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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop, 80's, melancholic, singing. Very nice.
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...
Published on 25 Mar 2001

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars "Ace of Base?"
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.
Published 4 months ago by julie lovell


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop, 80's, melancholic, singing. Very nice., 25 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Happy Nation (Audio CD)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Up (mostly), 4 April 2000
By 
Mr. A. Pomeroy (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sign (Audio CD)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Shameless, fun, inspired pop, 21 Aug 2006
This review is from: Happy Nation (Audio CD)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My childhood in a packet, 4 April 2013
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This review is from: Happy Nation (Audio CD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars bought to replace damaged cd, and now my grand-daughter ..., 14 July 2014
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Happy Nation (Audio CD)
Good
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1.0 out of 5 stars "Ace of Base?", 24 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Happy Nation (Audio CD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars had it before, 26 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Happy Nation (Audio CD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Memories, 23 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Happy Nation (Audio CD)
This album was just how I remember Ace of Base. Great album to sing along to in the car. A must buy
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4.0 out of 5 stars 90s Dance Estravaganza With A Brain for a Happy, if not Ecstatic Nation, 17 May 2011
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This review is from: Happy Nation (Audio CD)
One of the biggest selling debuts of all time, no mean feat either, not least as, not only where Ace Of Base a European act, but they totally conquered America, seeling as many copies over there as anywhere else. Such an instant and huge success set the bar high, too high perhaps, but looking back, as good as this album is, it's sadly not perfect, and they have actually both equalled it and bettered it since.

But in 1993, when all the synth-driven gems of new wave and other musical styles gave way to dreary grunge pop and aimless, brainless dance-drivel, Ace Of Base appeared to adroitly marry the dancefloor with a clear intelligence barely seen then and since.

Never as strong as Abba, yet arguably mining more styles than Roxette, Ace of Base hit with the unique chart-topping singles 'All That She Wants' and 'The Sign'. Both tunes are perfect, though their version of 'Don't Turn Around' is their weakest single alongside the 1998 motown attempt 'Always Have, Always Will'. The problem is mainly the song-it's typical slushy gush from the pen of Diane Warren, and it could only be made palatable by the powerhouse approach from a set of lungs like Pat Benatar or Laura Branigan. In fact Bonnie Tyler has covered it too, with the best results yet, but it sadly wasn't a single. How Ace Of Base got a hit with it is no mystery-they were on a high in their first year and could have got a hit with a nursery rhyme. Their light musical and vocal approach is just too flimsy to engage on an already unsatisfactory song, though they still beat Aswad's version.

Their other singles have no such problem-the accidentally (?) ambiguous 'Living In Danger', ever-so-slightly eerie Enigma-like title track of the album which showcases their early knack of ingeniously delivering a sombre, even melancholic tune that totally belies the title, and the uniquely standout 'Wheel Of Fortune'. Both these two were pleasingly offbeat, even risky releases over more obviously rapturous, but less flavourable dance-floor fodder like 'Voulez-Vous Danser'-the first of an Abba reference they use on every album, and nice hints of growth to come, and an urge to be known beyond a drug-fuelled dancefloor.

Shades of Adamski's Killer, Haddaway and some other good techno-tunes show up in 'Dancer In A Daydream', exuberant 'Young And Proud' and 'Waiting For Magic', though the version of it on this album is a charmless, pedestrian 90s dancefloor mess with over-hyper vocals that lack the beauty and slight atmosphere of the 1st version on the initial version of their album (and on their 2002 collection). Along with 'Young And Proud',the insistent and delicious 'Hear Me Calling'-complete withcharming police-siren music should have been singles over the irritatingly twee 'Don't Turn Around'.

What weakens this huge-selling album over its less-well known but more artistically pleasing and mature follow-ups are the inclusion of two truly horrible nightmares. The offensively repetitive, pointless 'Fashion Party' is more a continous show-loop of demo-rap you'd warm up a booze-filled bender. "You loser" she sings, and I'd say careful there! As for the rap, even the vocals, is this actually the same group. The horrific dance-dirge of actual losers like 2 Unlimited are brought to mind-not something a clean, tuneful Nordic break-out group should be going for. The other worthlessness is 'My Mind'-another repetitive, directionless ode-to dancing irritation concentrating on the early 90s reliance on drum machines and sampled two-word sentences to get by. She says "everyone, everywhere" one more time...!

Why this album sold how it did was it shot perfectly into the techno-fuelled rave culture of its time, which also led to AOB being seen as little but groove-fodder, and this album does underline that truth in places. But the more lyrical and tuneful approaches do stand the test of time, pointing to a burgeoning songwriting skill that would ditch simple dancefloor gimmicks for artistic integrity and thank God for artistic development for the furture. The 2nd album would be even better, but anyone with a love of 90s techno, and a generous smattering of tuneful twinges among early songwriting promise should own this album, ignoring the two naff tracks mentioned, as it is a hugely worthwhile purchase for anyone that has lost their copy, or missed them in the annals of time. The extra mixes of 'All That She Wants' and 'Happy Nation' are middling at best, and do not challenge the brill originals at all.

All in all, they made the hugely diminishing music scene of 1993 a very Happy Nation. And would contiue to do so till both girls sadly left just a decade later.
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