Agnetha Faltskog

Universal, 2013


REVIEW BY: Mark Millan


Agnetha Faltskog (or, “the blonde one from ABBA” as most would only know her as) has been unfairly labeled a recluse over the last couple of decades in the tabloid media, as obviously they have nothing much to write about anymore. But the truth is that since ABBA disbanded in 1983, Faltskog has released five albums and enjoyed some very impressive sales figures with each release. Her latest effort came out this year and is simply titled A. Although it was unplanned and she did have to be coerced into recording an entire album, this release carried on the theme of her solo work beautifully. 

Faltskog has one of pop music’s purest and most pitch-perfect voices, and as long as she has the right kind of material at hand, more often than not she is capable of turning out really blissful pop records. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 A just so happens to be another one of those well-crafted albums that compliment her sweet tones wonderfully well and is a nice mixture of dance tracks and soft, delicate ballads. The project was born when Jorgen Elofsson and Peter Nordahl contacted Agnetha through a mutual friend to ask her to listen to a few tracks that Elofsson had written and wanted to give to her. After loving the tracks, Faltskog agreed to let the pair produce her in recording an album of tracks written entirely by Elofsson, which eventually took place throughout 2012.

In doing press for A, Faltskog stated that her main concern was that at age sixty-three she may have lost too much of her vocal range to make a satisfying record. Well, she needn’t have worried because her voice sounds so sweet throughout the album as she shifts effortlessly between the ballads and the poppers. Of those poppers, the best of the bunch are the Euro-tastic “Dance Your Pain Away” and “Perfume In The Breeze,” which are great vehicles for Agnetha to show off her pop chops. Two of the most beautiful songs included here are the first two tracks of the album.

 Opener “The One Who Really Loves You” is very ABBA-esque right down to the piano intro and Agnetha’s layered vocal harmonies that recall her glory days wonderfully. The second track “When You Really Loved Someone” is the type of lost-love song that Faltskog can sing in her sleep, but her delivery is so emotive that it keeps the track in the right spot, never sounding sappy or insincere. Solid pop ballads like “I Was  A Flower” and the sublime “Past Forever” are full of emotion and are beautifully arranged, the latter featuring some glorious string accompaniment. 

“I Should Have Followed You Home” is a sweet duet, but I’m no fan of Faltskog’s chosen partner Gary Barlow; however, it fits in really well and her performance make it listenable – but only just. Far better is the closer “I Keep Them On The Floor Beside My Bed,” which is the first self-penned song Faltskog has released in over thirty years.

 It is a great way to bring to an end what was for me a surprisingly enjoyable album, and I hope it’s not the last we hear from that blonde chick from ABBA.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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