Monday, November 21, 2016

Thank you for the music

I've long maintained (in the face of regular and bemused opposition) that, far from being a cringeworthy guilty pleasure, ABBA are the absolute epitome of good pop music - and indeed music in general. So it's nice to see that the tastemakers at Pitchfork agree. In a retrospective review of the group's fourth studio LP, released in 1976, Simon Goddard argues that "at their best, as on Arrival, ABBA are as mysteriously out-there as Bowie, as rococo as Phil Spector, as unbearably sad as the Smiths".

What's more, he rightly lauds 'Dancing Queen', the album's second track, as "one of the greatest pop records ever made because, like so many of the greatest pop records ever made, it throws multiple reflections". Hyperbole? Not at all. My charity shop purchase of a copy of Gold earlier in the year and the fact it's been on almost constant rotation in the car ever since has only confirmed the truth of Goddard's claims.

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