sun 26/05/2024

CD: Agnetha Fältskog – A | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Agnetha Fältskog – A

CD: Agnetha Fältskog – A

Less-than-wonderful return from one quarter of ABBA

Agnetha Fältskog's 'A': generic and vacuous

Anything said about A won’t affect its sales. Guaranteed to sell millions, it’s the first album from ABBA’s former singer since 2004’s all-covers set, My Colouring Book. It’s also the first to contain original material since the one which preceded that, 1987’s I Stand Alone. In keeping with the privacy with which she leads her life, she’s not prolific. Fältskog’s return is newsworthy and welcome, so it’s deeply depressing that A is so feeble.

Worse than that, her personality is hardly evident.

Can the lyrics to "Perfume in the Breeze" (“I’m not sure what happened, it happened so fast/ people say love like this can never last/ what a night, what a night, what a night, I’m still not all right/ you vanished like a rainbow from the horizon of my heart”) really be what an artist of Fältskog’s status ought to be singing? Then there’s “I trusted you, my faith was blind” (“I Was a Flower”). Such triteness extends to the music, cotton-wool cloaked Nineties-style fluff with forgettable melodies which might have suited a second-tier Eurovision entry or any number of TV talent show winners. Bringing in Gary Barlow to duet with her on “I Should’ve Followed you Home” doesn’t lift proceedings. “I should have followed you home,” he sings repeatedly, then declares it's “so familiar and so right”. The same can't be said for her voice, which is mostly buried by copious multi-tracking or is autotuned beyond recognition. The best that can be said for this album is that her familiar yearning tone, thankfully, surfaces now and then (on, say, “Past Forever”) and that the upbeat and vaguely ABBA-esque “Dance Your Pain Away” alleviates the lugubrious mood.

The person responsible is Jörgen Elofsson, who produced and wrote or co-wrote all of A. He has previously written for Westlife, Shayne Ward, Kelly Clarkson and Leona Lewis. The release comes a week after the long-delayed opening of Stockholm’s ABBA museum, which can't be coincidence. Reminders of Fältskog’s past hang heavy. Obviously, she can’t be who she was, and there's no reason she should try to be. But with the generic and vacuous A, it’s sadly not possible to hear who she is now.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Watch Agnetha Fältskog discuss A on Swedish TV alongside Borgen's Sidse Babett Knudsen

This cotton-wool cloaked Nineties-style fluff with forgettable melodies might have suited a second-tier Eurovision entry


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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What a cynical and disrespectful review. Did Tyler even listen to the whole album? Agnetha's voice is not auto tuned and is very clear. Crystal clear actually and most people who have actually heard the album comment on that. The lyrical content was created very much with Agnetha in mind. This review sounds like someone's having a very bad day indeed.

It's a splendid album. Agnetha showcases her voice, which is a real gem. Absolutely wonderful pop album.

What an appalling review. The reviewer sounds sarcastic and/or tone deaf. I thought it was a really good album, catchy melodies and Agnetha's voice sounds great, a treat to hear that angelic tone after so many years. There may be naff lyrics here and there, but so what? Lighten up, woman - the review should be about Agnetha and not your cheap pot-shots, sound like it was reviewed by some wannabe intern.

Obviously this was written by someone who does not know music very well, or if so, did not really listen or make observations that are valid here.

"Can the lyrics to "Perfume in the Breeze" really be what an artist of Fältskog’s status ought to be singing?" Why exactly are these lyrics so dissimilar to ABBA's lyrics?! Some might even argue that the song lyrics from the past are actually more elementary that on this album. Maybe they are getting Agnetha confused with Bob Dylan? I also disagree with the points regarding Agnetha's voice "which is mostly buried by copious multi-tracking or is autotuned beyond recognition". There are a couple of tracks where the voice is layered to fit the production of the song, but on the vast majority of the album, Agnetha's voice is very clear indeed. It's one thing to have an opinion, but this Reviewer seems to have made several invalid observations. Shame, as it's the best CD I have heard in the last year at least.

I agree 100% with the writers before me: This so called review is far too cynical/sarcastic and is pure evidence of the incompetence of the "reviewer" ... There is no real observation but only disrespect. I'm afraid this was not only one bad day from Kieron Tyler - sadly ...

It is funny that guy talks about "forgettable melodies" because they keep pounding in my head all day. As for "auto-tuned beyond recognition"... maybe the secret is to know what her voice sounds like at all to be able to recognize it, which means: to know what you are talking about, maybe? Agnetha, singer from Abba, 40 years of career which started even before you were a spermatozoid, mwahahahaha !

"... autotuned beyond recognition" mwahahahaha ! Okay, try again, and listen to the album this time.

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