COLUMN  >  THE HEAT IS ON

The heat is on | 14 maart 2004

ABBA fans could not have missed the media hype surrounding the come back of a certain Agnetha Fältskog. The publicity campaign by Warner Sweden was absolutely magnificent. First they published a couple of beautiful new photographs, then they launch Agnetha's site and finally on March 8, the new single received its world premiere. And all fans including me, acted like little children when we heard the song. We were completely gob smacked.

And now it's been almost a week since we collectively had the chance of listening to Agnetha's new single. Time to take a closer look at the single and the album project. And to be honest I have some mixed feelings about the whole thing.

I am very happy to have heard Agnetha's voice again and I think she does sound quite good. A little bit more accent, which makes her singing sexier and she still has a very good voice after all those silent years. I do like the song, though it's not a super hit and it never will be. The single proves that Agnetha is a very gifted singer and that her producer is good as well. But that is all it proves. "If I thought you'd ever change your mind" is not exactly the catchiest song in the world. And who the hell is responsible for picking that title? I still find it difficult to remember it.

The only reason for the airplay it gets in Europe is that it is "the recluse Agnetha, previously from ABBA, trying to make a comeback". The airplay has nothing to do with the actual song or hit chances. It's only because a new single by a former ABBA member is good for the publicity of the show.

I have listened to the song in the past week, but probably not more than 20 times. And the last time I played it was a couple of days ago. Actually I can't even remember what the tune is like. It simply doesn't stay in my memory.

More to the point: if this song would have been released as a single in Agnetha's solo career in the mid eighties, it would have been butchered by the papers, radio and TV. It's a nice album track or a B-side, but definitely not an A-side. And I am pretty sure that it won't be a top 20 hit at all, probably not even a top 40 hit. Apart from Sweden of course.

I very much admire Agnetha, but it's a week later now and I can't say that I understand the current hype. I admit that I wrote to ABBAMAIL that it was "THE ultimate release of 2004", but now I realise that this was in the excitement of the moment. I fear that I was wrong.
         

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