Abba All-purpose VOYAGE Thread*

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I received my Target CD with exclusive cover art this past Mon. I really prefer this cover art over the standard as I've always felt it's not an ABBA album unless it shows them on the cover. Ha. I wished the poster inside has also been the same as the cover but unfortunately it's not. My CD came kinda flattened and was a bit worried looking at it...yet once I took the wrap off I was able to mold it gently back in shape and square it off as it should look. I wished there had been at least 1 more photo of the group inside as I don't think the one they used compliments the group. How could they use a photo with Frida's head near the staple? lol

I agree with how Harry worded it above....for me, I have never really liked every song on an ABBA album. If I play an ABBA album it's usually to hear 2-4 songs that I really really like and I want to hear them again. No matter how many times I try there are just some songs I really don't play off a ABBA album.

I've been able to listen to Voyage through 3 times and just like their past albums, there are some tracks that I instantly like and will reach for this album to play those tracks in the future. There are some songs I just don't like and most likely won't play them much.

The only thing I will say about the mastering is that while I don't consider this CD brick walled (loudness wars) it is still quite loud and it shows up on certain tracks. Why does the volume on new CD's have to all be at the same loud volume, meaning instruments, vocals, backing vocals, everything just seems like it's pushed up in the mix like each is fighting to be the loudest. I feel that I might enjoy it a bit more had it been mastered like the "Thank You For The Music" Box set. That set just sounds superb to my ears, even some of the singles that were meant to sound loud as to get your attention, they sound even better on this box set because it's mastered so well.

I'm not your ordinary listener and usually don't follow what everyone else feels is the best off the album. So it is with Carpenters where I enjoy the album cuts so much more than the hit singles. Ex. Look To Your Dreams, Because We Are In Love, You're The One, B'wanna She No Home, Goofus, Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again and (I'm Caught Between) Goodbye And I Love You. I would gladly replace any one of their hit singles with one of these album cuts as they touch me more emotionally and isn't that what music is all about.

So from a few listens, these tracks are already favorites and will most likely be the ones that will make me want to listen to this ABBA album again and again.

I Still Have Faith In You (this one pulled at me on first listen, very touching and a bit melancholy yet introspective)

Don't Shut Me Down (really like this track, so refreshing and nice to hear a whole new arrangement, lyrics and their voices again)

Just A Notion (always loved this demo on ABBA deleted, I only wish it wasn't so loud here, I do prefer the simpler arrangement from the demo. However I find that if I listen to this on my Sony MDR headphones, it sounds a bit better and not as loud, not sure why but that's how I hear it. I've read some people say this is the worst sounding off the album but I disagree. It's loud but still enjoyable.

Ode To Freedom (I actually think this is my one of my favorite songs off the album, for me it sounds like a movie soundtrack, I absolutely love how this song opens and how I feel after listening, I like this one a lot.

Those above are my top favorites however there are quite a few I don't really enjoy. When You Danced With Me, I Can Be That Woman, Keep An Eye On Dan (this seems to be a fan favorite but it's not doing anything for me) and Bumblebee.

So I'm super happy they came back together and made this album and I hope it's not the last but maybe we will see a few more to come.

Bonus (My Opinion) I think my favorite ABBA album has to be The Visitors with Super Trouper a close second. There are just so many songs from both those albums that I will listen all the way through because I like every song.
 

GDBY2LV

Well-Known Member
I agree for the most part. I’ve kept quiet about this for the week. I’m a huge fan, and was very disappointed in this new effort. I found it slow and uninteresting. Way too much Frida, and found Agnetha missing or buried in the vocals. She is my absolute favorite female vocalist after Karen. I can listen to her sing all day long, and love to sing along to her amazing voice. I keep listening to Voyage in my car on my 20 minute commute to work each day. I have to say than with each listen that the album is growing on me. It’s getting better, the more familiar I get, and memorize the lyrics. Still not enough Agnetha for me. Their voices have aged, sometimes indistinguishable between the two female lead on the tracks. It also got me thinking about their last album, the Visitors. I wasn’t crazy about it the first couple of times either. It was strange and didn’t sound like Super Trooper before it, but it also grew on me the more I listened. Voyage is definitely not much for hit material. Time will tell on for that. There’s no Dancing Queen, SOS, or Fernando. Those that want or like the disco beat of their last three albums may be disappointed too. Heavy on ballads or mid tempo cuts here. They have aged, but like a fine wine. The writing and music is still there. The vocal harmonies are still there. So glad ABBA is back, even if for just one last hurrah, and gift to their fans. We, and they should or be okay with that too. It gets my vote, and a thumbs up. Harry’s thoughts and observations are very spot on. It deserves repeated listenings to be appreciated in full. Thanks ABBA. I never though we would get to hear anything from you again. 39 years was a very long, and tough wait. It’s hard to be a Carpenters & ABBA fan. They always leave me wanting more from them. Always craving just 1 more album, 1 more song. Maybe 1 more successful radio hit. The reviews for Voyage have not been very kind so far. I understand, but have to disagree. It just took a week of listening to change my opinion of first impressions. Something reviewers seldom do that.
 
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Another Son

Well-Known Member
I actually haven't read the other posts on this thread yet but I like the new ABBA album. I like the story-telling style of a number of the songs and there are some evocative images that some of the lyrics conjure up - for instance, 'I Still have Faith In You', 'Don't Shut Me Down' and 'I Can Be That Woman'. Many of the sounds in the arrangements are familiar and welcome from old ABBA recordings - for example, the background vocals, guitars and 'Arrival'-sounding synthesised-bagpipe-thingy-sound. The more modern sounds have been chosen well and blend in superbly. For example, the drum sound is updated but fits in and bolsters the music extremely well.

To my ear, Agnetha sounds better than in the past. Age has dropped her range and mellowed her voice, it seems. She also evokes quite a bit of emotion in the songs that hint of despair - the break in her voice, etc. She does an outstanding job communicating the intentions of the lyrics on the songs that she sings.

Frida's voice I have always liked. I don't mind that it's dropped quite a bit, also. Her lowest note is now below Karen Carpenter's lowest. She sometimes sounds fragile and comfortable at the same time on 'I Still Have Faith in You" and that seems to suit the song perfectly.

I have avoided reading the lyrics from the album because I believe that Bjorn sometimes includes the odd clanger or obvious rhyme, which can be disappointing. However, the lyrics that I have picked up have mainly been satisfying, especially on the story songs mentioned above. (Not sure about 'Keep Your Eye on Dan' - I think I'll intentionally not read the lyrics for that one).

For me, there aren't really any weak tracks on 'Voyage'. The arrangement on 'Just a Notion', I don't completely like, but the song is saved by the melody as it unfolds.

I thought that I might play this album once or twice and then put it aside but I am enjoying it and have already listened to it several times. What the members of ABBA have achieved with this album is really quite amazing. I guess I'm mainly thinking about the vocal performances of Agnetha and Frida, given that Frida is in her mid-70s and Agnetha just a bit younger. I realise that there may have been some studio wizardry and tweaking but they really do interpret the songs admirably.
 
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