very archetypal Abba sound. It matches with their older albums very well, making it one of my favorites from the album. Like the last song, the bassline is attention grabbing, it helps to make the song more catchy.
The next song, “I Can Be That Woman,” is much slower than the previous two songs. It sounds like a lonely, depressing song. The lyrics are about crying and being angry, and the beat is slow and feels sorrowful. The bass sticks out well in the instrumental, but it’s not overpowering the rest of the music. The song is about four minutes long, and the slow beat makes it feel even longer. It’s not a bad song, but it just gets boring after a little while, it feels repetitive and like it is dragging itself on.
“Keep An Eye On Dan” is next, and the beginning of the song stands out from the rest on the album. It has a very suspenseful sound to it, which really caught my attention. The song has a heavy synth feature in it, making it sound very abstract. The whole song itself is catchy, but the chorus especially drew me in. The faster tempo is a really good contrast to the previous song. This song is also one of my favorites on the album, since the beat was very appealing to me. In addition to that, the synth features added a new sound to the album. It doesn’t come into any of the other songs, but it helps to make the song stand out from the rest.
Up next is “Bumblebee,” one of my least favorites on the album. It starts out with a bit of a flute in the beginning, which makes it sound very gentle. The song is about a bumblebee, and doesn’t have any symbolism, which was very odd to me. The instrumental sounds good, but I can’t bring myself to enjoy the song. It sounds more orchestral than other songs by Abba, which doesn’t entirely fit their style. The last 90 seconds has the best instrumentation, but the song doesn’t really feel like an Abba song. It’s not the worst song on the album, but nothing about it really stands out.
Abandoning the slow, gentle sounds is “No Doubt About It.” It starts off with a banjo, which was a surprise to listeners but it is a good addition to the song. It jumps right into the lyrics, and it sounded upbeat from the beginning. The beat is very catchy, and it all flows really well. It all fit together well, from the verse to the chorus and the bridge. It is definitely one of my favorites.
Lastly is “Ode To Freedom,” which starts off with string instruments. It also has a very orchestral sound to it, but I think it matches well with the lyrics. It isn’t the most attention grabbing song, but it has a good message. The last line says there should be “an Ode to Freedom that we all could sing.” It doesn’t have much variation in the background music, but it has a nice message that is a good ending to the album. It gives the album a good close, and it is a good song, even if it is a bit slow for my liking.
Overall, I am pretty indifferent with the album. I was really high on a few tracks, but less so on others. Songs like “Bumblebee” and “Little Things” are definitely my least favorites on the album, since they are very oddly placed and don’t seem to fit. On the other hand, my top two songs are “Don’t Shut Me Down” and “Keep An Eye On Dan,” with third place tied between “No Doubt About It” and “Just A Notion.” They are the faster songs, and they stood out to me the most. However, it’s hard to say that the album is good with how bad some of the songs are.