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Wednesday December 6, 2000

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A Teens

Headline Photo

The Abba Generation


Grade: E

Take four adolescents - two boys and two girls - and have them re-create songs by the 70s Swedish disco band ABBA, with only half the talent and none of the originality, and you get the superficial stylings of A Teens.

Performing covers is permissible on an album if it is only one, maybe two tracks. To create nearly an entire album with covers from one band, however, as do the Swedish youngsters the A Teens, is just ludicrous.

To boot, this band is comprised of teens who look and sound nothing like the originals. Has it gotten this bad with the teen pop bands? Are producers unable to think of new images? Was this creation sprung from the heads of original ABBA members Benny and Bjorn?

When they were first made in the 70s, tracks like "S.O.S" and "Souper Trouper" were heavily synthesized, like much of the music of the times, but the harmony was tight. This recent attempt by newbies Amit, Sara, Marie and Dhani can hardly be compared to the plastic-y fun work of ABBA.

And, although the A Teens have stayed true to the original tone and flow of the songs, it's still just an inappropriate move that pales, as always, to the original. There is so much lost in this recent translation.

The A Teens did try to do some of their own music with "The Name of the Game" and "Our Last Summer," which drip of club-culture beats and trite lyrics - but are these four even old enough to go to clubs?

Perhaps Sweden is just jonesin' for some talent - after all, the last great artists from the country were the now-defunct Ace of Base.

A Teens is not a band, however - rather, it is a group of pre-pubescent imitators who look and sound nothing like the remarkble originals.

- Vnaessa Francis