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Monday, March 11, 2013

Official web pages for Agnetha at last! Plus, first "A" album singles.

  
(Official website links are below...)

So, (as before) please consider what's posted here as an unofficial artist appreciation/music-voice analysis/(in-depth) artist background fan-blog.  (As always - there's lots of other information/insight(s) right here that cannot be (at least readily) found elsewhere. (Especially: Official websites. Update: The artist's official Facebook page is being run/updated reasonably well.so far.. ) Plus, pls. check the comments at the end of this post for some early impressions of the star singer's initial (album) single releases.)

Here is a link to one good summary of what's currently happening with the artist, album, web pages, etc. (Off-site link, new window opens:) http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/agnetha-makes-a-universal-return-196818711.html
...(Hey! I 'called' her a siren first, here (link)....) Whatever...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J---aiyznGQ
Update: This fan forum now has a transcript of a little-more in-depth Swedish radio interview with Agnetha (3/12/13). Off-site link, new window opens:  http://www.iphpbb.com/board/ftopic-30652567nx61610-13491.html

Plus: A link (below) to a 3/17/13 article from William Langley of The Telegraph (U.K.). A mainstream article that actually gets some details (which are mostly not-music-oriented (though)) more or less correct, about the singer/her career/life. (Pretty much as well as (all) others not able to directly interview/know the singer.  Mr. Langley's prose is enjoyable at moments: Young Agnetha was indeed "an arresting beauty". The writer even used a proper weather descriptor for the 1979 ABBA "tornado flight"!)
Some 'conclusions' (in the article) seem stretched, however. (Not that something like that may have occasionally happened right here...)  Unfortunately, (apparently) there is no avoiding the strange Dutchman affair (i.e., "the man who wouldn't go away").  
One more thing::Can any mainstream article be written (about the artist) without the word "recluse" included somewhere within it?? (Apparently not: Though this particular article 'dances' around it, the word generally is improperly applied to the (often) private individual... (I.e., adult Agnetha.)) BTW: As noted in the next post here, part of the reason for the "A" album 'comeback' is (to try) to refute/dispel that (false) image...
All of this is why it may be (at least) kindest -- at this point, years on now -- to focus upon the captivating lady's singing/performing talent and efforts. As we mostly attempted to do (not totally successfully) right here on this website. 
Current off-site link to Telegraph article, new window opens: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/rockandpopfeatures/9933274/Abbas-Agnetha-Faltskog-Could-the-girl-with-the-golden-hair-get-lucky-at-last.html

May, '13 update: Link to a fan forum topic featuring various 'press reviews' of "A". Some early ones (of those) seem mixed.  (With a few significant positive ones, though.) Interestingly, as is pointed out in the forum's comments, I (also) occasionally wonder if certain critics generally do not enjoy some genres of music. Off-site link to forum topic, new window opens:  http://www.iphpbb.com/board/ftopic-30652567nx61610-13787.html
(One professional review excerpt (source linked):) "... Fältskog always sounded like the shy girl from the typing pool who just stood up, started to sing and found she possessed a pure, crystalline voice.
I like that...Although the Swedish performer actually produced an '80s song/video (link) that kind of matches that (exact) image, I had not quite pictured her in that way. (She sounds more grown-up now, I think.)
 ...Also, an off-site link to another interestingly-written, up-and-down album review (new window opens):  http://www.musicomh.com/reviews/albums/agnetha-faltskog-a)

...Agnetha will always have many fans of her voice, who will no doubt enjoy her "A" song efforts.


(Continuing previously written text::) Though the following pages are - of course - associated with new album promo, it has been time for quite awhile now for Agnetha to have an official, on-line presence. Good for her, and for connecting with fans... in these ways!! (no affiliation):

Agnetha's official website (at last!). (New window opens, no affiliation):    http://www.agnetha.com/
....Including a favorably-done 'biography' (link): http://www.agnetha.com/biography/

Agnetha's official Facebook page (new window opens): https://www.facebook.com/AgnethaOfficial

Official Agnetha Twitter : 
Twitter: @AgnethaOfficial

Official YouTube channel for Agnetha! http://www.youtube.com/user/AgnethaOfficial

Official YouTube VEVO channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/AgnethaVEVO

>>> The first (YouTube) video release (official) from "A" (the new album)!:


(YT video link )

(Sample:)
(YT video  link Yes: Some of the song links may not 'survive' here. Might try this one...: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KRi4nspjRA)

>>> A tiny 'teaser' initial take (on this song-snip (above)): Sounds (very) close to 'classic' Agnetha....!
A bit 'schlager' perhaps, but she performs those (songs) well. And  yes!: I think I can hear a little (sampling of) Dusty in this cut.  
(...(If it remains available above,) Even just the HD YouTube 'snippet' of Agnetha's "The One Who Loves You Now" may represent (at least) a 'hope' come true for this blog/blogger. (And all fans...)  She's sounding very good in this song section, at least.... 
A 'knockout' effort (so far) by the mature singer... Now waiting for the full song (in good sound quality)..)



(Per the following interview...I now wish to be a (domestic Swedish house-) dog.)     (If needed,) Please click on the "CC" icon next to the 'cog' - just below the video - for (English) sub-titles:

(YT video link )

(Jon ▼ )






(Image source: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=34247&picture=tempting-a-dog-silhouette)
... Woof

11 comments:

  1. So what are your impressions? I'm particularly enthusiastic about the German single, she's still in a good vocal shape and can deliver the goods :)

    Here you can listen to the complete song in case you haven't heard it yet:

    http://myfreemp3.eu/music/agnetha%20The%20One%20Who%20Loves%20You%20Now

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    1. Fafner: Thanks for checking back here....I have 'snuck in' a couple of early impressions in the previous post here: "Soon: A quick take on "A", by Agnetha Fältskog (Commentary, 3/13)".
      Otherwise, I'm probably going to try and wait until I can obtain a physical CD. (We'll see if I can really wait...)
      Thank you: I will visit your link to hear the full German single, which I have not yet...
      So far though, I'm in complete agreement. The German single suits her, and I'm hearing some "classic" Agnetha there. (Yes, it's a bit of a 'schlager' song, maybe.) BTW, as noted in my previous post here, I also seem to catch a little "sampling" of Dusty Springfield at moments in that single effort. (But I will go listen to the full song now...)
      The widely-released (other) single... I am still sorting out. It's catchy enough. Having a hard time with the distracting "stuff" going on in the background of it. And I'm also trying to adjust (still) to Agnetha's different, mature voice (of this millennium). As we discussed before, I find it more 'throaty', 'husky' and less 'clear/ringing' than the younger days. As you know it is difficult to put Agnetha's '70s-'80s voice out-of-mind...it was quite enjoyable/memorable.

      Overall though, I think I am as enthusiastic as you may be -- and many others at 'abba4ever.com' that I have read. I cannot stop listening to either song so far really. In truth, the German single is giving me a few 'chills'...Especially when I think I'm picking out a little Dusty "impression" (intentional or not). I.e., Her "Looking at you know I feel what I never felt before..." lines (and next ones) in particular....

      Not certain that it is Agnetha's aim with the album -- though trying to alter the tired, incorrect "recluse" image IS part of her aim (with it) -- but I hope she gets commercial success out something from the album. (And increased recognition as a singer.) Maybe that will happen.

      Thanks for the comment. ---'belated1'

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    2. Oh sorry, I didn't notices your recent comments on the previous post, and thank for your detailed response. I think we agree on most points. I thought that the first single was underwhelming because it sounded too much like MCB with overproduction and a lot of nonsense going around (as I put it originally in the forum). But the second one is a different matter. It's much closer to her 'old' 70-80's sound (reminds me a lot of tracks like 'let it shine'), and it seems she is more involved with the music. The song itself is kinda nice and uplifting even if a bit kitschy. I'm delighted to hear the high belted notes at the end that are very clear and ringy without much strain (just as they used to be), so clearly she still got it and I'm very happy and looking forward to hear the complete album. I don't hear that her voice changed very much or became older since 2004, though admittedly it's thinner and lack some body in comparison to her former glory (but it might be also the fault of the producer with all those computer manipulations or whatever they do today- the whole thing sounds too slick and her voice is too much buried under all the other stuff around).

      Just a sidenote, in a very recent Swedish interview she has stated that she took a few singing lessons because she had problems with her breathing.

      http://sverigesradio.se/sida/gruppsida.aspx?programid=2151&grupp=12079&artikel=5471093

      And lest thing, I came across some very interesting rarities of her 80's solo recordings (some of them were never released on a CD). They include the Spanish version of 'the last time', the extended mix of 'the way you are' (a vinyl rip which sounds much nicer then the compressed recent CD remastering), and the original CD (uncompressed) masterings of 'turn the world around' and 'you're there'. So if you are interested I'll be happy to send you a link.

      Cheers.

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  2. Blogger note: The off-site (music) link displayed in a comment above may or may not be valid. (URL also contains extra characters...)
    ... As always, please use caution. Link at your own risk.

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  3. Oh and btw, thanks for linking to my youtube channel :)

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  4. Fafner - Nice comment: "I'm delighted to hear the high belted notes at the end that are very clear and ringy without much strain (just as they used to be), so clearly she still got it and I'm very happy and looking forward to hear the complete album."
    I also agree that there is too much production/manipulation on almost all recordings now. (I took it out now, but I had a link (in a post) to a TIME mag. article that basically asserted that almost all singers today 'presume' producers will "run their voice thru the box". I.e.; Auto-Tune.) But - perhaps in some different ways - production could be a problem back in the 'day', as well.

    Impressed that the star singer took a couple of (refresher) lessons. She cares to do well -- love that. Agnetha (also) usually seems to interview pretty well with Lotta Bromé...

    Also, thank you for creating the YT channel. Enjoying that....

    If you have time to type in your 'rarities' link in a comment, I'll appreciate having a look at that.

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    1. Thanks. Here's the link-
      http://www.mediafire.com/?5qb5tm6lv2qmt1c

      And I just saw a new lovely interview posted on the forum, I think it's the first she does in English for a long time-
      http://video.corriere.it/ritorno-agnetha-scordatevi-abba/24fad104-8b46-11e2-b7df-bc394f2fb2ae

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    2. I see that the first link I posted is down, so here's a new one:

      http://www52.zippyshare.com/v/20575772/file.html

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    3. 3/1/14: A much-belated follow-up comment by the blog author re the older discussion, above. For now I'm going to publish it here in a slightly out-of-the way place within this lengthy blog:

      I'm presently reading ABBA-expert Carl Magnus Palm's updated, 2014 edition of 'Bright Lights Dark Shadows' (The Real Story of ABBA). On page 549, Mr. Palm asserts that Agnetha's voice..."was subjected to the ubiquitous Auto-Tune..." on ("at least", per Mr. Palm) "Back On Your Radio", from Agnetha's (2013) "A" solo album.

      I'm currently re-listening to "A" (again) with C.M.P's comment in mind. At this point I can only opine that I believe that he could be correct about "Back On Your Radio". However, this one listener does not particularly "object" to Auto-Tune use within that one song, as it may be ('creatively') in-keeping with that song's overall message/context. (...Or, enhance those. Not that any objection would actually matter then, or now, BTW. Also I'm not any expert on Auto-Tune's use/abuse, as I usually just 'run like hell' when I think I am detecting its - obvious - use.
      (Also - as with many modern pop albums - there are other, technical production add-ons (window-dressing or gimmickry, if you want) included on a number of "A"'s songs...))

      Right now I'm not picking up (at least) obvious deployment of the voice-tuning technology within most other "A" songs, but I'll do some more listening.... I'm particularly focusing (again) upon Agnetha's (recorded) portions of the duet, "I Should Have Followed You Home" - parts of which have generally sounded a little 'suspect' (i.e., tuned) to me.
      ...Now I also have to wonder if Auto-Tune could have been in-use during the "live" duet with Gary Barlow/Agnetha for the "Children in Need..." program. ...
      "Thanks, Carl..." :-(

      (BTW, I'm not going to re-analyze the album's "Dance Your Pain Away" effort, as it is clearly a significantly-technically-"enhanced" piece, overall. I'll assert that the various technical (production) add-ons more or less work for this bouncy, dance-floor tune.)

      FWIW, I definitely do not feel the voice technology appears to have been used on Agnetha's two fine, "A" ballads: "I Was A Flower" and "Past Forever". (No wonder they project as (among) the best from the album...)

      FWIW, if I conclude that Auto-Tune apparently played at least something of a role within "A", I'll adjust my "A Fan's Review of "A"" (blog) entry accordingly.

      On a last note (UN-auto-tuned), I'll add that Agnetha herself appeared to outright deny Auto-Tune's (etc.) use (on "A"), via her 5/5/13 interview with the New York Times' Dave Itzkoff.
      (URL of that story: www.nytimes.com/2013/05/06/arts/music/agnetha-faltskog-of-abba-back-with-a-new-album.html?)

      -- Jon

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    4. 3/6/14: For any interested... a couple of additional blog author observations concerning my 3/1/14 comment, above:

      If Auto-Tune was employed for Agnetha's "A" album songs -- beyond "Back On Your Radio" (ref. above) -- this listener is not really able to detect it. Also as noted above, its apparent use in 'BOYR' seems creatively in-"harmony" with that song's on-your-radio production/context. FWIW... this one listener has no qualm about that (form of use)..

      Via additional listens (a pleasure vs.chore for me) it seems difficult to discern (other?) Auto-Tune-ing on "A" -- if it was put to use at all. Agnetha's vocal entrance near the beginning of (recorded) "I Should Have Followed You Home" could be one "suspect" in particular....

      Otherwise -- though various (other) studio enhancements(?)/sound mixing choices were applied within songs (we know that's not unusual) -- her voice seems genuine to me.

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  5. 3/14/13 - A quick follow-up comment to add: Though not yet officially out in the U.S., I've managed to get a few (YouTube) listens to the full version of "The One Who Loves You Now".

    No question: It's an impressive effort by the mature singer.

    FWIW, in lower-fidelity, the climactic "...loves you now.." seems slightly forced to me. (Especially on "now".) I feel 'relieved' when Agnetha comes back down (at the very end of the song). (Maybe I am 'supposed' to...) But this - in part - MAY be a personal listener 'thing' with me: I.e., I (also) thought Agnetha occasionally sounded tense/'forced' when asked to sing up-high with ABBA (1970s).

    Otherwise, this fan is kind of in-awe of the effort. (I'm thinking Agnetha wanted to show us all a thing or two about her mature voice.)
    I still believe I hear touches of (certain) Dusty Springfield (efforts) in the well-done (harmonized-at-moments) "...looking at you now I feel what I never felt what I felt before..." ('middle') lines of the song. (Starting around the 1:30 (or so) mark.) I almost wish that this had been expanded upon/exploited even further....

    Obviously: Can't wait to (be able to) hear a high-fidelity version.

    (BTW: Her final (lower) "...be the one who loves you now(s)" are beautiful/warm/even ringing; 'muddy' YT audio quality or not.
    A nicely-done ending!)

    -- Jon B.

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