ABBA: Gold? Gold.
By: Hannah Zozobrado
“I'm not the one you knew, I'm now and then combined.”
This is what ABBA had to say in their single “Don’t Shut Me Down” released on Sept. 1 – their first release since their last album from nearly 40 years ago.
The Swedish pop group’s return to the music industry came as a shock to many. ABBA – the sole musical inspiration behind the classic 2008 film Mamma Mia! – had strictly remained a nostalgic figure of the 70’s and 80’s. Now, in the span of the past two months, they have released their new album Voyage, and their very first Christmas single “Little Things,” in an age of modern music.
But with the end to their decades-long hiatus comes heightened attention to Voyage, and for some, a subtle longing for ABBA’s original discography.
“I feel like [Voyage] matched their style and was very enjoyable to listen to; however, I did miss the nostalgic element of their old songs,” sophomore elementary education major Catherine Dangel said. “That’s really nothing they can change or improve upon, but I grew up listening to certain songs that I associate with certain feelings.”
Dangel, whose mother was ABBA’s self-proclaimed “biggest fan,” had been exposed to the group’s music at an early age. Ever since then she’s enjoyed the “upbeat and harmonic nature of their songs” and has favored their classic hits “Dancing Queen,” “Chiquitita” and “Super Trouper,” all three being from her favorite musical “Mamma Mia!”
However, while Dangel relishes the older bangers, she holds nothing against their new era in music. In fact, Dangel believes that they “should’ve attempted to gain more press regarding the release of their new album.”
Unlike Dangel, sophomore architecture major Nina Antomattei began listening to ABBA around three years ago. She’s also found an appreciation for their new style of music.
“I think that it’s great that ABBA came back together and made new music,” Antomattei said. “Honestly I’m kind of tired of the same trap beats and dance pop music that’s played over and over again. I’m glad ABBA came out with more music!”
While ABBA is more known for their “oldies-but-goodies'', for Antomattei, her favorite ABBA song is one of the newer ones: “Don’t Shut Me Down.”
It’s no secret that Voyage generally strays from what ABBA fans are accustomed to. Yet, despite their trend away from the same nostalgic, groovy, disco rhythms and tunes of the past, pockets of support within the fan base ensures that ABBA is in no way finished in the music industry.
“It’s exciting and shows that original music will never cease to exist,” Dangel said. “No artist should be forced out of the music industry, because inspiration can arise at any time.”