ABBAmania, Vol. 2

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A British "as seen on TV"-type release, ABBAmania, Vol. 2 doesn't have the pop star power of the first edition -- everyone from Culture Club to the Corrs were on that one -- but it does have TV star power and plenty of it, if you're a Brit. The stars -- mostly the female ones -- of Hollyoaks, The Bill, Coronation St., and Emmerdale rattle off energetic and surprisingly on-key versions of ABBA's greatest hits with enough flair to separate this from the more faceless tributes. Another surprise is the lack of smirk or camp on the collection, but the source of the performances is a Royal Charity Gala show that was broadcast on British television, so maybe the lack of grunting and groaning during "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" shouldn't be such a shock. Everybody delivers at nearly the same level, so picking highlights is hard, but Trica Penrose (from the drama Heartbeat) nails "S.O.S." and "Mama Mia" while the "everybody on-stage!" version of "Thank You for the Music" is a moving closer. The tacked-on instrumental version of "Mama Mia" displays the collection's weakness: the musicians aren't as inspired as the singers. Hard to believe the collection would appeal to anyone outside of the U.K. or below the top tier of ABBA obsession, but these gals -- and the occasional guy -- can sing and do display a definite love of the group's catchy canon.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:57
2 3:26
3 3:36
feat: Bernie Nolan
5 4:07
feat: Will Mellor
7 3:42
feat: Wendi Peters
feat: Jane Danson
10 3:22
11 3:59
12 4:19
13 4:26
14 3:44
15 4:09
blue highlight denotes track pick