ABBA – The Visitors (LP) // 1981

Standout Track(s): One of Us / Slipping Through My Fingers / The Day Before You Came

Album Scores: 4.75 x (1.1) = 5.23

  1. Production: 4.73
  2. Uniqueness: 4.80
  3. Lyricism: 5.00
  4. Listenability: 4.47

The Visitor is ABBA’s lyrical masterpiece. It’s also their most political, taking on militarism and the Soviet Union in songs like Soldiers and The Visitors. The album is largely an emotional farewell, both in backstory (this time it’s Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad who were getting divorced), and the fact that this album is ABBA’s swan song. Songs like One of Us and When All is Said and Done remain gut-wrenching in their delivery, and Slipping Through My Fingers is a ballad to end all ballads. There’s an undercurrent of theatricality to the songs on this album too, especially on The Day Before You Came, that would have served the group well if they had continued on. Though The Visitors marks the end of an era for ABBA, it’s a grand remembrance of what made ABBA so great in the first place, as summed up in the final lyrics to I Let the Music Speak:

Let it be the joy of each new sunrise
Or the moment when a day dies
I surrender without reservation
No explanation, no questions why
I take it to me and let it flow through me
Yes, I let the music speak
I let the music speak

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