Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Album review: Ace.of.Base "The Golden Ratio"

Ace of Base was one of my favourite swedish pop bands from the 90s, irrupting into the music scene with their world hit "All that she wants", and being included in the Guinness world book of records for having the most successful debut album ever ("Happy Nation"). However, this new incarnation of the group without the Berggren sisters fails to deliver. Their new album " The Golden Ratio" seems rushed and lacks context. The order of songs is something essential for an album to sound coherent, and this compilation of songs just isn't working. Some tracks seem overproduced, the new vocalists are just too plain to distinguish themselves from any other swedish dance group out there, and some of the songs do feel as if they are taken from different albums. 

I feel that "Golden Ratio" should have established a new identity for the group; either they were going to continue the path that the former band started years ago, or they were going to go into a completely new direction. Instead, we have some songs that sound as pale imitations of the former Ace of Base ("All for you", "Blah Blah Blah on the radio" or "Told my ma"), and tracks that seem completely alienated from the album as a whole ( "Juliet", "Who am I").

On a more positive note, they have managed to include some music which is quite good and with single potential. Such is the case of the reggae lite summer pop songs "One day", "Mr Replay" and the best song of the album, the euro-dance synth track "Vision in Blue", which sounds reminiscent of the "Happy Nation" era.

However, if you were looking forward to the return of the old Ace of Base, i'm sorry to inform you that the group is dead and gone. Truth is, Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" sounds more like Ace of Base than any of the songs included on "The Golden Ratio". I guess we will have to wait until the band decides to release some outtakes from previous albums in the future in order to get our old school Ace of Base fix.

Listen to my favourite track of their new album "Vision in Blue" below. Are you hooked on the new Ace.of.Base?


  1. Juliet sounds like a smash

  2. Thank you for your comment. "Juliet" is actually a pretty nice ballad, but to me it felt like it doesn't belong to the mood of the album "The Golden Ratio" or even Ace of Base.

  3. I do quite like vision of blue. I agree that the old band is dead and gone though, I think these might have done better on their own by going under a different name rather than jumping on a band name that worked in the 90's?

  4. I agree with you Dempsey. They don't sound like Ace of Base, except for a couple of songs so I think it would have been a better approach to start from scratch with a different name rather than keeping it and face comparisons.

  5. I don´t agree with you at all. To this is a wonderful album with lots of potential hits like All 4 you, Blah blah blah, One day, Precious and Mr Replay. Clara´s voice is so amazing and gives the songs a new dimension!
    9/10 for me!


  6. Ubbe, thanks for taking the time to comment on my review. It´s perfectly ok if you don't agree, you don't have to. As I previously said, the album does have some good tracks but as a whole I don't dig it as much. I'm glad that the group is attracting a new generation of fans, I'm just not into this new era as I was with the previous one with the Berggren sisters.

  7. Juliet is the mega hit

  8. The one and only world hit JULIET

  9. I love the new album, and love the direction they went with: dance-pop sensation. Glad to see your review, though!


  10. Thank you for your comment, Marco. I'm glad you enjoyed the album and the review, feel free to comment on the blog anytime. :)

  11. Well, I think that for many AOB fans it's difficult to hear other voices in the songs. This new album has many things to talk about, the new girls are really pretty, their voices in the album don't sound very likeable for me. I watched a you tube video where they sing live an acoustic vresion of Blah Blah Blah On the radio and they sound incredibly better, so at this point I don't what really happened in the record of the album. "Told my ma", "One day", "Precious" are really beautiful songs, even I could swear that I listen something very similar to Jenny's voice in the chorus of "Told my ma" (it's just another symptom of not accepting at all the fact that the beautiful Berggrens are no longer in the band) Anyway, I really believe that this new albums sounds like AOB and that the new girls deserve a chance to show their talent but I really do think that the band must be renamed.

  12. Thanks for your comments! I agree with you, it's hard to let go of the Berggren sisters. The band should definitely be renamed and try to achieve success on their own.

  13. Listening to this album now with a lot of thoughts in my mind...

    First thought after popping up the tracks in my playlist...this is nothing like the original AoB stuff. i think they should let the old AoB rest & come out with a new name...
    Personally i think they're trying hard to capture the essence in their golden era back in the 90's, hence i respected the effort.

    The new vocalist are okay, most like today's pop dance singers. However i still miss distinctive Berggren sisters voice that makes AoB unique.

    - A worth listening album if you like Lady Gaga or modern Eurodance,
    - for me, it's not the best album from AoB. I still prefer Da Capo (with regards of 2000-2010 releases, and of course being a little bit biased due to the presence of Berggren sisters)
    - Southern California, Juliet & Who Am I is so out of place, the bad tracks in this album
    - Visions in Blue is my pick. I'm hoping to see extended version or more remix of this track since it got potential.