The Winner's Gonna Take It All: The final...


'...I let the music speak, leading me gently... Urging me like a lover... Leading me all the way into a place where beauty will defeat the darkest day...'
- Anni-Frid Lyngstad in I Let the Music Speak -


Fashion-forward kween.

Average: 7.9022
Highest score: 6 *
10.00 - @GhettoPrincess @WhipperSnapper @Mikey1701 @2014 @Filippa @TrueBeliever
Lowest score: 1 * 3.00 - @dancingwithmyself
My score: 8.00

Frida takes another hit at #35, as she loses another lead from The Visitors. Written and recorded in 1981 and subsequently released as the fifth song on the album, this is one of the prime examples of how Benny and Björn wanted to step away from the popular musical landscape into a more theatrical style. It was a major break from their traditional pop leanings into a musical song where the production takes it from a waltz into a march and back again. I can definitely see young fans having just bought the album and sticking up their nose while listening to this one...

Frida gives it her all here as she gives a technically perfect and dramatic performance, with Agnetha providing backing vocals, giving an extra oomph right before we hit the chorus. Especially the former's singing is most notable here, because I've always felt that there was a fuller, more mature timbre to her voice that we had heard shades of before, but it's on full display here. One of her best vocal performances for sure.

As it's one of the most difficult songs in their discography, this song was always going to have its detractors and I actually completely understand...
This song just doesn't do it for Mina as to him "The production is overly maudlin. The lyrics themselves are better suited to being poetry without being put to song.". It's "a bit too musical theatre for my liking…" for constantino and "This should have been replaced by Should I Laugh Or Cry." for Mumty, ending his commentary with "This isn’t an ABBA song.". But it very much is, sis.

The theatrical aspect is actually what drew most of you in...
chris4862 calls this a "Theatrical bop." and poor ol' Sprockrooster loves it "when they go theatrical.". I bet you do. To One Stop Candy Shop it's "So dramatic.", while Filippa goes on fangirling "What a melody, what lyrics – a masterpiece.".

It's "Dreamlike." to Hudweiser, yet he doesn't "like the military quality to the choruses very much, but the idea of Frida stumbling through a fairytale forest in a gown during the verses is everything, triumphing over whatever evil lurks in the trees for that big note at the end. It sounds a lot like one of the Chess tracks.". Benny and Björn have said themselves that tracks like this and Thank You for the Music were very much templates for what they would do with the music for Chess.

CasperFan loves "the drumming in the chorus of this one- another great vocal and unusual song structure.", while WhatKindOfKylie? tries to break the song down for us, explaining it's "A song of two halves. Starts off really slow, then it builds and builds until you hit a bop of sorts. One of Frida's best vocal leads too.". Well, you've definitely hit the nail on the head with that last part.

bichard asks "How can you not love a song that talks about hearing miracles and seeing songs? Their most show tune sounding in their discography in a few years, this signalled the path B&B would take after the demise of ABBA. Frida, of course, sounds wonderful as ever. The chorus is great but THE MOMENT in this song is when it all falls away and Frida sings "let this be the joy of each new sunrise..." Spine-tingling.", but SecretsOfFatima keeps it a bit shorter, saying "Hearing images and seeing sounds – abstract icons.". Weren't they just? Pure bliss!

Finger-clicking "C'mon dramatic musical theatre! It's grandiose and really quite extra, but it's such an entertaining 5-minute story." is ufint, and while we're talking about extra, that song contest is brought up again, yet in a more recent way... idratherjack? "Sounds like the best ever Eurovision entry from Estonia i.e. amazing!". I have completely forgotten what entry this should be, but do you.
kalonite says some things I'd have to Google too, as he admits he has "no idea what's going on. This sounds like a late 90s JRPG final boss theme (Kefka, I'm looking at you) mixed with a Disney villain's song.". I know it's a lot of words, but bear with!

TrueBeliever is reminded of the feels he experiences when listening to this... "I had forgotten how much I love this song. Frida’s vocals are second-to-none here and Agnetha’s helium vocal bursts are perfectly ignited and injected. Benny’s composition and instrumentation are sweeping and dramatic. Sublime staccatoed carnivale chorus! “Seduce me” indeed!". A true 'moment', innit.

Proving he 'gets' it time and time again is Mikey1701. He sees this as "Another indication that ABBA were heading away from mainstream pop and into a more theatrical sound, Frida sounds her most operatic here on lead vocals while Agnetha’s falsetto notes on the pre-chorus are wonderful. This is one of the least commercial moments from the group and could be a contributing factor to some fans considering the parent album to be less accessible than the others. It’s hard to believe that a group who sang People Need Love in 1972 would go on to produce magic like I Let The Music Speak less than a decade later.". Rating the albums back to back truly was a musical journey and I feel incredibly priviledged to go through this countdown with fans like you guys and girls, so let me thank you and just let the music speak...

Dutch singers Bonnie St. Claire and José Hoebee formed a duo for a little while in the mid '80s and they released a Dutch language version of I Let the Music Speak, called Is 't Zo Bedoeld (freely translated to Is It Meant Like That) on their 1985 album Herinnering.

Swedish classical singer Anne Sofie von Otter released an ABBA tribute album (well, sort of...), called I Let the Music Speak in 2006. Here you can see a little clip of her performing the song in the studio, along with a little interview of the singer (among others) explaining the album.
but I think Does Your Mother Know is the only thing left that I'm not crazy about

I am terrified that DYMK will outlast bangers like Summer Night City and Under Attack!

For the first time I understand and appreciate the threat that Does Your Mother Know poses.

Does Your Mother Know beating that is so wrong.


(I'll stop the cat gifs now, I promise...maybe)

This is the version of "Does Your Mother Know" I grew up with (and that influenced my rating) - it's really not bad, people!


Deleted member 3416

I think I gave Does Your Mother Know a 10 and sort of regret it as I thought I was saving it from an early elimination. I like it but it is starting to overstay it's welcome.