Monday, May 16, 2011

Golden Bubble-ABBA

Now, let's forget about ice hockey for a while and concentrate on excellent music...

I don't remember exactly when but I did purchase every single studio album by ABBA some time ago... I got them for one euro each. Now I am starting to think that I may have made one of my best puchases ever when you compare the price to the quality. ABBA was, and after all still is, one of the most popular pop groups in the whole world. And, unlike today, in the 70s commercial success still often was a sign of high musical quality.

Slowly but surely I have begun the journey of listening carefully to every album by ABBA. The first album was a good place to start. And what did I find... Oh my, I found some of the loveliest bubblegummy 70s pop music with impeccable songwriting, lovely singing, and fabulous instrumentation. The album is, of course, called Ring Ring (1973).

Even though I heard every famous ABBA song already as a child, hearing the song Ring Ring now seems to to point towards a certain British classic Love Grows – which is obviously a very good thing. I also have to praise the idea of using male vocals in addition to Agnetha Fältskog and Frida Lyngstad's voices. In my opinion, the combination of female and male voices here makes a considerably more interesting and warm harmony than just using the voices of two women – even though they both sing like birds.

Some of the songs here simply have a very bubblegummy vibe, reminding of the Partridge Family, or perhaps Bay City Rollers. These kinds of songs include People Need Love, Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough), Me and Bobby and Bobby's Brother. He Is Your Brother also fits in this category. The slow songs are also fabulous. Disillusion sounds like it was written by, say, George Harrison.

I can't possibly express how excited I am about the greatness of this music! There is bubblegum, the Beatles, and a ton of overall irreplaceable, magical 70s pop feel. The only thing stopping me from going insane is the lack of bubblegummy male vocals.. But as I said, all the vocals on Ring Ring are excellent.

Hooray ABBA, hooray Sweden, hooray real songwriters, hooray lovely 70s pop music! I feel like I should give the whole thing a parade... And notice that there are still thousands, if not millions of people who love ABBA and the undying, timeless 70s pop.

Discover This!

Now... Stuff I wrote actually a few weeks ago but still very topical!

I have been a huge fan of ELO's Discovery (1979) ever since I had listened to it enough to get into it... Which isn't all that many months ago. To me music is really quite a lot about memory: having some kind of familiarity with the music always seems to make it easy to fall in love it. In the process my brain might even create a memory of listening to the music in some specific place or situation. For me, that often nowadays becomes a memory of listening to the music while riding a bike to school and/or grocery store. Cool, right... Well, you can mostly turn the memories into something else, if you start listening to the music somewhere else.

Shine a Little Love opens the album and reveals a perfect disco song. I enjoy disco and don't mind at all that it is present even in Jeff Lynne's music. While the first track gets you into a good mood the next two songs go straight to the point. First comes Confusion: a song that is just as incredibly catchy as it is comforting. Need Her Love is the next song, a very traditional love ballad with such a loving mood, added with a hint of ELO melancholy.

Last Train To London returns to the disco theme. Don't Bring Me Down in the end of the album is another classic dancing song. I love everything on this album.. How could I not? The music is so catchy, happy, classy, 70s baroque disco/ballad/pop song gold! Jeff Lynne wrote this music from his heart and made it sound interesting, yet pleasant for anyone to listen to. How come I can only think of about three people that I know who care even a bit about this stuff, or this kind of stuff...

Well, if I knew more people who cared about this kind of stuff, I probably wouldn't be here, writing.

Too Busy to Blog... Or Not

Folks, readers, popsters... Sorry, once again, that I haven't been active in this blog lately. First, there was a time when I was quite busy with fulfilling my duties. That is what you get when you agree to work hard (more than) eight hours a day and get paid considerably less than what most people think is enough to survive. There was also a time when I wasn't able to use the Internet due to being out of communications range. After all that you just start forgetting that you were supposed to publish something on the internet.

Fortunately, music is always there to help. Listening to anything by, say, Electric Light Orchestra already makes life a lot easier. Jeff Lynne, just like any great musician/songwriter, disguises the hardships of life and, rather than just feeling sorry for oneself, weaves the hardships into beautiful, comforting songs. Gee, I should try to do something like that too!

Besides, team Finland just won gold at the ice hockey world championships. Sufficed to say, a childhood dream come true to see it happen after so many years.