on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2018 29 Apr


von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 5 Comments

Knowing Me, Knowing You


This video is brilliant. As is the song. These deceptively light sounds at the beginning, nearly triumphant, and the light-filled sky. When, a few moments later, the message is delivered, and theme and bridge come up, we won‘t witness the art of wrapping bitter truth into something lovely (hope, this makes sense, I love broken English), the keyboard sounds carry enough weight of the world. It‘s the lyrics that are performed in a very tricky way. You see faces of regret, last gestures of tenderness, real life criss-crossing with memories. You see and hear everything breaking, probably the story of the performers. ABBA did it close to the end, revealing all those goodbyes, like Fleetwood Mac did, once upon a time when big success and emtotional drama were twin-like companions. And, please, don‘t believe in comebacks! Last night, I saw this small video about ten times in a row, then I switched to headphones when the rain came tumbling down the night sky (with lightning and thunderous murmuring) and listened, all senses open, to  Sly and Robbie‘s „Nordub“. Now I‘m part of the „Nordubbers“, too!


This entry was posted on Sonntag, 29. April 2018 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Ah, someone has got it, too :)

    In the 70s, no one would admit that they liked Abba. Now it’s fine. It’s so kitsch. Kitsch is an excuse to defend the fact that they feel a common emotion. If it is kitsch. you put a sort of frame around something – to suggest you are being ironic.

    Actually, you aren’t. You are really enjoying it. I like Abba. I did then and I didn’t admit it. The snobbery of the time wouldn’t allow it. I did admit it when I heard ‚Fernando‘; I could not bear to keep the secret to myself anymore and also because I think there is a difference between Swedish sentimentality and LA sentimentality because the Swedish are so restrained emotionally. When they get sentimental it’s rather sweet and charming.

    What we really got me with „Fernando“ was what the lower singer was doing, I don’t know her name. I spent months trying to learn that. It’s so obscure what she’s doing and very hard to sing. And then from being a sceptic I went over the top in the other direction. I really fell for them.

    – Brian Eno

  2. Jan Reetze:

    There was such a horrible cult around ABBA at their active time, it took me a while after their finale to get how great they were. The lyrics: No melismatics ever, always syllabic. One syllable = one note. They polished the lyrics until it worked. None of the two voices was very interesting solo, but with these two voices together you could crack the door of a safe. They learned a lot from Phil Spector, I think. Productionwise, it’s always interesting to listen to ABBA with headphones — try to find out how many voices you really hear (it’s up to sixteen sometimes) and how they are placed in the stereo panorama.

    And then there are these deadly charming melodies. They get you, there’s no way out. The later in their career, the better.

    All this is fully commercial, and I have no problems with that. ABBA were able to be fully commercial but still showing heart and emotion — the best pop music can do.

    And yes, the video is great.

  3. Michael Engelbrecht:

    A personal note: it was not such a funny situation yesterday, I escaped it by going away. I watched the video, again and again, and something opened me up. Like a gift you sometimes get from meditation or a talk with a good friend, or from being alone at the sea and suddenly feeling – connected. But not connected in a „all wiil be good“-manner, more in the way of „all will be utterly sad in the end, but here I am, sad and well and strangely happy“.

  4. Lajla Nizinski:

    Ich fand die Musik von ABBA immer gut. Klar mochte auch ich Fernando gerne mitsingen. Ihr Aussehen und ihr Design war nicht so mein Geschmack. Ich bin auf die beiden neuen Songs gespannt.

  5. Michael Engelbrecht:

    One of the things I‘ve missed in my life: I have never been part of Brian‘s a capella group in London. It would have happend, if I‘d been living close to Notting Hill, and If I could sing, haha! Just imagine what it would have been singing Fernando along with Brian and friends. I always encouraged him to do a cover album, a special one, but, well, it doesn‘t seem to happen.

Manafonistas | Impressum | Kontakt | Datenschutz