Abba’s much-heralded comeback after four decades sounds pretty much what one would expect if, in fact, the Swedish supergroup had never parted ways in 1983 and instead persevered in the nostalgia circuit, growing old. , wiser, more frail and less and less fashionable.
The good news is that Agnetha Fältskog (71) and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (75) can still hold a tune, even though a quivering patina reminds us that we are listening to septuagenarians and not the eternally young, computer-generated Abbatars created. for next year high tech live shows at a specially built venue in London.
Likewise, Benny Andersson (74) and Björn Ulvaeus (76) haven’t lost their ability to create a flowing melody adorned with sparkling hooks, even though the composition and production duo sound like they’d rather be comfortably seated in a dressing room in a West Complete theater rather than clubbing with the latest graphic trends.
Taking up the icy tone of the last 1981 album, The Visitors, they gifted their former dance partners (Benny was married to Frida, Björn to Angetha) a set of songs suited to their age and experience, counterbalancing their melodic flights. with dark lyrics. on divorced couples, uncertain reunions and childcare arrangements.
The soaring chorus of Keep an Eye on Dan resembles an aggressive passive note stuck under the door of a hostile ex: Dan / And don’t forget / I’ll be back on Sunday to look for him. It ends with a piano chorus from the 1975 hit SOS that may be meant to demonstrate continuity but also serves as a reminder of when they used to find that bittersweet balance much more easily.