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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2001
Famous for "All that she wants", which is the opening track, Ace of Base's strength on this album is their other melancholic tracks such as "Waiting for Magic", "Happy Nation" and "The Sign". The album is up beat and poppy, but has much more character and depth (and lyrics!) that most 2-male 2-female bands since. They are dancier and more electronic than Abba. Not as sweet but much more meaningful than Spice Girls or modern teenage-aimed bands. Well written and unique pop music, childish yet deep.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2000
Their first and most popular album, this was released after a series of smash hit singles, and was called 'Happy Nation' in the UK. It sold massively in the States, where for a short while they swept aside the tail-end of grunge.
At the time, they seemed like a cross between Abba (light pop with skewed lyrics, in particularly 'All that she wants' in which, the 'baby' was supposed to be a 'boyfriend', and not an actual 'baby') and the then-huge wave of 'reggae-lite' bands. Combining bouncy beats with surprisingly morose lyrics ('Happy Nation', in particular, is positively glacial, and has a bit in medieval Latin - take that, Enya!), it's very 1993, especially on the 'Bhangra' remix of 'All that she wants', which sounds as if more than seven years have passed.
During that seven years they released a follow-up, 'The Bridge', which didn't sell very well at all, and a further follow-up, 'Flowers', which was slightly more popular, and contained the excellent 'Life is a Flower'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Although sometimes ignored by more 'serious' music listeners, Ace of Base's happy nation should be taken seriously for bringing a fusion of various influences together to create some fantastic tunes. 'All that She Wants' is an anthem, but all the tracks stand out. Although some ideas are clearly borrowed from styles such as reggae, funk, r'n'b, and groups such as the excellent Kream Kaik Mischun, the result is a style all their own.
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on 11 January 2011
This has to be one of the finest examples of absolute musical greatness i've ever heard. Simple, yet completely addictive and just all round brilliance. I remember first hearing the signature track 'All That She Wants' waaaaay back in 1993 when it debuted on 'The Chart Show' and i was instantly spellbound. The moody vocals, the somewhat melancholic nature of the song, the compelling composition and it's unashamedly groovy sound had me hooked. As soon as the album was released i bought it. I remember listening to the album for the first time and loving it, well, almost. Being only 11yrs old at the time, i wasn't very knowledgable about some of the subject matter in the songs so they were kind of a mute point for me and i was less appreciative of some songs which i have now come to love.

ALL THAT SHE WANTS 5/5:

'Perfection' is all that can be said really.

DON'T TURN AROUND 4/5:

Can't say i was overly taken by this song when i first heard it. And even though i won't rush to add it on my playlist even today, it has grown on me over the years.

YOUNG AND PROUD 4/5:

I have always like the beat of this but it's only in recent years i have begun to fully appreciate the techno vibe this song has. I do however, prefer the demo version to this.

THE SIGN 5/5:

Another piece of perfection. Everything about this song kicks ass. And along with A.T.S.W is their flagship song.

LIVING IN DANGER 2/5:

I hate to admit it but i have never liked this song. And i still don't have much adoration for it. I Don't know why but i always skip this song. The 'New Buddah Version' is better i must say.

VOULEZ VOUS DANSER 4/5:

Nice dancey track which i can still groove to.

HEAR ME CALLING 4/5:

Hmmmmm, now, i have always like this song but then i heard the much dancier demo version 'Hypnotized' and i can't decide which version is better. The demo has a few extra lines and a heavier beat.

HAPPY NATION 4/5:

This is such a strange song. It played in a club a few years ago and somebody asked me if i was gonna dance to it.......then i thought 'how the hell would i dance to this?'. It's catchy and very obscure but i don't think i'd class it as danceable.

WAITING FOR MAGIC {TOTAL REMIX 7"} 4/5:

Another techno inspired song with a nice melody and pretty nifty lyrics. This is the remix version and not the original, which itself is more electro. That version is on the original HAPPY NATION album.

WHEEL OF FORTUNE 5/5:

I love this song, just like A.T.S.W & T.S, It's another showcase of pop excellence. It's just a shame it didn't chart well.

FASHION PARTY 5/5:

I rate this so highly because of the pure dance frenzy of it. It's not fast, it's actually quite steady but if you pump up the volume and get the bass on, it's killer. Vocals are minimal and is just a really good techno track.

DANCER IN A DAYDREAM 5/5:

This has always been a favirote of mine, ever since i first heard it. It remains on my top playlist. A sort of Dark Electro/New Romantic type song. Would have loved to see this released to the clubs.

MY MIND {MINDLESS MIX} 4/5:

I used to really hate this song. But like some of the others, it grew on me. Similar to F.P in terms of it's structure. Minimal vocals, techno beat, but this song seems to take on a sort of creepy quality. Not sure how to explain that but i always found Jonas' vocals a little disturbing. I could never tell if it was a man or woman singing his parts.

ALL THAT SHE WANTS {BANGRHA VERSION} 1/5:

Really don't like this song. Does absolutely nothing to advance what the original accomplished.

HAPPY NATION {REMIX} 2/5:

Just a basic remix, again, not really contributing anything to the original.

All in all, this album is a huge positive and by far the groups finest achievment. Not saying their other works are bad, but this is the album of their career, the one they will forever be remembered for, after selling 23 million copies and entering the 'Guinness Book of World Records' for it, i'd say it's something to be truly proud of.

Memories........
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on 25 October 2010
Ace of Base managed to sell over 23 million copies of this album worldwide and making it the highest selling debut album by a group ever.

It's reggae tinged pop/dance/house music and it sounds just as good now as it did back in 1993/4.

Tracks

All That She Wants (10/10) One of the best pop records of the 1990's, a catchy chorus and curious lyrics paint a picture of summer holidays were the sky is blue and the sand is golden. Perfect.

Don't Turn Around (10/10) A cover of the Aswad cover of the original Tina Turner song, Ace of Base make this their own and rightly scored a massive hit in the process, one of the best summer songs of 1994 and probably the best version of the track so far. The Aswad mix (by Ace of Base) is worth hunting out just for the drum beat.

Young and Proud (8/10) A catchy, dancey song that's easy to listen to but doesn't stand out, though still very good.

The Sign (10/10) Competes with All That She Wants for the title of the bands signature tune, this track was massive worldwide with its reggae beat, catchy chorus and verses and brilliant production. Possibly their best song.

Living In Danger (10/10) Never a massive hit and often overlooked, this track is amoung their best and has some odd lyrics to add to it's appeal. Once voted the 18th best single of all time in a poll by a music magazine. FACT!

Voulez Vous Danser (9/10) Another one that has catchy written all over it, a perfect pop/dance track with a good strong vocal throughout.

Happy Nation (8/10) I like this track and it has some excellent lyrics, but it's slightly slower than the rest of the album and it can drag on for me at times, though it is a very good track, I just have to be in the mood for it.

Hear Me Calling (9/10) Another gem of a song, good lyrics and vocals and once again catchy.

Waiting For Magic (10/10) There are several versions of this track, all are brilliant, one of the best on the album this tells a Snow White esque tale, great production and strong vocals.

Fashion Party (8/10) Bit of an odd one, doesn't have alot to it, quite creepy use of keyboards, though it does speed up a bit and the vocal is good, it's a bit hit and miss.

Wheel Of Fortune (10/10) A fantastic song, a big hit for them and their debut single in Sweden, stands out a mile on here.

Dancer In A Daydream (9/10) A good dance track, catchy (again) and a good beat, lyrics are strange but delivered well. A curious song if nothing else.

My Mind (9/10) Similar to a few others on the album, once again it's upbeat, but low key dance music wth a good vocal and some odd lyrics to boot. It works well however and ends the album (as far as original tracks go) well.

All That She Wants (Banghra Version) (8/10) A remix of the albums opening track, doesn't add much to the original, but it slows it down, add a few tingly bits and bobs and flows along pleasantly enough.

Happy Nation (Remix)(8/10) Another remix and better than the previous one, good ending to a brilliant album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2013
Great classics, although some of the tracks haven't aged well. I can still remember all the words! Classic Swedish pop :)
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on 30 October 2014
A very good album. I remember hearing ''The Sign'' 20 years ago and buying this again brought back memories. Very good Swedish music!!!
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on 24 June 2014
Should be zero stars. The cover was good but inside was Gerry and the Pacemakers. I needed one by the time I could laugh at it.
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on 26 January 2013
Had the album and he CD before but moved to this country and was missing the shiny and happy songs from the Ace!
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on 14 July 2014
bought to replace damaged cd, and now my grand-daughter aged nine loves it and is playing it over and over.
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