ABBA Returns With New Album Voyage


Courtesy of Baillie Walsh

Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus (left), Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson.

Ryan Batkay, Staff Writer

After a 40-year musical hiatus, the international smash hit band ABBA released its album, “Voyage,” on Nov. 5, 2021. The Swedish band, made up of two married, then divorced couples well into their seventies, has maintained its influence over each generation with its timeless musical hits. The new album continues the band’s legacy and disco-pop style that have kept fans invested for decades. 

Those who listened to ABBA in its prime could never have predicted that ABBA would be one of the groups that persisted into the next millennium, but it surely did. Being the best-selling Swedish band of all time and one of the best-selling bands from Europe of all time are not easy feats to achieve, but ABBA did both seamlessly. In the United Kingdom, ABBA even surpassed The Beatles back in 2013, having the second biggest-selling album of all time in the country. 

Part of the band’s everlasting success is due to the cultural influence of the movie franchise and Broadway musical, “Mamma Mia!” This jukebox musical had younger audiences falling in love with music previous partiers were dancing to. Hits like “Dancing Queen” and “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” are frequently played at modern venues and even now flood TikTok explore pages. 

With the release of “Voyage,” ABBA once again recharges its influence. The album features 10 brand new tracks, all continuing the classical style and keeping the disco style alive in the 2020s. Highlights on the album include single, “Don’t Shut Me Down,” which brings another high energy hit to the band’s discography, and “I Can Be That Woman,” a track that shows off a more mellow side of the band and reiterates the groups versatility. 

This album utilizes a Taylor Swift re-release concept to finally deliver old songs that never made it onto albums to fans. One song, “Just A Notion,” was recorded back in 1978 but was never released. This is extremely important, as fans who heard about this song back in the 70s can finally hear this much anticipated track. 

The harmonies, background vocals and instrumental sequences are so intrinsically ABBA that audiences immediately connect these new tracks with the band’s signature style. Revitalizing the disco-pop that once dominated the radio and music industry as a whole may naturally inspire some modern artists to adopt styles from that genre. It can be seen already with successful artists like Doja Cat and Conan Gray who integrate aspects of disco into their pop hits. The success and acclaim of both ABBA and modern artists by fans reveals this idea that audiences yearn for more of this music style. Fortunately for them, their wishes may be met if more artists recognize the ability of this market. 

Not only is this album bringing ABBA back into the forefront of music, but the group is even providing its fans with an incredibly unique concert experience. While four, 70-year-old Swedes are not totally physically able to perform, avatars will take their place with a 10-piece live band. This event will take place in spring 2022 in a custom-built arena in London, which will surely attract fans from all over the world. 

Depending on the success of the concert, American fans can hope that the concert will be brought across the Atlantic soon enough. This is also not where ABBA’s influence ends in terms of longevity. The director of the “Mamma Mia!” films has teased fans recently about the possibility of another sequel coming out in the near future. This will allow the band’s popularity and the fan’s love to grow even more.