Q (Magazine) - p.943 stars out of 5
-- "[I]t's genuinely marvellous to hear one of pop's most underrated voices back..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.843 stars out of 5
-- "It's not pop's most showy voice but it has a particular majesty, blending confidence and vulnerability."
Personnel: Agnetha F?ltskog (vocals, background vocals); Fredrik Thomander (guitars, keyboards, programming, background vocals); Jesper Jacobson (guitars, keyboards); Gunnar Norden, Stefan Ohlsson, Mattias Torell (guitars); Niklas Sunden (accordion); Peter Nordahl (piano); Max Lorentz (organ); P?r Westerlund, Simon Petr?n (keyboards, programming); Per Lindvall (drums); Janet Leon, Jeanette Ohlsson, Linda Ulvaeus, Myrra Malmberg, J?rgen Elofsson (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Jess Sutcliffe.
Recording information: Atlantis Studio Stockholm; Lighthouse Studios Liding?; Stockholm Concerthouse.
Photographer: Andy Earl.
Arranger: Peter Nordahl.
Agnetha F?ltskog faded into a quiet retirement in the late '80s, resurfacing with an autobiography in 1996 and then a collection of covers, primarily standards, called My Colouring Book, a 2004 release loosely tied into the popularity of ABBA's jukebox musical Mama Mia. Despite these projects, she never pursued a full-fledged comeback, not until 2013 when she released A, a collection of new songs written and produced by J?rgen Elofsson, that received a major multinational push. Elofsson wrote hits for Britney Spears, including the fizzy early sensation "(You Drive Me) Crazy," but the touchstone for A is his masterwork of pageantry, "A Moment Like This," the song Kelly Clarkson sang at the conclusion of the first season of American Idol. There are hints of disco here and there, most prominently on "Dance Your Pain Away," and a bit of pure pop ("Back on Your Radio" is a terrific statement of adult contemporary purpose), but for the most part A is straight-down-the-middle Europop ballads, the kind ABBA pioneered and the kind F?ltskog still feels very comfortable singing. Throughout it all, she sounds strikingly robust -- she may not hit the high notes anymore but she never sounds thin -- and part of the credit should go to Elofsson, who crafts his songs and productions to showcase F?ltskog at her best. Much of this feels familiar but not precisely like music she's made before. Rather, this is stately, sweet Europop, the kind that could have been released any time over the last 30 years, but it's given a warm, reassuring quality by Agnetha F?ltskog, who retains an appealing, easy touch that separates her from her successors and still resonates all these years later. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine