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Agnetha Faltstog - Agnetha Falkstog

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 29 / 3 / 2013

Agnetha Faltstog - Agnetha Falkstog


Nick Dent-Robinson asks what we might except from former Abba front woman and Greta Garbo of pop Agnetha Faltskog, who after a decades-long absence is returning to the public eye with 'A', a new solo album

Almost four decades after she sang about Friday nights and the lights down low, Agnetha Faltskog is back! Remember her? The blonde one in Abba who a generation of girls wanted to be – the platinum-haired pop star with a plaintive edge to her voice in her white platform boots and dazzlingly naff costumes...the ultimate in smoky, sensual Swedish glam throughout the 1970s – the decade good taste abandoned! Agnetha, dubbed the Greta Garbo of pop, has been tempted out of retirement on her Swedish island estate by new songs from Jorgen Elofsson who has worked with Celine Dion, Westlife and Britney Spears. The new Agnetha album – simply called 'A' – includes a duet with Gary Barlow and is released in May following a single, 'When You Really Loved Someone', which has just been released. Of course Agnetha is far from alone amongst 1970s stars making a comeback. Fleetwood Mac are back on the road, David Bowie has released his new single and album. And Donny and Marie Osmond have just completed a UK tour which prompted one reviewer to report that their shows “were so spectacularly dreadful on so many fronts they set a new benchmark in light entertainment atrocities”. So these things don't always work out. Any journey down the road of return can be fraught with risk. Many people like their pop gods fossilised in the past like a lovely butterfly caught forever in the amber of our memories. Often former fans don't want their idols coming back. When they do there is a danger of ruining everything by reminding us all of how old we've become or disappointing their devotees by being a diluted, rheumatism-racked version of their former glories. Agnetha faces an especially tough challenge. For Abba were one of pop's most successful groups – ever. They have sold almost 400 million albums. Plus 'Mamma Mia!', the musical launched in 1999, brought new audiences and has kept Abba in the public eye. So, will Agnetha's revival work – or will it be her 'Waterloo'? Well, 'When You Really Loved Someone' does sound commercial. Agnetha's voice is attractive – though you wouldn't necessarily recognise it as hers. There are layers of electronic lushness over the melody of this bittersweet ballad. Plus plenty of those swooping, big chord progressions and key changes so beloved of the people who orchestrate the music for TV talent show contestants. And the video is arty and poignant. It features Agnetha sitting at a dressing table in an empty theatre looking sadly at old photographs and singing to a young actress playing her younger self in a series of flashbacks. The real Agnetha sings about love, soul searching, crying in the dark, time passing and other heavy stuff. She looks a little like Lulu. And she is elegantly attractive for 62! One song on the album is written by Agnetha. Intriguingly it's called 'I Keep Them On The Floor Beside My Bed'. What? You may speculate. Tissues? False teeth? Slippers? Her old platform boots? Bottles of Swedish vodka and packets of crisps? Emergency pairs of big pants? - You must wait until the album's release in May to find out!

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Agnetha Faltstog - Agnetha Falkstog

Agnetha Faltstog - Agnetha Falkstog

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