Voulez-Vous? Mais oui!
T. Kavanagh | Ireland | 11/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever adaptable, ABBA kept their finger on the pulse of the late 70s by dipping into the buzzing disco culture. Rather than completely immerse themselves in the genre, they merely borrowed some of the tools and tricks and applied them to their classic pop creations. "If It Wasn't For The Nights", an absolute highlight, is a perfect example of this marriage of dancefloor pizzazz to Abba's trademark piano-driven tunefulness (it really should have been a single). The disco feel is more strongly felt on the album's zingy title track which, 20 years later, still sounds fresh [check the recent cover by Culture Club - excellent!]. Meanwhile, the sexy "Lovers" adds a touch of funk to the disco feel with spectacular results. Like any Abba album, great tunes are at the core. "Angeleyes" and "Chiquitita", of course are among Abba's all-time classics. The structure of the latter owes more to, perhaps, classical music than to pop and demonstrates the breadth of Andersson's and Ulvaeus' talent. Of course, younger pop fans will be familiar with "I Have A Dream" as performed by Westlife - but Abba's version appeared first on this album and was a big Christmas hit in Europe in 1979. However, because of the snobbery directed against disco, many excellent songs here have been stupidly overlooked. "The King Has Lost His Crown" is a prime example. With it's dreamy intro, Frida's gorgeous lead vocal and that melting string arrangement, this song could have been a hit single but, just like "If It Wasn't For The Nights", it remains a largely undiscovered album track. To these ears, only one track falls short of the mark and that is "Does Your Mother Know?" (a hit in 1979) and even that's still pretty popular. This remastered version of the album is augmented by the 1978 hit "Summer Night City" and "Lovelight", a B-side which actually sounds like an A-side.... These bonus tracks were recorded during the album sessions and work well with the set. Make no mistake, this is an excellent Abba album - and definitely a worthwhile investment."