ABBA’s last album made a few nods to rock and roll and the rhythm and brass on the new Voulez-Vous reveal minor concessions to disco. For the most part, though, Sweden’s biggest export has never strayed from a better-safe-than-sorry pop policy, and its plusses and minuses remain just about what they always were. On the one hand, ABBA continues to be restrained by its tightly defined stylistic terrain and by lyrics as vacuous as the pickup scene described in the title cut here. In fact, the album’s raison d’etre may have less to do with communication than with the enclosed pitch for enough ABBA paraphernalia to set you back a cool $71.69.
The plusses? When it comes to vocal harmonies and ear-grabbing pop hooks, few acts can compete with this one. And oh, that production!