Nearly 40 years ago, the popular Swedish band ABBA—named as an acronym of each of the members’ names—released their last album titled “The Visitors”. Now, after several pop hits and musical adaptations of their songs, ABBA has once again released music and plans to host a “virtual” concert in London.
Although a concert is a common trope for bands reuniting, what makes ABBA’s concert worth waiting for is the virtual reality touches that are being incorporated.
These virtual reality components, named the ABBA-tars, are digital younger versions of each of the group members. Even though it won’t really be ABBA playing live, these personas will be accompanied by a 10-piece live band in a venue that has been custom built for the performance at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
ABBA’s “Voyage” website describes this concert as the “old and new, the young and not-so-young. A concert that has brought all four of us together again.” The virtual ABBA-tars were created using motion capture technology, a technique that is often seen in movies such as “Avatar” and used for characters like the Hulk from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Adding in a little extra spice to this fact is the knowledge that the company that helped the band put this together was founded by filmmaker George Lucas.
However, ABBA doesn’t just stop with a long-awaited concert hosted by their younger, animated selves—they are also releasing an album containing 10 new hits, with one of them reportedly being a holiday song. To tease their latest tracks to fans, two of ABBA’s songs are already available for online streaming.
The first of these songs is titled “I Still Have Faith in You,” an emotional ballad that seems to be dedicated to the reunion between the four group members.
To put this song into a bit more context, it should be noted that the band had gone through some rough patches with one another during their careers.
One of their most well-known songs, “The Winner Takes it All,” focuses on the emotions that Agnetha and Björn faced after their divorce in 1979. Although it was written two years prior to the divorce of Benny and Anni-Frid, Agnetha stated that it was also later a reflection of what the couple went through in their own divorce.
In an interview with YOU Magazine in 2013, Agnetha stated that the song didn’t feel wrong for her to sing to the public.
“Björn wrote it about us after the breakdown of our marriage. The fact he wrote it exactly when we divorced is touching really. I didn’t mind,” Agnetha stated during her interview. “It was fantastic to do that song because I could put in such feeling. I didn’t mind sharing it with the public. It didn’t feel wrong. There is so much in that song. It was a mixture of what I felt and what Björn felt but also what Benny and Frida went through.”
Knowing all the emotional turmoil that the band has gone through, it only seems fitting to analyze some of the lyrics of “I Still Have Faith in You” through the lens of each of the members.
Two of the song’s verses are touching to the heart, describing how each of the members of ABBA feel about the band’s reunion.
“We Do Have It In Us
New Spirit Has Arrived
The Joy And The Sorrow
We Have A Story
And It Survived
And We Need One Another
Like Fighters In A Ring
We’re In This Together
Passion And Courage
Their latest album, which features “I Still Have Faith in You,” drops Nov. 5, while registration for first access to tickets for their concert ends at 12 p.m. UK time on Sept. 5. Once you are registered for first access to tickets, you can buy your concert tickets as early as 10 a.m. BST on Sept. 6.
Although their latest songs don’t contain the pop flourish of some of their top hits, it contains an element of love and passion for one another, just so proving that they are indeed in this fight together.
Melanie Mendez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and through twitter at @MAizmeth.