I'm at once thrilled and appalled by the prospect of Singstar Abba. My initial thought process on the subject went something like this:
1.Abba songs on Singstar. Perfect!
2.A whole Singstar game of Abba? Oh God...
3.I have to review this game?! Someone bring me Kate, and a stiff drink.
It was clear to me that Abba in Singstar was a solid prospect: perhaps it has finally penetrated the minds of Singstar decision-makers that karaoke isn't about great quality tunes – it's about the tacky and the trashy; well-known, lowest-common-denominator nostalgia; and especially love-to-loathe classics. Abba ticks pretty much all the boxes. We've heard the songs too many times. But, embarrassingly enough, we also know most of the words. And when I say we, I mean you, too.
What was not clear to me, however, was that dominating one's entire evening with singing along to Sweden's most famous export was a recipe for fun. I was very scared that I would be reviewing a very niche product, and that I was not in the niche. Surely just singing Abba songs would get old... Any band is going to tire, being centre stage all night. And are there really enough big hits to fill up the tracklist?
There aren't enough good songs. But then, any given Singstar title only manages to interest me with about half its songs – so Abba's doesn't really lose points on that front. What's more, I'm pretty surprised by the quality of the songs. Sure, they are pretty naf – but they aren't nearly as bad as the levels of embarrassment associated with liking them. There is a reason this badn was so popular. And, as a bonus, there is a shocking level of variety in there: slow ballads, upbeat pop numbers; some songs (many, actually) too high for me, but also a fair number that were well in my range.
We managed to tear through over half the songs before my voice starting shutting down from overexposure to my bad falsetto. We were anything but bored. The songs are fun, the videos are hilariously bad, and a good time was had by all involved (except Tristan, who just seemed a little awkward through most of this).
However, in spite of having a good time singing along, I can't see this as a Singstar disc I'm putting in repeatedly. There are too many people who are not Abba fans – who are, in fact, violently opposed to having to listen to Abba. But, more to the point, unless you're specifically having an Swedish pop revival night, it's too much Abba. I'm glad The Winner Takes It All is now an option ...but I'm scared of losing all my friends by unleashing this disc in any kind of party environment.
Which leads me to the crucial point here: this is a great idea for a song pack. Granted, that's not an option for PS2 – but why on earth did we need a separate disc for this on PS3?!
...Oh. That's right. Your other music was ashamed to be seen next to it.
3.Does Your Mother Know
5.Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
6.Happy New Year
7.Head Over Heels
8.I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
9.Knowing Me, Knowing You
11. Money, Money, Money
12. One Of Us
13. Ring Ring
15. Summer Night
16. Super Trouper
17. Take A Chance On Me
18. Thank You For The Music
19. The Day Before You Came
20. The Name Of The Game
21. The Winner Takes It All
22. Under Attack
25. When All Is Said And Done