ABBA: Voulez-Vous – (RCA). By Derek Johnson

Agnetha has moved her sexiest bum in Europe to new pastures. Plastic Björn does the Swedish swing with someone else. Frida and Benny live in married bliss. Maybe they even babysit the new ABBA sprong while Agnetha and Björn taste the heady delights of being gay divorcees.

And meanwhile, there’s a new album. A new statement from a now “mature” group. Hoping to hit somewhere between the leaden adult music of The-Album and the creamy pop of Arrival. Do they succeed? Well, depends how you hear it. Voulez-Vous is either.

* More off-the-peg melody for today’s leisure-listening customer. Gruelling perfect, supremely synthetic.

* Another collection of magical hooks, this time accompanied by lyrics with more bite (sorry about the broken romance but at least it gave them something to say).

*A widening of horizons to include disco (Voulez-Vous), surer, more subtle shifts of vocal emphasis (Does Your Mother Know) and, at last, a return to slick pop (Angeleyes, Chiquitita, Kisses Of Fire).

* More stainless plastic from the corporation of the same name. Achieves total goo on I Have A Dream and The King Has Lost His Crown. If they’re so smart, how come The Ramones appear mental giants in comparison?

* While they continue to understand the appeal of Swedish women singing in English with very faint accents (distance lends enchainment) they’ll continue conquering the world. Transcribed for ABBA World

RAM (Australia) · 13 July 1979 (Page 28)

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