Nils Landgren Funk Unit – Funky Abba – 2004
Once in a blue moon a cover album worth mentioning pops up. To be honest, most of these are pretty unimaginative an boring, often just containing the song in a common arrangement. Of course, you can hear different voices from the original but everything else is usually quite the same. Funky Abba is different though. I should have realized that immediately when I picked it up as Nils Landgren doesn’t do anything but his own way. I’ve never listed too much to his work since his style is really not my thing. But as I bought this for a buck I was compelled to check it out.
The melodies are there, sort of. But the arrangements are so different that it can be hard to hear which song is playing from time to time. Often the choruses are most recognizable while the verses are pretty much out there. Sometimes you have to rely on the lyrics to recognize it. I don’t know if that says more about my personal musicality (or the lack thereof) or the genius of Funky Abba. I’d like to think the latter. There are funky and jazzy passages and there are rap segments in there as well. Lots of brass instruments of course. We are talking about a man famous for playing the trombone after all.
The song selection itself is no great experimentation know. There are eleven ABBA hits and one bonus track that I don’t know at all actually. But since these hits are performed so different from how we usually hear them, it’s almost like new songs. This was a very positive experience and I think funk- and ABBA fans both should experience this record. Highly recommended!