A*Teens

Pop 'Til You Drop!

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When the A-Teens paid tribute to ABBA on 1999's The ABBA Generation, it was obvious that none of the group's members had great voices. But they had great material to work with; "Dancing Queen," "S.O.S.," and other ABBA hits are Europop classics. So, despite their limitations as vocalists, the A-Teens were able to provide a pleasant, if unremarkable, tribute to Sweden's most famous Euro-popsters. But Pop 'Til You Drop, the A-Teens' third album, is another matter; this time, they are saddled with a lot of pedestrian material. While The ABBA Generation had more of a Hi-NRG/Euro-dance outlook, Pop 'Til You Drop isn't as consistently European-sounding. The ABBA influence has not disappeared altogether -- "Closer to Perfection," for example, is full of ABBA-isms -- but overall, this bubblegum CD favors more of an American teen pop approach along the lines of Britney Spears, *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. And more often than not, Pop 'Til You Drop has a mechanical, assembly-line quality. Nonetheless, the CD has its moments. The A-Teens' dance-pop remake of Alice Cooper's "School's Out" (which features Cooper himself) may offend some '70s rock devotees -- some Cooper fans may be horrified that the influential shock-rocker would have anything to do with a teen pop act. Regardless, the A-Teens' "School's Out" cover is fun and is arguably Pop 'Til You Drop's best track. And the mildly funky "Floorfiller" (one of the album's more European-sounding tunes) has a somewhat Silver Convention-ish charm -- the high-tech production is early 2000s, although the hook has a "Get Up and Boogie"/"Funky Party" type of Euro-disco vibe. But the memorable tracks are the exception instead of the rule. The ABBA Generation is still the A-Teens' best album, and Pop 'Til You Drop is, for the most part, a forgettable exercise in Britney Spears/*NSYNC/Backstreet Boys worship.

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