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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Visitors

ABBA

1981

The Visitors

Album Summary

The Visitors is the eighth studio album by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was released on 30 November 1981. With The Visitors, ABBA took several steps away from the "lighter" pop music they had recorded previously and the album is often regarded as a more complex and mature effort. The opening track, "The Visitors", with its ominous synthesizer sounds and the distinctive lead vocal by Frida, announced a change in musical style. With Benny and Frida going their separate ways, the pain of splitting up was explored yet again in "When All Is Said and Done". The major hit single on the album, "One of Us", also depicted the end of a love story. Elsewhere there were Cold War themes—highly topical at the time—and further songs of isolation and regret. The Visitors was one of the first records ever to be digitally recorded and mixed, as well as one of the earliest in history to be pressed on the CD format in 1982 as, in terms of commercial release dates, it was predated by the Japanese release of Billy Joel's 52nd Street. The Visitors has been reissued in digitally remastered form four times—first in 1997, then in 2001, again in 2005 as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set and most recently in 2012. The Visitors Deluxe Edition was released on 23 April 2012. As with previous releases in the Deluxe Edition series, this version offered a DVD of archive material along with CD bonus tracks – including the demo medley "From a Twinkling Star to a Passing Angel", the first previously-unreleased ABBA recordings since 1994.For four decades, The Visitors stood as ABBA's last studio album, until the release of their 2021 album, Voyage.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.16

Votes

4748

Genres

  • Pop
Reviews
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5

“The Visitors” by ABBA (1981)   This one stopped me in my tracks. I was predisposed to dismiss ABBA as mindless pop (which is not to say I haven’t listened to “ABBA Gold” countless times). But this album is much better than I expected.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of silliness in the arranging. It’s still ABBA. But this collection demonstrates a maturity in their musical sense that is more fitting for their undeniable vocal talents. Here we have pioneering digital recording with tasteful backing instrumentals, making good use of ‘instants of silence’ that have now become commonplace in recorded music. Full use of 32-track mixing.  And the vocal arrangements for which ABBA became famous (or infamous) now display a willingness to step outside the conventional. Moreover, the lyrics reflect depth, cultural sensitivity, and insight into horrifying geopolitical realities—from a Swedish [!] perspective. It gets better the more I listen.  For an example of ABBA’s insight into the international scene: “The album's title track [“The Visitors”], according to [ABBA songwriter] Ulvaeus, refers to the ‘secret meetings’ held against the approval of totalitarian governments in Soviet-dominated states.”  [Wikipedia, “ABBA”] Poland? East Germany? Czechoslovakia? Hungary? Puppets of the Soviet KGB were ”The Visitors”. And they were not amused by your ‘secret meetings’. So musically, is this how it felt in 1981 when the Stasi came around?  (Or the FBI after you used a credit card to make a 1/6/21 trip to D.C.?) And the fourth track, “Soldiers” gives evidence of a political awareness that is apt for 1981–a moment in time when the less powerful western European nations began to tell the bullying Soviet Union “Enough is enough”. With the 1989 destruction of the Berlin Wall, this crisis had a temporarily good outcome before it got screwed up again in the early 21st century, but it’s inspiring nostalgia nonetheless. “‘Cause if the bugler starts to play, we too must dance.”  NATO was not then a paper tiger, even if it seems to be today. I wonder if Taiwan has a ‘pop’ group like ABBA . . . [Full disclosure: This reviewer is a veteran of the Cold War.] Less politically, the verses in “I Let the Music Speak” have melodic lines with difficult vocal intervals, skillfully executed by lead singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad, with extraordinarily creative orchestral arrangement.  Theatrical, transcendent, sweeping.  “One of Us” is a well developed song of sadness, anticipating and executing the end of a failed relationship. The third listen brought a tear. Is the “us” the man and the woman, or the two persons within the woman?  You tell me.  “Two for the Price of One” is back to more gimmicky ABBA silliness, with a hilarious ending that can be taken in more ways than one, which adds to the humor.  And anyone who’s raised a child will be drawn in to “Slipping Through My Fingers”.  “Like an Angel Passing Through My Room” is simply beautiful—melancholic, evocative, poetic, symphonic, expansive. It is reportedly the inspiration for the cover art.  I’m going to stop writing now, and just listen.  5/5

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5

There are two types of people in the world. Those who love ABBA, and those who pretend they don’t love ABBA. I thought I was in the latter category, but this album makes me think I’m in the former. This is the first album of theirs that I listened to fully, not just the hits. I have to say it’s fantastic. I would love to listen to this again at some point.

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2

Opzich wel een goed album van ABBA, maar toch wel een hoog boomer gehalte

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2

I think I managed 4 songs before the wave of pop nausea overcame me. Like aural Kendal Mint Cake.

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5

My favorite ABBA album thank youuuuu

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4

I never give ABBA enough credit and dismissed them because they are so popular. But they are popular for a reason.

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4

I like this less than Arrival, but I really love Abba so I'm having a great time.

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4

ABBA write some of the best pop songs out there

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4

Pop de Abba. A veces parece un músical.

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3

Don't think I've heard a whole ABBA album before, only heard the singles. The first track is very different from what I'm used to from them and I really like it. Almost like a Gary Numan feel to it at points. Second track kinda breaks the mood and is closer to what I'd expect. The slight Swedish accent is kinda endearing. Very clean and spacious sounding. As this is goes on, nothing is living up to the promise of the first track and it kinda goes downhill for me. "Two for the price of one" is a runner up though. Listening to the deluxe edition and I definitely like some of the b-side bonus tracks more than most of the album tracks, especially "I am the city" and "you owe me one" - way more fun and infectious.

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3

Tried listening to this objectively rather than just dismissing as int'l pop. First, the synths for 1981 are excellent! It's hard to put in context that synths didn't really penetrate pop music until the very late 70s and early 80s. Even then, they were mainly reserved for Prog Rock and Punk/New Wave. ABBA's earlier albums were more BeeGees disco, while this sounds more like Ultravox's Vienna. So, credit goes to ABBA for bringing 70s soft rock together with disco beats and polyphonic synths. Some experimentation with genres here and there. Harmonies are strong. Melodies and lyrics are often cheeky, but let's give them the benefit of singing in a second-language. Never heard "One of Us," which is the most played song on Spotify. I'll chalk that up to the continental listeners. Only song I recognized was "Cassandra," and that's fairly complex with almost a waltz beat. So this one doesn't have all the popular hits, but maybe that's why I liked it a bit more than I had expected.

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2

It was pretty much over for ABBA by 1981, and this album doesn't do anything to dispute that fact. They seem to just be going through the motions at times. The magic of "Dancing Queen" is but a memory. "One Of Us" is the only real standout here, and it just underlines the fact that both couples, along with the band, were no more.

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2

ABBA is definitely not in my wheelhouse. Was kind of dreading this. Then I heard the synths at the beginning of the first song and started reading the wiki article that this was a change in direction for them. That gave me some hope that it might be more interesting... but no, it's still syrupy sweet pop music. I mean, it's not unlistenable and I can appreciate that it might be perfect pop music for some people. It's just really not for me. "I Let the Music Speak" was particularly difficult to get through. So slick and overproduced. At least it was only 37 minutes long. But this isn't offensive to me. ABBA are what they are and they have no pretensions about being a pure pop group. A 1 for me personally but bumping up to a 2 in recognition that this is really just not my type of music and it's probably not that bad.

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2

One stand out track. Poor album. Not worthy of the list.

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5

Definitely not what I expected, much sweeter and passionate tone than a lot of abba stuff because it feels more personal

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5

Una ópera pop en donde todo te suena, porque los has escuchado por todas partes sin darte ni cuenta. Qué sería de todos nosotros sin ABBA...

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5

ABBA 4 lyfe

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5

ABBA bringing me all the feels.

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5

One of the better ABBA albums, but it may be because I just like ABBA. I might be biased because I'm gay, but it's just one of those things. I love how the album comes together and her voice is something that I can never turn down. The orchestral touches to this album are also quite nice. Highlights: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8.

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5

It's just more ABBA. Which is a great thing in of itself. There's really not much to complain about in this album as it's a fantastic pop album. It's got a nice, powerful bass and synth chords that'll make you swoon. In addition, classic ABBA chorus is there. Favorite track: The Visitors

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5

Perfect album if you discount 'One of Us'

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5

Clean, pop perfection.

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5

I fuckin love ABBA

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5

This would've been the perfect swan song had ABBA not made a comeback this year. Easily their best album

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5

Already listened to this album in full before. I enjoyed it a lot but there are some tracks that I don't revisit as much. My favourites are Head Over Heels, One Of Us, When All Is Said and Done, Slipping Through My Fingers and The Day Before You Came. 4.5/5 stars but will bump it up to a 5.

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5

I'm so happy this is on the list! Anyone who thinks they know ABBA and haven't heard THE VISITORS have missed a major part of the ABBA story. This was their last album before their long hiatus. It was crafted as their group and their relationships were coming apart. Through it all every song sparkles with incredible craftsmanship, creativity and variety. The cover art shows the group dramatically shadowed entirely separate staring in different directions. It's a dramatic cover and a clear signal that this album will be a bit different... and maybe signaled their breakup to come. From the first notes breaking into pulsing synthesizers and Frida's dramatic delivery there is a clear change in tone over previous ABBA releases. I still get chills hearing it. "The Visitors" is a driving, paranoid opening with a great beat. ABBA can paint detailed, interesting images and tell such vivid stories in their songs, and “Head Over Heels” is one of many examples of this. "When All Is Said And Done" brings the breakups the group were navigating at the time to the surface. It's a great song that captures a level of maturity we should all strive for when our relationships end. "Soldiers" addresses the seriousness of war and is one of my favorite songs on the album. "Soldiers write the songs that soldiers sing the songs that you and I don't sing." This remains a bit too applicable to the 21st century filled with war that went on for decades while most of us paid little attention. "I Let The Music Speak" is a tribute that shows the appreciation of music itself, a subject ABBA visits often. This song clearly foreshadows later work Benny and Bjorn would do writing the musical Chess. "One Of Us" is a heartbreaking song of the ambivalence that accompanies breakups made even more impactful when considering the circumstances of the group performing it. Such a powerful expression of regret. Things get a little lighter with "Two for the Price of One" where ABBA shows off their cheekier side in the story of a lonely man who answers an ad and gets more than he bargained for. Another exceptionally crafted song that tells a fun, delightful story. "Slipping Through My Fingers" beautifully captures the feelings of a parent seeing their daughter grow up. Really amazing song. "Like an Angel Passing Through My Room" is the last song on the original album and is a beautiful, meditative, wistful ending to the album. I love this song so much. The extra tracks released over the years have been a treat, some of them better than others. "Should I Laugh Or Cry", "Cassandra", "Under Attack", and "The Day Before You Came" are among my favorites of the new tracks. They've been some sustenance over the years... I also enjoyed the inclusion of "From A Twinkling Star To A Passing Angel" on the Deluxe Edition that gives a peek into the evolution of a song. For newcomers, though, the album has more impact with its original ending. I have loved Abba since buying the Super Trouper album back in 1981 and remained a huge fan even as most of the world moved on. Abba has created some of the greatest pop music ever so it is a great relief that they are represented on this list. There are still plenty of music snobs who ignorantly dismiss ABBA without ever considering the intricacy of their arrangements or the emotional depth in these songs. I'm glad to see much of that has faded away. For me personally this is a particularly special opportunity to opine on THE VISITORS as part of this project a week before the release of their next new studio album - 40 years later! I am thrilled to share my deep feelings for this album knowing that this isn't their last and that ABBA will continue to enrich us with new music.

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5

I am a fan of ABBA, and I wasn't actually familiar with this album. I loved it...A LOT!

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5

The first cassette I ever bought for my new tape recorder was ABBA Greatest Hits Vol. 2 with money from Christmas 1979 in 6th grade. My mom helped me pick it out. I listened to it a billion times as I couldn't afford many other tapes and thus ABBA was my jam. When "The Visitors" came out in 1981 no expense was spared and I excitedly bought the new album (on cassette, of course). I remember being taken aback somewhat by the different tone of this music, which was a little less infectious than the compilation. The opening title track had a long, moody introduction, for example...but then 2 minutes in...oh yeah! Like a number of the songs on this album it has a cool build-up and transition. "When All is Said and Done" is a favorite and is the song that sounds the most classic ABBA, maybe, despite its theme of maturity (they were more than 15 years younger than I am now when they recorded it. Dang.) For forty years I've thought the voice on the phone in "Two for the Price of One" said "Al is waiting." It's still a fun song, nevertheless. Having listened to this album over and over in my youth, there's no way I can't love the whole thing to this day.

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5

holy shit, it’s been a while since I’ve heard an album where EVERY song slaps like a mother fucker this is a 12 out of 10, it’s honestly beyond perfect, good fucking golly

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5

I think I only knew ABBA's hits, so I thought of them as super poppy, sing-along band, but still very talented. This was unexpected and such an enjoyable listen.

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5

What a vibe. So many great songs on here with a good variety of moods.

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5

Great album, full of hidden gems.

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5

idk yet

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5

Great!

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5

look, i wore out my parents' CD copy of Gold like any obliviously queer teenager, but damn, i've been missing out on a whole discography!

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5

A ABBA album that, despite lacking huge hits and being less light in terms of lyrical content, still entertains massively and doesn't have a bad song over a great runtime of just shy of 40 minutes They never fail to bring good mood and cheer up

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5

This was surprisingly really good. I've never been a big fan of ABBA but this a major departure from their previous work.

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5

Pop perfection. I simply did not want this album to end. I'm a sucker for a good melody, and boy did this record deliver that in spades.

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5

This album is incredible. Very layered and catchy. I highly recommend it.

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5

ABBA seems only capable of doing one type of sound but that sound is wonderful.

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5

This album is so great! It really holds up!

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5

If there's one thing I know about music, it's that I fucking love Abba.

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5

abba's music is beautiful! i suppose this album isn't considered as good as their other albums, but i fell deeply in love with this album. it has everything from tender songs to their signature fun, pop-y songs. "one of us," a deeply autobiographical track, hurts me even as i sing along. "head over heels" is such a standout that it's shocking it flopped as a single. with every listen, i loved this more and more. easily five stars, with the hope more abba is on this list of albums.

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5

I love this album. For four decades it was ABBA's swan song and it is fantastic. Such great tunes. When All Is Said And Done is my favourite ABBA song.

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5

When All Is Said And Done, Cassandra, . The Day Before You Came

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5

Was sceptical about late model ABBA but this was an easy five stars. Would love to see a theatrical adaptation of this, seems very well suited to the stage. Moody and eccentric with some interesting song concepts

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5

Man, I was not familiar with ABBA's post-disco sound. This was fun!

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5

Going into this I thought this would be some shitty juvenile stereotypical synth pop, I've already heard all the praise for ABBA, but this is actually quite mature. Though this spotify link sends you to a quieter version of the song, so idk which version to listen, I went with the quieter version. I HATE IT SO MUCH IF THERE ARE MULTIPLE VERSIONS. Ok actually this is really good, idk if I should give it a 5/5 or a 4/5, maybe I'll be generous. Fuck it I'm generous. 5/5, it's a very mature and sad album. It shows the band breaking up and is a fitting end. Sike, most fans said in 2021. Yeah, 5/5.

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5

always a favorite

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5

Class

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5

I literally grew up on Mama Mia. I have loved ABBA since I was a tiny child. There are very few songs that make me shiver and Head Over Heels has now been added to that list.

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4

1/22 Swedish "Devotion." Standout Tracks: When All Is Said And Done, I Let The Music Speak, Two For The Price Of One, Like An Angel Passing Through My Home

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4

Actually pretty good, I didn't know I could enjoy the overhyped ABBA

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4

Decent, not my type of music tho

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4

I like this album more than I thought I would. 4 stars

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4

I had no idea whether to rate this a 3 or a 4- The Visitors is a great opening track, and honestly I enjoy the most of the A Side? B Side not as much. I feel like it's the low-end of 4, but yeah, fuck it, I'll give it a 4!

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4

Even on an album where it's a complete body of work, they can still write absolute rockets. 'One of us' is officially my fave ABBA tune. Wow, what a feeling listening to this band.

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4

Erittäin positiivinen kokemus. Mielikuvat ABBA:sta koostui lähinnä puhkikuulluista hittibiiseistä, mutta nämä vähemmän tunnetut biisithän toimii oikein mainiosti. Levyn hitti One Of Us on myös eräs niistä vähemmän ärsyttävistä hittibiiseistä. Tätä tulee kuunneltua toistekin.

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4

I hadn't heard this particular ABBA before, but I'm into it!

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4

I love ABBA, but I've only ever heard the greatest hits. Super fun to explore an album, and it ROCKS!

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4

More depth than I expected; will have to revisit.

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4

abba is way better than i thought

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4

The birth of pop

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4

I honestly liked this way more than I expected to.

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4

Great

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4

Reminds me of Maddy strongly. 'One of Us'

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4

enjoyable.

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4

Yeah so a bit of Belgium craic I got really blocked with my mates a few weeks ago and did Slipping Through my Fingers on karaoke

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4

Abba goes nu-wave

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4

I love ABBA

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4

Listened to it off and on all day. The right vibe for just about anything.

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4

Only listened to one song, it was good.

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4

Geen nummers van ABBA die ze vaak op de radio spelen. Maar wel heel herkenbare sound. Heb er wel van genoten

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4

Nooit gedacht dat ik een volledig ABBA album leuk zou vinden.

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4

A B B A ! ! !

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4

I already know ABBA, there were less knnown songs, which I also enjoyed.

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4

This album, by Swedish Pop Sensation ABBA, is amazing, as all ABBA albums are!

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4

Not my favorite ABBA album but...it's still ABBA so 4 stars it is!

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4

Album Song Ranking: Should I Laugh Or Cry Slipping Through My Fingers (H.M.) Under Attack I Let The Music Speak (H.M.) The Day Before You Came (H.M.) Like An Angel Passing Through My Room The Visitors Soldiers When All Is Said And Done One Of Us Head Over Heels Cassandra Two For The Price Of One Additional Comments: This album was hard to rank. I really enjoyed it overall. The first half I didn't enjoy as much as I did with the second half, but it definitely left a mark on me. Very nostalgic and overall great album.

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4

At first I thought "second ABBA album this month, basically no hits again...", but this is amazing.

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4

darker abba? don't mind if I do

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4

For an album that has zero ABBA songs I've heard before, it was pretty good.

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4

Enjoyed this album more than I expected.

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4

A different sound for ABBA but the same result. Good stuff.

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4

I NEVER thought I’d vibe with an ABBA album this much, but alas this thing is great. Best song is that first tracks so good

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4

Party disco. Absolutely.

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4

I dig this. ABBA pretty consistently delivers and this is no exception. It's definite '80s glorious synth-cheese.

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4

it's pretty good

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4

Pop perfection.

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4

Great sad album, Dancing Queen this most certainly isn't.

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4

Abba is een van mijn all-time favoriete bands. Ik weet dat sommige mensen het zo ontzettend gay vinden, maar het is gewoon vrolijke no-nonsende muziek die verdomd goed in elkaar zit. Dan nu het "The Visitors" album ... Heel leuke elektronische snufjes in de liedjes, maar de echte Abba feel-good sound mis ik toch af en toe. Waarschijnlijk ook omdat de relatie niet meer zo goed was destijds. Het nummer "Two For The Price Of One" is het nieuwe pareltje dat ik dan toch weer ontdekt heb. ****

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4

Absolutely solid, Abba have undeniable songwriting skills shown throughout this album

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4

ABBA is amazing. Hands down. Known as their last released album, it went a different direction from their poppier, earlier stuff. But it was still artistically done with that amazing ABBA feel. An awesome album.

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4

Amazing. Couldn’t believe how much I loved this album.

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4

I actually enjoyed this, I was dreading it.

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4

Solid variety of style and themes but front heavy with the hits. Some experimental sounds and voice effects feel appropriate for the early eighties. They deliver upbeat as well as anyone but had some solid slower/reflective jams to. The visitors, head over heels, when all is said and done, soldiers, one of us. 3.5

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4

Great first half, weaker second. Still very enjoyable.

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4

You can't really get better than ABBA for pure pop perfection. No one has come close to touching what they created, even as pop styles continue to change. Nowadays you need a team of producers and auto-tuning to sound half as wonderful as they do, while ABBA just makes it sound so effortless. ABBA is always such a joy to listen to and this album is no exception. The songwriting is a bit more mature, along with a shift in musical style befitting a change of decade. The vocals are absolutely angelic. The arrangements are melodic and elegant. Musically, the vibe here is crisp and clear, very much in line with what was going on in the early 80s, maybe even a little ahead of the game. This album is a deep dive for anyone who hasn't gone further than the ABBA Gold hits, but what an enjoyable dive it is. It's unfortunate that songs this wonderful aren't more widely known. Fave Songs: The Day Before You Came, Cassandra, Under Attack, The Visitors

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4

I wasn't familiar with any of these songs but I thought this was a great album. Dramatic and interesting.

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4

I wasn’t sure at first but I do like this album. Bit more theatrical than their other stuff. Enjoyed Soldiers, slipping through my fingers

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4

I liked it, odd that I’ve heard almost none of this one. Wouldn’t call myself an ABBA fan exactly but it’s been around. It’s a good listen

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4

This was fun. Mostly these are songs I either don't know at all or don't know well. Stand-outs were the catchy, danceable title track and the theatrical I Let the Music Speak, a glimpse into what B&B had in store with the musical Chess (which I love). I didn't find much else that was very distinctive on this album but even a run-of-the-mill ABBA song is nice to listen to. I listened to the Deluxe edition with seven additional songs. I don't feel like those added much. A friend mentioned that he liked how the original album ended so I listened again, stopping at the end of Like an Angel Passing Through My Room, and I totally agree: that's how the album should end. There've been a lot of albums in this project where the version I find streaming is a Deluxe version and that's clearly not always good --- it matters how an album starts and ends and what order the songs play. This is a reminder to try to find the original version whenever I can.

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4

The more I hear this album (over the years), the fonder I get of it. Interesting part for me is with the tracks, midway the general tone changes, and I think about how vinyl LPs were the main distribution medium back then, the A-sides/B-sides. I wonder how much the distribution medium influences the end product... and how well that translates to 21st century music streaming.

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4

ABBA always sounds like they are having fun, which I love.

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4

Perfect for a grey dreary day.

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4

Similar tone across songs, always upbeat. Classic

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4

4/5

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4

I can't keep on giving ABBA 5, but it's so tempting.

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4

Holy fucking shit The Visitors (song) is fantasmagoric! It’s so good, it almost ruined this album for me. No joke. The rest of the album is a let down from this track and it skewed my overall opinion downward. I re-listened to the album starting from Head Over Heels (track 2) and then added The Visitors to the end. A marked improvement psychologically. I totally understand why it’s the first track because it was the first thing one hears when playing the LP and people couldn’t skip around like we can today. They wanted to hook the listener from the get go. I hearby officially petition the next re-release of this album (it would be the 5th release) to consist of the original album, starting from Head Over Heels, and put The Visitors last. What a fucking way to end an album! The Visitors (song) reminds me of Goldfrapp’s Head First album, which by the way also kicks some major ass. Hellyeah! The rest of the The Visitors (album) is solid, other than I Let the Music Speak, but not elite. On their own, tracks 2-9 would be borderline 3-4 star.

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4

They sound a bit tired here. Everything is mid-tempo, a little sad and gloomy. But there are still enough flashes of the old magic to make this one worth a listen, even if it doesn't feel like the pop juggernaut of old.

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4

ABBA! There is so much range in this album. "Slipping Through My Fingers" still makes me cry sometimes thinking about my relationship with my mom :') Other favorite tracks: The Day Before You Came, Cassandra

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4

Visitor? I hardly know her!

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4

Very attractive sounding album, with some sweet melodies and creative lyrics (even if they're all about the same thing; dysfunctional relationships). Great record, but not the best collection of songs that ABBA had to offer.

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4

Underrated album but the greatest pop band in history

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4

love the visitors, should i laugh or cry and two for the price of one

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4

"Late-era" ABBA is kind of an enigma to me (and also not so late era now!). Lacks the hits and compulsive singalong quality of early ABBA, but they make up for it with rich melodies and complex beats. I'll take it!

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4

Identifying ABBA : it’s ABBA! Couple of hits and a whole Scandinavian easy listening experience

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4

I only casually knew Abba. Turns out I like them. This was a fun album and their vocals and music were great.

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4

This is another one I didn't expect to enjoy but did. ABBA are a hit or miss singles band to me but this album of theirs turned out to be halfway decent.

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4

Classic Abba with an 80s twist. Somehow it seems darker than their earlier work, with no clear mega hit, but it still provides that punch of top notch pop songwriting and production.

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4

Not got all the bangers but a couple!

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4

Not being an ABBA fan, I was pleasantly surprised by this album. No major hits here, but some enjoyable toe tapping pop, albeit sometimes a little overcooked, from a band with swagger and confidence. The opening and title track has some cool futuristic synth sounds with a pulsing beat, One of Us has a peculiar reggae sound which they just about get away with and Two for the Price of One - well I’m still working out what the track is about but I defy you not to sing along to the chorus by the end. A fun album.

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4

Much better than expected.

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4

very good album with interesting sounds.

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4

A weird pick for ABBA. This is one of their less popular ones with none of the big hits. But of course it's still good. My own mother would disown me if I spoke ill of this band. "Head Over Heels" and "One Of Us" are the standout tracks for me. The lyrics are darker than your usual happy poppy ABBA - both of the couples making up the band broke up, they were getting tired of working together and it's the Cold War. It made sense as their swan song. Until 2021. Haven't heard that new album yet. Heard it's nothing special.

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4

It feels wrong saying it, bit ABBA are a really enjoyable listen. Wouldn't add anything off this to their greatest hits, but did quite like "I Let the Music Speak" and "Slipping Through my Fingers".

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4

Rather somber for being ABBA, which considering the timing of this album it is not too surprising, but the music is still quite good. I think I enjoyed the darker tracks more than the typical poppy style ones, but I can't say I disliked any of it. Unfortunately only a few tracks that really are worth coming back to, though. 7/10

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4

Somehow I've never listened to ABBA, at least aside from the hits that we all know by heart against our will. This is really solid though, I did know a single song going in but I enjoyed quite a few. It's mostly good old-fashioned pop music, technically sound and often very catchy, and there's even some wildcard songs on here too. That kind of departure is always welcome in my eyes. I think the whole cult surrounding Mamma Mia had me avoiding ABBA like the plague, but I'm glad to announce that I think they're actually a good band and I no longer harbor any ill will toward them. In fact, I wouldn't mind another album. Favorite tracks: Under Attack, One of Us, The Visitors, I Let the Music Speak. Album art: I assume this is the band, scattered in a fancy art gallery type office. Their separation is telling because I think this was ABBA's last album for a while (40 years to be exact). Great shadows too, I like this one. 4/5 Favorite tracks:

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4

You have to love a bit of ABBA. Make sure to listen to the deluxe/extended version, the extra B-sides are actually some of the best material somehow.

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4

ABBA is pretty great and there were a lot of songs on this album I hadn't heard before. Not their biggest hits and a little bit more of a serious tone than their usual stuff. "Two For The Price Of One" brought back a bunch memories. I haven't thought about that song in a while but I listened to it all the time as a kid. Would not have been able to tell you who sings it before hearing it again on this listen.

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4

Not every track stands the test of time, but those that do are still outstanding!

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4

5/6/2022 - ALBUM #99 Today's Album: "The Visitors" by Abba - Abba is one of those bands for me that I never got into, but knew that as soon as I did I would probably dig it a lot. I knew the style of some of their bigger hits and just figured they were a pop band with great vocals and a soft-rock twist, but this album demonstrates some real song-writing maturity and has a lot of highlights. I think if there is one problem I have with this album, other than some songs just not peaking my interest as much as other, it would probably be with the overall flow of the record. I think the first track is pretty mediocre compared to a lot of the killer hits we get deeper into the record, and although I really like the closing track, it doesn't feel like a conclusion as much as just another one of the hits that they just happened to place at the end. It fades out in this really cheesy way that feels like it should be closer to the middle of the track list and it just sort of left an inconclusive feeling. Other than that, though, there are so many amazing tracks where the band is laying down an absolutely killer groove with lots of synths and electronic flourishes and the vocalists always giving top notch performances all around. I really like the track Two For The Price Of One. The groove is super funky, the chorus is absolute ear candy, and the vocal harmonies are absolutely beautiful. Like I said before, some tracks do sort of drag and really don't warrant their inclusion and given the 53 minute runtime of this project, all of them could have been removed and it still would have been a full length LP, but I really enjoy a lot of cuts on here and I would absolutely come back to this album. Overall, it's a really pleasant listen and was a great way to introduce me to Abba. Listen to this one if you aren't quite sold on Abba yet and I think you'll find they're pretty dang good. Highlights: Head Over Heels, When All Is Said And Done, Soldiers, I Let The Music Speak, One Of Us, Two For The Price Of One, Slipping Through My Fingers, Should I Laugh Or Cry, The Day Before You Came, Under Attack Score: 7/10 A bunch of great hits, but some minor pacing issues.

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4

Interesting

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4

Pop de Abba. A veces parece un músical. Un 4.

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4

Excellent mostly

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4

Un très bon moment passé en la compagnie d'ABBA, j'ai notamment adoré trois moments: - la démonstration de saut à la perche de Vianney - l'entrée du lanceur de couteaux dans la salle de tournage - le cache cache avec Laurent Baffie Un épisode à mettre entre toutes les mains.

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4

sometimes dramatic, sometimes nearly serene, always ketchy. but no dancing queen, 0/10.

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4

Pretty good. Cringe review :(

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4

Nah cause why is this so good. Everything is so catchy and well done.

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4

Very good. Good balance of songs. Upbeat and slower

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4

Poppy, but too much

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4

Molto ABBA, non male

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4

It's abba lol

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4

several classic ABBA songs

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4

What was, until Voyage forty years later, the last curtain call for ABBA remains a masterclass in bowing out with grace and integrity without looking and sounding as if they're running on fumes. The Visitors will always be ABBA's gloomiest album, as encapsulated by the spaces inhabited in the album cover by the once happily in love, now separated duos of Agnetha and Björn and Anni-Frid and Benny and the topics of the songs being sung for the first and, perhaps, only time. The Visitors shall be welcome without prejudices and fear, they shall do as they please and leave you wondering how they'd remain silent, having allowed the music to speak, for over forty years. Favorites: The Visitors, Head Over Heels, When All is Said and Done, Soldiers, I Let the Music Speak, One of Us, Two for the Price of One, Slipping Through My Fingers, Under Attack.

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4

Abba, perfect pop songs and beautiful harmonies. 😍

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4

Super based album. Much better than the usual ABBA fare. This is going into my regular rotation.

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4

Jedan od najboljih njihovih albuma.

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4

Yeah this is a fun album. Classic remnants of the 70s/disco/OG ABBA sounds carrying over but introducing the new cheesy vocal arrangement starting to become popular in the 80s. One Of Us is a great highlight of the fantastic bass work by Rutger Gunnarsson. I am glad to have gotten this one under my belt. It's a unique pivot from their preceding albums, and definitely not in a negative way. Everybody loves the hits but this album encapsulates the band fairly well. The closing track Under Attack is a fitting way to end as it touches on the classic poppy sound we want in ABBA, hooking you into exploring the rest of their discography.

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4

So fun, easy listening, some songs sound quite #phantomoftheopera-esque

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4

These aren't the songs you'll see being sung on Greek islands, but they are about girls getting out and getting it. Love.

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4

Great vocal group, upbeat energy

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4

Weirdly was in an ABBA mood before getting this despite not listening to them for years. Their hits are usually good but can be too happy, poppy, and slightly annoying to listen to reguarly. So getting an album with dark, introspective, somber and melancholy lyrics with some intriguing instrumentals caught me by surprise. The title track was a great start and didn't get eclipsed until One Of Us, although the songs in between were still good despite having a bit of that overbearing shininess. The final two tracks of the original release were a dark note to end on but left a memorable impact. The b sides and the 1982 singles were good too, Under Attack being the highlight. If you're not a fan of ABBA, this is probably going to be either the album that cements your distate, or gives you enough insight and appreciation to know how great they were/are. I'm definitely in that second camp.

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4

If you’re expecting another ABBA album for your nights of partying, you’re sorely mistaken. Like the title suggests, this feels like an alien that tries to blend in with the ABBA discography - in the best way possible. I mean, who would’ve thought of an ABBA record containing lyrics about nuclear war in 6/4 and strong Cold War references? While not being their most catchy album it is by far the most interesting album by the group and it solidifies Andersson and Ulvaeus’ exceptional songwriting partnership.

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4

A refreshing departure from the usual radio-friendly disco tracks which catapulted ABBA into music stardom. Everything is still thoroughly composed on the album, but the tracks seem to have more air to breathe and space to develop in. The songwriting is of course extraordinary with the title track providing a strong start while warning the listener that this is not your usual ABBA endeavor. Good stuff.

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4

This album was more interesting than I expected. Though the disco groove was present, the music itself was more mature and the lyrics dealt with Cold War issues the dissolution of relationships, which was reflected in the band itself.

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4

The first album on here I've actually heard all the way through before this when I was going through all of ABBA's discography, but I'll listen to it again to freshen up my opinions. While not my favorite ABBA album, it is certainly up there. It's such a change up from usual tone of an album by the group, being far more open to minor keys and more "darker" subjects (not that the album is deeply psychological or anything), and I think it benefits from it. It certainly has that "final album" feel to it, which is why their new album, Voyage, is such a huge disappointment to me. Head Over Heels is a huge standout to me, which seems to not be the most popular song on here judging from other reviews, but I see it as a top five ABBA song easily. It's an album that shows ABBA is capable of a lot more than just generic pop like many seem to think it is. You can especially tell in the reviews who didn't bother to listen to the album (why bother rating it?) and who did. Oh well, very enjoyable. Perhaps not as good as I remember overall, as I don't return to listening to songs off this album as much as stuff like Voulez Vous, but still good.

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4

ABBA's final album does not disappoint, with infectious rhythms and catchy hooks that make you want to dance, regardless of your attitude.

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3

Pretty decent to be fair. Don't think I'll go back to it.

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3

Good old reliable ABBA. Disco/dance from yesteryear.

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3

Decent enough. Missing the real bangers though.

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3

Not a fan of the “ensemble” types

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3

There are like 4 songs I know from ABBA and they were not in this album which I found very surprising. The album is OK, not my cup of tea but I enjoyed it.

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3

Wtf I like boys now

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3

Not one I’d normally listen to, but it was listenable

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3

unknown songs, familiar sound. harmony

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3

I really don't know Abba, but this album was actually pretty happy and sounded OK??? I wouldn't listen to it on my own, but I can see why people would like it. I was doing cheesy dance moves/swaying cause it just pushed me to. It's so earnest and so 80s. It also sounds very theatrical. I am kind of surprised by some of the songs like "I Let The Music Speak", it sounds like it's made for a play. Fun fact: The Visitors was one of the first records ever to be recorded and mixed digitally, and also one of the earliest in history to be pressed on the CD format in 1982. They sure do like their harmonies.

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3

The ABBA concept album? This one makes me want to get all meta about this listening project in general but I'm resisting. And maybe that's the most meta response of all?

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3

It was all right. One of Us is a true banger

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3

Great! I mean I had hesitation even though I know their hits. Will listen again!

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3

After listening to this album my feelings about ABBA remain neutral.

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3

This album is…strange? It’s almost got a feel like a musical.

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3

Un rato ameno

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3

they let the music speak allright but for to much loooong...

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3

Some songs are very catchy (particulary Heads over Heels), but overall the album is average. Not worth listening it all

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3

I enjoyed this more than Arrival. Glad I checked it out.

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3

Abba innit. Can't give less than 3

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3

ABBAkin pääsi yllättämään positiivissävytteisesti: ei ollutkaan pelkkää mamma mia -musikaalia, euroviisujytää tai mammojen voimabailubiisejä. Perusvarmalla suorituksella kolmosta kehiin!

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3

ABBA oli luokalla se, kuka oli aina positiivinen, kaikkien ystävä ja kävi koulun jälkeen auttamassa mummoja ostosten kanssa. Tykkäsin erityisesti levyn nimikkobiisistä. Hyvä levy, vaikka tuskin ikinä tämän pariin palaankaan.

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3

Bien, pero sin más

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3

I like Abba, but this album felt a little flat.

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3

meh

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3

3.5/5 it was interesting, relisten

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3

Unmistakably ABBA, but with added melancholy and more Chess-style orchestration.

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3

I'm not a huge ABBA listener but I respect their well crafted pop music. Great pop is like candyfloss - sweet, bright, satisfying, and capable of transporting you back to a carefree time. Now this particular album is their mature one, which contains none of the big hits and has a sombre, brooding feel. The music is good, the songwriting pretty consistent. It sounds good. But does anyone want grownup candyfloss? This isn't what most people are looking for when they listen to ABBA. I'm glad they made this album, but I'd still much rather turn to the catchier, poppier albums earlier in their career. 3.5

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3

Of course only familiar with the singles so this was something of surprise. Strong songwriting and production as expected but little that stood out. At times it teetered on musical theatre.

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3

I mean, it's good, not their best

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3

It's nice.

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3

I really enjoy tracks with dark lyrics that sound happy, and there are two great ones on this album. Unfortunately, when you have a 9 track album, you can't afford to put 3 or 4 stinkers on there. Too up and down. Best track: One of Us

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3

Solid Swedish pop.

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3

Not the greatest ABBA album by any stretch of the imagination but it has it's moments. Strays a little too far from their signature disco/pop sound and never quite hits the same heights of those earlier records.

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3

more complex and experimental than their other albums

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3

Nothing particularly wrong with this album. No hits from this one, and it might be interesting to revisit if you are interested in early 80s electronicia. It’s a pass from me, there are far better songs in ABBAs catalogue.

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3

Valeu pela experiência de não reconhecer nenhuma música. Não teve nenhum dos grandes hits, e serviu para querer escutar as versões do foo fighters

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3

Disco pop. Melódico. Un poco aburrido.

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3

Never listened to ABBA before but this was a little darker than I expected. Pretty good!

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3

That's some ABBA, huh?

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3

I tried to get into it. I like the title track and Soliders. Beyond that it just wasn’t my taste. It struck me that they had a lot of big ideas and they worked hard to get them all in there. I’m sure if I enjoyed the band in general it would work for me, but I just couldn’t connect with the music enough to find my place in it.

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3

Not as cringe worthy as I first feared when I saw ana ABBA album come up. A bit too poppy for my musical tastes, but also not bad. 3/5 though as I will not go out of my way to ever listen to this again.

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3

Kind of always in the ether their songs The music does interesting things melodically, time signatures, key changes etc … great pop writing undoubtedly…Just the relentless strutting rhythms get on my bits …

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