ABBA back for a new “Voyage” after 40 years at the quay

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(AFP) – ABBA makes its comeback on Friday with a new album “Voyage”, after forty years of silence from Swedish disco-pop legends, who are polishing up for next year a concert of digital avatars in a hall under construction in London.

With its slew of hits having crossed against all expectations all modes, the quartet will he find the heights of his youth?

Since their de facto separation 1982, one year after their last album “The Visitors”, Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid (acronym ABBA) had not released any more songs and put away their famous kitsch costumes in the locker room.

The announcement at the beginning of September of their reformation, during an XXL ceremony shot in several capitals, had toured the world, after years of speculation.

Composed of ten titles, ” Voyage “is the unforeseen fruit of a project ABBA has been working on for years: a concert of digital avatars “revolutionary” risks, supposed to relegate to the shelf of junk the holograms that have flourished in recent years in the world of music.

Some points remain mysterious but one thing is clear: c ‘It is the ABBAs of today that we will hear singing and it is they who will have commanded the movements of the “ABBAtars”, but the latter will represent them with their physique of … 1979.

It is while preparing this project in partnership with a special effects company of the father of Star Wars George Lucas – many times delayed by technical difficulties, then by the Covid – that was born the idea of ​​remaking music together.

From 2018 , ABBA had confirmed the rumors of his return to the studio and we knew that the recording of at least two new songs was kept safe from prying ears.

“Au at first it was only two songs, and then we said to each other. + Maybe we could do a few more (…) and then I asked: “What if we do a full album?”, Explained Benny Andersson, 74 years, when the album was announced.

Him and Björn Ulvaeus, 76 years old, have been promoting it in recent weeks, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad having chosen to spare themselves this ordeal at respectively 71 and 74 spring.

– Always the “ABBA sound” –

Three of the ten songs from the album, available since midnight local time in all countries of the world, had already been unveiled: first “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down” ). Then a modernized version of “Just A Notion”, recorded in 1978 but never published so far.

“Waterloo”, “Dancing Queen”, “Mamma Mia”, “The Winner Takes It All”, “Money Money Money”: won’t the new delivery suffer from the comparison with the golden age?

“We don’t have to prove anything – what if people think we were better before?”, Kicked Benny Andersson in a interview with Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter. “If it hadn’t been good enough, we wouldn’t have done anything.”

For Jean-Marie Potiez, one of the best international experts in the group, “the voices Agnetha and Anni-Frid lost in the treble, which is normal considering their age, but gained in depth, in sensitivity “.

” When they sing together, both, like on + Don’t Shut Me Down +, it’s the ABBA sound “.

” It’s the ABBA sound, but it’s not not nostalgic, not frozen in what they were. It corresponds to who they are today “, enthuses a Swedish fan, Peter Palmquist.

Despite the years and two divorces – Björn with Agnetha and Benny with Anni-Frid were married for several years – the four had remained good friends.

But “Voyage”, the group’s ninth studio album, will be indeed the last one, confirmed the two “B’s” in an interview with the Guardian at the end of October.

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