Voyage saw 118,000 chart sales over the weekend and is already aimed for the fastest-selling physical release and biggest first-week pure sales (physical and digital) of 2021 so far. If it tops the chart this Friday (November 12), it will become the Swedish pop legends’ 10th UK No.1 album and their first studio album to top the UK charts in 40 years.
Additionally, if Voyage is able to eclipse the first-week sales of Ed Sheeran’s =, which stand at 139,000, ABBA’s new record will become the biggest opening week for an album in over four years.
Music critics welcomed Voyage, noting the Swedish superstars’ “musical vitality” and as “smorgasbord of a record that delivers all the classic ABBA flavors.”
The album arrives on all digital platforms and in physical stores in the wake of its three preview tracks, “Just A Notion” and the earlier two-track release “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down,” which they had announced in 2018.
The latter song hit No.1 in Sweden, with “I Still Have Faith…” peaking at No.2, and at No.3 in Germany. “Don’t Shut Me Down” was a Top 10 success in Germany, Norway, and the UK, where it was their first time in that lofty territory since “One Of Us” early in 1982. Voyage, recorded between 2017 and 2021 at the Stockholm studio Riksmixningsverket, was produced by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, who also wrote all ten of its tracks.
In a four-star review in Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield observes: “This album would be a one-of-a-kind historic event even if the songs blew – but it’s vintage ABBA, on par with their classic 1970s run. It evokes the days when the Norse gods ruled the radio, combining two of the Seventies’ hottest trends: heartbreak and sequin-studded pantsuits.”
He concludes: “it’s a surprise to have these Swedes back in the game. But it’s a bigger, sweeter surprise that they returned so full of musical vitality. All these years after “Waterloo,” ABBA still refuse to surrender.”
Buy or stream Voyage.