Trying to balance the new and the old
Seamlessly realizing the difficult mission of combining nostalgic sounds with modern sounds, ABBA returns with their first album in 40 years titled Trip. The Swedish pop ensemble has made small appearances in the music industry over the years with guitar solos for other artists of the same genre. However, given the gap since deploying their own project, the reunion was both unexpected and refreshing. Surprisingly, they’re even hosting a UK gig in 2022. Fans of the creators of “Dancing Queen” have much to be excited about.
Trip is a melting pot of old and fresh tracks that show a bit of experimentation in ABBA’s creative process. They still incorporate the disco and hip-bopping groove as well as a new kind of pop production. What adds further development to the sense of nostalgia are the aged voices and lyrics over old memories. It proves the genius of the band’s songwriters and how their music will always be built.
As expected, a good handful of tracks are true to pop music melodies like “Keep an Eye on Dan”, “Don’t Shut Me Down” and “No Doubt About It”, for example. Heavily arranged hook on hook, these songs also introduce unexpected musical choices. “Keep an Eye on Dan” has a hint of cowbells throughout the track, while “Don’t Shut Me Down” sprinkles a bit of reggae, which are interesting touches to pop. “Bumblebee” is another track on Trip with carefully selected musical choices as it begins with a captivating flute intro.
“Don’t Shut Me Down” in particular is a beautifully melodic song especially with lyrics that speak to the overall theme of the album: nostalgia. His opening line, “Some time ago I heard the sound of children’s laughter / Now it’s quiet, so I guess they’ve left the park, ”is a heart-wrenching gripe about the passage of time. The devastating but strong tone of the voice in “I Still Have Faith in You” is also strongly reminiscent of the concept of time.
Emotions engraved in Trip are enough to make their longtime fans gravitate towards them again, as they once did in the 70s. Bouncing between groovy pop and modern pop, ABBA brings a refresh that quenches the thirst for lost nostalgia.