I wasn't sure what to expect from this album; would Agnetha still have a voice worth hearing? The answer is an emphatic YES! Her voice is in perfect condition, crystal clear and beautiful, just like in her ABBA days. It is also very expressive, perheps even more so now. It is a most distinctive sound, very lovely, and she has such dignity and class she makes almost anything sound good.
There are some great songs here. And one or two more ordinary songs. As other reviewers have noted, there's nothing very new going on, but I didn't expect anything groundbreaking; it's not her style and why should she fix what isn't broken at her age? And the best of the songs do have interesting quirks: The whistling in Perfume In The Breeze, or the bleak lyric and haunting refrain of the sweet sounding I Was A Flower. Generally, it's the slower, intimate ballads (as always) that suit her best: Past Forever, Bubble, I Keep Them On the Floor... etc. The more poppy tracks (including the singles) are predictable stuff, well delivered, if less memorable.
Rather like the song, Past Forever, Agnetha's theme on the album is mostly regret, nostalgia and sad memories. Is she looking back on her life? Whether or not she's acting a part or reflecting on her own experience, who can say. Perhaps she just recognises that most of us are sentimental in one way or another, and live our lives in the past... And it must be said that recent interviews reveal a far more upbeat and grounded person than the media previously led us to believe.
The album took a few plays to work it's magic; don't give up on it. Listen out for the more reflective moments. It's there that Faltskog weaves her magic spell most potently.
Overall I think this is a fine album, one which is likely to age rather better than her 1980s solo albums, which have dated. I almost wish she'd record some acoustic material, with just her voice, a guitar or piano, and no big production. There's a lot of talent working away on this album, but it's not always needed. It's Agnetha's familiar, plaintive, pleading soprano voice that transforms it all and shines out.
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