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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Original Abba Album

    If you could only own one original Abba album (not the countless compilations and greatest hits repackages), this is the album I would recommend. From "Eagle" through "I'm A Marionette", I think this is clearly Abba's most consistent album. Absent are the sophmoric, lyrically silly songs they have a tendency to blight their earlier albums with. The writing is solid, the musical and vocal performances are very good, but the big difference is the production. Rather than the thrown together feel of their first two US releases (Waterloo and Abba) and the inconsistent "Arrival" this sounds like a cohesive work that was thought out in advance. The songs seem to flow from one to the other more naturally, giving the effort a more polished feel. "Eagle" is a lushly arranged and sung song, effectively evoking the freedom of soaring. "Take A Chance On Me" contains a nice, intricate vocal arrangement (I defy anyone to sing the backing chant without taking a breath!). "One Man, One Woman", though a little schmaltzy, is a pleasant song which uses the group's vocal assets effectively. "The Name Of The Game" is probably one of the best songs in their entire catalog with crisp instrumentals and their trademark harmonies. "Move On" is probably my least favorite, with a rather pretentious spoken introductory verse, but once the ladies start singing, the song finds its groove. "Hole In Your Soul" is a fun little rocker with one of their throw-away lyrics, but there's no denying the energy they infuse it with, which makes it a good listen. "The Girl With The Golden Hair" trilogy of songs reveals Anderson and Ulvaeus' penchant for show tune writing that woudl later emerge. "Thank You For The Music" could easily have been pulled from a Broadway musical, as could "I Wonder (Departure), both nice lyric songs that don't offend. "I'm A Marionette" is a whirling, classically influenced closer, evoking haunting images of a performer in over her head, beyond her control. It's an effective, emotional closer to a very solid effort.

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