|1. The Visitors|
|2. Head Over Heels|
|3. When All Is Said And Done|
|5. I Let The Music Speak|
|6. One Of Us|
|7. Two For The Price Of One|
|8. Slipping Through My Fingers|
|9. Like An Angel Passing Through My Room|
|10. Should I Laugh Or Cry|
|11. The Day Before You Came|
|13. Under Attack|
The opener and title track is perhaps the closest they came to emulating the New Wave/Synth Pop explosion of the time. Parts of it are reminiscent of "Summer Night City" (minus the disco) and "Eagle" (without the majesty) but it manages to create an interesting and unsettling sonic landscape all of its own which suggests an encounter of the third kind may very well be waiting behind the locked door (and they must surely score points for creating a pop song about Russian dissidents).
Next up is "Head Over Heals" which treats us to its fairground synths, jaunty chorus and tale of 'goodtime girl gets herself into trouble'. This one is a bit like Agnetha's very own "Money Money Money" and lyrically is possibly a case of Björn, a la Fleetwood Mac, cheekily having his ex sing a song about herself that isn't altogether flattering. Possibly.
"When All is Said and Done" is a standout in the style of "The Winner Takes it All", although it is surprisingly upbeat for a break-up song (and sort of Christmassy) with a positively defiant lead vocal from Frida. A song of shaking hands and walking away, head held high. Bittersweet rather than just plain bitter. It would have made a good, upbeat album closer, and had serendipity played its part properly, the perfect send off for the group: "Thanks for all your generous love and thanks for all the fun ..."
"Soldiers" is, for me, the forgotten gem on this album.Read more ›
The interesting thing with the Abba catalogue is that you can hear their progression from one outting to the next. The Visitors is no exception--- it is infact, the most mature and progressive product they had ever done.
From the gloomy and lonely cover photo (gone are the bombastic outfits) which portrays them as four individual middle aged people looking off into a future without each other (indeed, by this point, the two couples were officially divorced)to the mood of the record's sombre notes, this is not your father's ABBA. The quality of the production, arrangements and performances helps this record, in my opinion, become a model for perfect pop productions. Arguably, a couple of the tracks crossed a line and moved past a traditional pop format (namely I Let the Music Speak and Like an Angel...) but with rich melodies and unparalleled vocal performances, they remain captivating.
This is a record where every member is in top form. Benny's melodies combined with his studio wiserdry, Bjorn's masterful English lyrics (showing a progression beyond anything he had ever written) and Agnetha's cool yet convincing story teller vocals shine beyond many of their earlier performances. But the true star here is Frida who brings a level of emotion and sophistication to her performances that we had never seen before. She manages to find her way through many different production and musical styles and stays believable and true through every note she sings.Read more ›