The soprano who whispers in your ear as if she’s the girl you fell in love with. That’s how Agnetha sounded to me in those times the ABBA-songs were released and in fact she still sounds that way.
Every time I hear something new of her, I get caught again by the magic of her voice. She enchants me. The well known songs I heard hundreds of times and the melodies seem wear down a little, but we’re lucky to have new songs she released in later years. And more and more alternative versions of ABBA-songs are known. Only a new performance of an old melody is enough to touch me as good as new. It’s the variation in her voice that resonates my soul. No other singer knows how to vary like she does. It’s not only the technical part she’s perfect with, moreover a melody from her mouth sounds different every time she performs it, as if she’s fondling you differently.
The example I like the most in this is “The day before you came”. Basically the melody contains notes, most of them having the same length: eighth notes. But she’s singing freely in transforming them all into notes of different lengths. Sometimes she performs a pair of notes as if it were a triplet rythm: long - short or short - long. Sometimes she performs a pair of eighth notes jazzy: 3/16 1/16. Sometimes they sound syncopated before the beat, sometimes syncopated after the beat. The songs consists of dozens of lines that have a similar melody line, but she makes each line sound differently. Eventually a song describing a boring grey day becomes an intense experience in which you get to feel grievously the depression of the main subject yourself. She turns every single note into music and with her excellent capacity in varying she knows to surprise you in every single note.
Because of her perfectionism in playing with the musical rythm she’s one of the most professional singers to me.
Of course there is more to tell about the music of ABBA. The next article will appear at may the 1-st 2014, midnight (Stockholm time).