Those women certainly look a bit younger, don’t they?…
Michaelangelo Matos: Of course Sweden’s biggest export went full-on whoosh-trance-pop since the last time I checked; where else would they go? Too bad: Their pert songcraft was never a big favorite, but at least the tunes used to stick in your brain.
Martin Skidmore: This dance-pop number chugs along confidently enough with bouncily shuddering synths, and there is a tune, albeit rather a tedious one. I don’t like the singing, and it feels a bit stiff and even desperate, in the end.
Jonathan Bogart: Would anyone even be taking notice if it weren’t for the Gaga-led rehabilitation of their 90s catalog? This does nothing to recapture those old doofy cod-reggae charms, instead giving us bog-standard Eurobosh with a singer who’s getting too old for this game, though wouldn’t mind hearing her take on something slower and more thoughtful.
Mallory O’Donnell: I wasn’t really expecting new material from Ace of Base to not suck, but I was hoping it would at least suck in anthemic fashion. You might have surprised any coworker or colleague at any point in time from 1993 up until last week singing along to one of their three massive hits whether it was playing at the time or not, but no one you know will ever so much as hum this.
Rebecca Toennessen: Or, Ace of Base Non-Original Recipe. A song for when everyone’s not quite plastered but nicely tipsy enough to wave their hands around in their air like they JUST DON’T CARE. Catchy in that ‘heard it a billion times but who gives a rat’s ass’ kind of way. I do genuinely hope it charts.
Alfred Soto: Smiling and shimmying like it’s 1994, Ace of Base can be excused for thinking nothing’s changed: the Democrats control Congress on the eve of losing one or both chambers, recession’s on everyone’s minds, and Swedes still manufacture pop songs out of shitty keyboards. Since I never thought their instincts were that unerring, I’m not surprised this sounds like one of their second-tier singles, like “Beautiful Life”.
Katherine St Asaph: No. I reject this “comeback,” especially since the single bites everything about “Waiting for Magic” but the urgency. And especially since Jenny Berggren showed this up already.
David Raposa: It’s weird to hear an Ace of Base song without Malin Berggren (AKA the one with the throatier, more distinctive voice) (AKA the blonde one) singing along with her sister, and I think it’s the preconceptions that come with that brand that keep me from hearing this perfectly OK pop track as anything more than an effort from a group that’s the Ace of Base in name only.
Anthony Easton: Explains why ABBA refused to do a comeback/tour regardless of the money.