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Waterloo Review

by Bruce Eder

ABBA's second (and U.S. debut) album contains the American Top Ten title track, as well as "Honey, Honey," a minor U.S. hit that deserved better. This album is rather unusual in the group's output, however, for the fact that the guys are still featured fairly prominently in some of the vocals, and for the variety of sounds -- including reggae, folk-rock, and hard rock -- embraced by its songs. The reggae number "Sitting in the Palmtree" is quite remarkable to hear, with its perfect Caribbean beat and those radiant female voices carrying the chorus behind the beat. "King Kong Song" is a good example of hard rock by rote, going through the motions of screaming vocals and over-amplified guitar (courtesy of Janne Schaffer), although even here, when the women's voices jump in on the choruses, it's hard not to listen attentively; the quartet knew what a powerful weapon they had, but not quite how to use it. They get a little closer to their winning formula on the catchy, folky-textured pop song "Hasta Mañana," which sounds like a lost Mary Hopkin number. "Dance (While the Music Still Goes On)" is on the money as the embodiment of the Euro-disco sound that the group would embrace on their future albums, although it also hints at a vague oldies sound, with a melody that somehow reminds this listener of both the Four Seasons' "Dawn" and the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 ABBA 02:46 Amazon
2 ABBA 03:40 Amazon
3 ABBA 03:15 Amazon
4 ABBA 03:09 Amazon
5 ABBA 03:16 Amazon
6 ABBA 03:13
7 ABBA 02:56 Amazon
8 ABBA 03:47 Amazon
9 ABBA 02:56 Amazon
10 ABBA 03:38 Amazon
11 ABBA 03:16 Amazon
12 ABBA 03:07
13 ABBA 02:46 Amazon
14 ABBA 02:58 Amazon
15 ABBA 02:44 Amazon
16 ABBA 03:09 Amazon
17 ABBA 02:42 Amazon
18 ABBA 03:11
19 ABBA 02:44 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick