Tim: Following your Vengaboys comeback song, you may be tempted to listen to the single that marks Ace of Base’s return. If so, here it is.
Tom: That is a textbook Ace of Base song, isn’t it? I was expecting a ‘Don’t Turn Around’ somewhere in there.
I think the problem I had with the Vengaboys comeback is the same as the one I have now with this Ace of Base comeback. And the Aqua one, now I think of it. They’re all album tracks. If they’ve been away for this long, they’ve had years and years to come up with something absolutely brilliant. Instead, it just sounds like they’ve taken something from the rejects bin of their last album.
Tim: Now you mention it, that seems to be the same with most comebacks. Aside from Take That (who I think were the first of recent times, and whose success is probably largely to blame for the recent spate), I don’t think I can think of an artist/group that has actually done well.
A lot of them probably think that all their old fans are out there, and that once news gets around they’re coming back the fans will lap up everything they can throw at them. They can therefore put out a vaguely good single with a promise that an album will forthcoming and assume it’ll be fine. The problem is, of course, that it isn’t, and if a vaguely good single doesn’t sell because the fans feel cheated there’s no way an album will.
You might get a few gigs out of it, or a full tour if you’re lucky, but no more.
Tom: Let’s not forget: Take That’s second comeback, this time with a certain Mr. Williams, is on the cards. Admittedly “Greatest Day” was pretty damn good – if they can pull it off twice that it basically means that Gary Barlow is the greatest songwriter of modern times, which is not really something I’m comfortable with saying.
Tim: This Ace of Base one is like so many – no real effort. It’s not particularly bad – catchy enough, with a decent hook – but there’s just nothing to get excited about. The chorus always feels like a not very good post-bridge chorus, and isn’t enough to make me want more. To have a better chance of success, artists should write a whole album (or even just an EP) and then choose the good songs off it to release, because they’d then have a good idea of what the overall quality of the work would be, and we’d have a proper idea of what we could expect.
That’s not particularly realistic, of course, given the much increased time and effort it would involve, but it might help. I don’t know – the good thing about a blog like this is that we can be all judgmental without having to pretend we know anything about the music business at all.