Sunday, 26 October 2008

Hitkrant, September 1982: Frida didn't want to sound like ABBA

‘Frida’ is her name now. Simply Frida. Not ‘Anni-Frid Lyngstad’ or ‘ABBA’s Anni-Frid’ or even ‘Anni-Frid’. That’s how she’s in the charts with ‘I Know There’s Something Going On’. That’s her name on the cover of the single and the album ‘Something’s Going On’. And rightfully so, because by doing that, the Swedish singer wants to emphasize that her solo outing has absolutely nothing to do with ABBA, and that she doesn’t want to sound like ABBA either. A completely new experience, as if Frida had committed her voice to tape for the first time.

On page 20 of this issue you’ll find the review of her album and it’s clear that Frida has found new ways. With the help of big names from the international pop-scene: Phil Collins, Russ Ballard, Bryan Ferry, Giorgio Moroder, Rod Argent. Well, for an ABBA-member who wants to pursue a solo career it obviously isn’t very difficult to mobilize the cream of pop.

Frida explains: “When it became known that I wanted to do a solo-album, the songs came pouring in, after I had let the cat out of the bag here and there. Hundreds of lyrics and melodies passed me by, but actually not one of them was suitable for what I had in mind. That’s when we started to approach composers and lyric-writers ourselves.”

No music and lyrics by Björn and Benny this time? “Yes, but very sporadic. I wanted something different to what we had done with ABBA up ‘til now, rock-music instead of pop-music. That’s also the reason why I invited Phil Collins to produce my album. Of course I knew Genesis, but after I had heard Phil’s single ‘In The Air Tonight’, I knew that he and no one else had to produce my album. So I called him and Phil said yes.”

For that matter, this is not Frida’s first solo-album: about six years ago ‘Frida Ensam’ was released, in Swedish by the way, and even before she started to sing with ABBA, she could be heard solo on many occasions as well, albeit with jazzy music. Still, ‘Something’s Going On’ was a very exciting experience, due to the fact that from the beginning, Frida was very closely involved in the composition, preparations, choice of material and recordings. A completely new experience.
But this doesn’t mean that cracks are starting to appear in ABBA, not even now the other ABBA-lady, Agnetha, will start recording a solo-album as well in 1983. ABBA has started recordings already for the new album that should be released next year; this year, a double compilation-album is scheduled to be released, that will include two new songs as well. ABBA is alive, but the 37-year-old Frida has a life besides that as well. ‘Something’s Going On’ is clear proof of that.

Is it any wonder, to be able to make a great album like this one, when international pop-icons are waiting in line to help you with it? It’s a bit easier for Frida than for an average artist, but this album proves that she’s a first class singer, with a voice that can sound sharp and chilly, as well as warm and intimate, an almost perfect singing technique and very convincing.
‘Something’s Going On’ is full of musical finds; the masterful production by Phil Collins is clearly perceptible everywhere (and his drum-sound recognizable everywhere), and the guitar-playing by Daryl Stuermer, the melodic bass by Mo Foster and the wide keyboard-playing by Peter Robinson are gorgeous.
Actually, I should review every track of this album separately, unfortunately: no room for that. I’ll settle for the songs that are, in my opinion, the best: ‘Baby, Don’t You Cry No More’ by Rod Argent and ‘Here We’ll Stay’ (duet with Phil Collins). Less heavy than was suggested, but a magnificent album.

No comments: