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Agnetha Faltstog - A+

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 5 / 12 / 2023

Agnetha Faltstog - A+
Label: BMG
Format: CD


Revamped and now elegant dance and electronic pop-based new version of her 2013 solo album ‘A’ from ex-Abba star Agnetha Faltskog

Ex-Abba star Agnetha Faltskog - “the blonde one” - usually shuns the limelight these days, but the success of the ‘Abba Voyage’ show in London where over one million fans have now sung along with her digital “Abbatar” has prompted her to release a new album, ‘A+’. Essentially, this is a revamped version of her 2013 solo album ‘A’ which was a collection of ballads. The new record abandons the more traditional string arrangements of ‘A’ in favour of new-style elegant dance and electronic pop treatments – making the album sound more like a Miley Cyrus or Dua Lipa production. The outcome is a far more mellow sound than the full-on disco delivery that Abba fans might expect. Agnetha and her producer Anton Martensson have, however, succeeded in spicing up the good quality songs on ‘A+’ with gentle synth pulses, shuffling Latin rhythms and strummed indie-pop. Much onus is placed on the lyrics written in 2013 for Agnetha by fellow-Swede Jorgen Elofsson. And some of the material is excellent. ‘When You Really Loved Someone’ is neatly fortified by a drum machine with sunny Balearic-style beats – and finds Agnetha imploring a heartbroken friend to forget her troubles. - “Break loose, have some fun, let yourself go, come undone,” she implores. ‘I Was A Flower’ was originally created for a Swedish film about a prostitution scandal and subsequently used in a campaign against people trafficking. It addresses a loss of innocence and on ‘A+’ the original arrangement has been stripped right down and replaced with minimalist electronics - which make the song eerily effective. The sweet and slightly kitsch ‘Back On The Radio’ uses wireless as a metaphor for romance and you can envisage Agnetha slyly winking as she sings “tune into my frequency.....”. On ‘Perfume In The Breeze’ Agnetha laments a holiday romance that has gone wrong whilst ‘I Keep Them On The Floor Beside My Bed’ finds her forlornly flicking through old photographs. ‘A+’ has one new song, ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ which sees Agnetha confessing to “falling into emotions I've never felt before” to a tune that is a little reminiscent of the indie-pop style of Natalie Imbruglia. ‘Dance Your Pain Away’ finds Agnetha feeling liberated from heart ache after a good night out – and it is a powerful disco-style track that reminds us of her brilliance in leading the singing in the 1970s and 1980s on many of Abba's greatest international hits. It also reaffirms that, at 73, Agnetha Faltskog still knows how to enjoy herself!

Track Listing:-
1 Where Do We Go From Here?
2 Back On Your Radio
3 I Should've Followed You Home
4 Dance Your Pain Away
5 I Was A Flower
6 Perfume In the Breeze
7 Past Forever
8 The One Who Loves You Now
9 Bubble
10 When You Really Loved Someone
11 I Keep Them On the Floor Beside My Bed

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