ABBA’s Nostalgic Comeback ‘Voyage’ Brings the Magic from their Classics


ABBA (Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson) for the release of “Voyage” (Photo by Baillie Walsh)

By India Bown, Arts Writer


Beloved ’70s band ABBA made a comeback and it didn’t disappoint. The wildly popular Swedish pop musicians broke our hearts when they split up in the ’80s following the divorces of both couples, going dark for 40 years. Now in 2021, they have released a reunion album, “Voyage,” keeping the nostalgic disco feel alive in a few of their tracks while slowing it down with a more sorrowful sound.

Lyricism in Up-Tempo

With 10 tracks, “Voyage” has a little bit of everything — from the upbeat dance songs we all know and adore to the ballads that make you feel more with every note played out. “No Doubt About It,” “Keep An Eye on Dan,” “Just a Notion” and single “Don’t Shut Me Down” all fall into this first category, reminiscent of the group’s earlier classics like “Dancing Queen” of “Super Trouper.”

With a catchy beat and the beautiful vocals of band members Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, “Don’t Shut Me Down” bridges the transition from slow, sad melodies to fun, joyous listen with lyrics, “The lights are on, it’s time to go. It’s time at last to let him know.”

The song, and the album as a whole, are full of these shifts in sentiment — we hear lines like “I realize I’m cold. The rain begins to pour, as I watch the windows on the second floor,” and “I’m like a dream within a dream that’s been decoded. I’m fired up, I’m hot. Don’t shut me down,” that radiate a sense of optimism and the best of ABBA’s talents.

Bringing the House Down

Hitting us with their gut-wrenching familiarity in songs like “I Still Have Faith in You” — comparable to classics “Andante, Andante,” “Angeleyes” and “Fernando” — the slower songs on “Voyage” express deep emotion and passion, with an undercurrent of encouragement. Lyrics like, “For I know I hear a bittersweet song, in the memories we share,” touch on the pain and happiness that exist in a relationship, coming to the conclusion that it is all worth it. 

“Voyage” definitely takes you on a journey and a meaningful one. The nostalgia tied to ABBA’s beautiful harmonies, lyrical writing and fun sound is what makes the album enjoyable. Though I was a tad disappointed that the slower songs outnumbered the disco-pop I was looking forward to, it’s a record that needs to be heard a few more times for my final thoughts. Overall, “Voyage” is worth listening to if you’re a fan of ABBA or just on the hunt for new music. I’d recommend the classics first and foremost, but “Voyage” still delivers the magic present in ABBA’s full discography.


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