No matter what Benny Andersson may do in life he will always be remembered as one fourth of the superstar group Abba. He and Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog, and Frida Lyngstad were not just popular in The United States but were music superstars worldwide. Such hits as “Dancing Queen,” “Take A Chance On Me,” “SOS,” “Waterloo,” and many others dominated the airwaves 1972-1982 and sold tens of millions of copies. There were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on March 15, 2010.
All the members have gone on to individual careers with varying degrees of success. Benny Andersson has released a number of solo albums but it is as the co-writer of such musicals as Chess and Mamma Mia that he has found the most fame.
He has now returned to the studio to record and release his newest album,Story Of A Heart.For anyone looking for a clone of Abba music, they will be disappointed. The music is eclectic as he moves in a number of directions.
There is one track, however, which reminds me very much of Abba. The title song, “Story Of A Heart,” features a lead vocal by Helen Sjoholm who has worked with Andersson in the past. He layers in some wonderful harmonies to fill out and enhance the sound. It is by far the best and catchiest track and should please any fan of the Abba sound.
The other four vocal tracks go in a different direction. They are more show tune types and while smooth and well produced do not stand out as does the title track.
The rest of the album is comprised of instrumentals. They encompass many styles and tempos. The best of the lot is “Bed Of Roses” which is rag time meets some violins.
Story Of A Heart is a mixed affair. It is more interesting than consistent. Fans of the old Abba sound may be disappointed overall but fans of Benny Andersson will be pleased by his exploring some new musical ground.