Nine years after her last album, former Abba singer Agnetha Fältskog is back with a big, bittersweet ballad
Some of you might know Agnetha Fältskog from her work with a little-known Swedish pop group called Abba, who apparently had some hits back in the 70s. But for Fältskog and songwriter Jörgen Elofsson (who has worked with Kelly Clarkson and Britney Spears) it was important that Fältskog’s forthcoming 12th album, A, didn’t draw too heavily on her past: “We were interested in what she would have sounded like if she hadn’t been in the group. And yet it’s important that she comes across as we remember her to be.”
The 10-track album, due in May, features one self-penned song called I Keep Them on the Floor Beside My Bed (“For this album, we had an idea that maybe I should try to write one song. I didn’t want to do more,” she told the BBC) as well as a duet with Gary Barlow. “We haven’t even met,” Fältskog explained to the BBC. “I spoke to him once on the phone – but I was on holiday when he did his singing.”
For the album’s first single, the gorgeous When You Really Loved Someone, Elofsson and producer Peter Nordahl have encased Fältskog’s voice – which still has the ability to seem tender and bruised – in the sort of ballad that makes grown men weep. While the wistful verses set the scene nicely, it’s all about the bittersweet chorus that washes in on a wave of tears and the kind of key change only a bunch of Swedes could create.
• When You Really Loved Someone is out now.
A is released on 13 May via Polydor.