A*Teens

The ABBA Generation

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When ABBA was together, many American rock critics gave the Swedish group scathing reviews and dismissed its pop-rock, Euro-pop, and Euro-disco as disposable fluff. But time would be much kinder to ABBA than American rock critics, and its songs proved to be anything but disposable. Although ABBA broke up in 1983, its music proved to be quite durable and continued to be incredibly influential when the 21st century arrived -- in 1999 and 2000, artists all over Europe were proudly claiming ABBA as a major influence. One example of ABBAmania came from Swedish teen popsters the A*Teens, who pay tribute to their idols on The ABBA Generation. The members of this half male, half female quartet from Stockholm were 15 and 16 when this CD came out in the U.S. in 2000, which means that they weren't even born when ABBA was together. And that fact says a lot -- even though ABBA's ex-members are old enough to be the A*Teens' parents, the adolescents are calling themselves The ABBA Generation. The A*Teens' versions of ABBA gems like "Take a Chance on Me," "Mamma Mia," "Dancing Queen," and "Voulez-Vous" aren't brilliant, but they're enjoyable -- and they show just how well the songs have held up over time. Not surprisingly, the high-tech production is about as European-sounding as it gets; anyone who appreciates the Hi-NRG/Euro-dance sound will have a hard time not moving to the A*Teens' remakes of "S.O.S.," "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme (a Man After Midnight)," and "Lay All Your Love on Me." Listeners could nit-pick about the absence of "Waterloo" (one of ABBA's finest songs), but all things considered, The ABBA Generation is a pleasing, if unremarkable, testament to the durability of ABBA's songs.

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