Story Of A Heart track review

Artist: The Benny Andersson Band

Track: Story Of A Heart (5 mins, 08 secs)

There’s another new Benny & Bjorn song. Verdict: amazing.  

We went to Polydor yesterday and while we were there we listened to – and took a photograph of – a new Benny Andersson Band song.

Like the recent Second Best To None track, it’s a Björn Ulvaeus co-write, and it’s female-vocaled (by Helen Sjöholm), and for this reason sounds JUST LIKE A BRAND NEW ABBA SONG.

Facts about this song:

  1. It starts off as a ballad but then isn’t. (Sound the Winner Takes It All siren!)
  2. When it hits its stride properly the song is a 104bpm singalong stomper with a euphoric (but very sad) chorus of "story of a heart a story all of it mine, and you took it from me every glorious line, I was safe and warm and now I’m out in the cold, and I know I shouldn’t have told my story". It’s a proper big chorus.
  3. There’s a great line in the intro before it all kicks off – "I stand in a trance as I stand at the back of a bus, knowing there’s no use denying, I can’t stop thinking about us". And you start to think of the poor girl from Angel Eyes (sic) who goes out for a nice walk along the river and ends up seeing her ex with his new love, and you think, can’t this poor woman leave the house (at eight because she always does) without some horrific romance-related apocalypse blighting her day? Riversides, backs of buses – is nowhere safe? Poor old Abba lady. 🙁
  4. The best lyrics – the proper best lyrics and in fact perhaps the most heartstoppingly devastatingly incredibly and perfect pop lyrics you will see/hear all year – come about two thirds of the way through, after the fireworks and excitement of the song’s post-chorus, when the song hurtles into a sparse, piano-twinklingly epic middle eight: "never giving up I looked for you everywhere, time went by and sadness took the place of despair. In a way you’ll stay with me til death do us part – like this shadow deep in my heart, forever".
  5. It is hard to believe that we have just written about what is basically a new Abba song. Amazing.

Story Of A Heart is out on July 6. It’s the title track on The Benny Andersson Band’s first UK album (they’re known as Benny Anderssons Orkester in Sweden), which is a compilation of the combo’s first three albums plus this brand new tune. Very exciting.

The Daily Pop Briefing – Another new Benny and Björn song

27 Replies to “Story Of A Heart track review”

  1. I can’t wait to hear this! This promises to be one of B&B’s best popsongs ever, since ‘The Day Before You Came’, ‘The Winner Takes It All’ and ‘When All Is Said And Done’…

    The story of a broken heart continues on july 6th

  2. Please stop this; I can’t take any more of this excitement, what with new Chess offerings, prospsect of Kristina recording etc!! And we haven’t even got Voulez-Vous Deluxe yet!

    Seriously, seems like it will be great, I hope it doesn’t looking a little ‘out of place’ with the rest of the album. I don’t care, of course, as I’ll take *anything* written by Benny but I wonder what the general public will think of the album as a whole, especially if it seems to include what is effectively a new ‘Abba’ song!

    Lee

  3. I agree with Sapphie…all this excitement.
    I have wanted Benny and Bjorn to do a pop-ish song or a full pop cd with Helen for years.I have the BAO cd’s and Helens solo/musical performances but this is becoming a dream come true for me…
    Ps.. a new clip of a nice live/new mix for a tv show(possible unreleased single mix) of ‘min astrakan’ is on a well known video viewing site.

  4. Please stop this; I can’t take any more of this excitement, what with new Chess offerings, prospsect of Kristina recording etc!! And we haven’t even got Voulez-Vous Deluxe yet!

    Seriously, seems like it will be great, I hope it doesn’t looking a little ‘out of place’ with the rest of the album. I don’t care, of course, as I’ll take *anything* written by Benny but I wonder what the general public will think of the album as a whole, especially if it seems to include what is effectively a new ‘Abba’ song!

    Lee

  5. We’re heading for a fall here!!! In no way should we view this as a new ABBA song. That, it will never be! ABBA were ONLY ABBA because of the voices of Agnetha and Frida. Let’s not forget that. Did Gemini ever sound like ABBA? Hardly!!

  6. I agree with the rest. I’m really excited to hear the new song from B&B. It’s so nice to see all the people having the same feelings about Benny and Bjorn that I have. B&B rules (and particurarly Benny) 🙂

  7. @ Nick Hardy:

    Of course it’s not ABBA, but it will be ‘second best to one’: i.e. ABBA! 🙂 So I don’t think we’re heading for a fall but for a great popsong by the masters that created ABBA together with Agnetha and Frida…

  8. It´s a dream come true. I love ABBA since i was a teen, and now, almost 30 years later, we still have the chance to hear original musics from B&B. It´s Great!

  9. 2009 is turning out to be such an exciting year! Thanks so much Ice for helping to bring it all to us. Luv Mx

  10. I too would be a little wary of getting *too* excited. Abba was one of those rare events in history when 4 enormously talented and dedicated people got together and created something truly beautiful and unique. (Actually there were more than 4 if you include Stig, Michel Tretow and the regular musicians etc). Abba was definately *not* just B&B!! And B&B’s songs since then are never going to be ‘Abba’. But they are just as beautiful in other ways. ‘I Know Him So Well’ is almost much an ‘Abba’ song, isn’t it? In Chess and Kristina, Benny had room to express himself further, outside the ‘confines’ of a 4 minute pop song. In both of those he has created further works of art. Helen is absolutely fantastic in both Kristina and BAO. It’s an odd thing – I have been listening to Kristina and BAO and Benny’s solo stuff a lot lately and, for some reason, when I go back to Abba, they sound even more perfect than they ever did. Utterly timeless and never to be repeated again but at the same time we can enjoy newer, different but just as beautiful treats from B&B.

    Fantastic times and, no doubt, I am in need of some therapy.

    Lee

  11. Well, I do have one question: why does the whole world (if we believe the media and the press, at least in Germany and the internet) think that B&B are to release their first songs after 15 years??? The hype seems overestimated, well, they have been writing music without any sort of a break, haven’t they? Only because there’s more of a pop rhythm in "2nd best to none" (which, I assume, is rather meant ironic because this kind of humor seems to be somehow deeply swedish) all people around the globe think ABBA will return eventually. Usually, Mrs. Hanser as B&B’s spokeswoman is always careful with the press, so is this their all’ intention? By the way, does the song "Story of a heart" be available on a solo album by Helen Sjöholm in swedish??? That’s something else I was reading in the news so often.

  12. @ Alexander: it seems to have stemmed from the Reuters wire report that came out the day after the initial story on BBC news that said B&B had written their "first new pop songs" in 15 years. Reuters turned it into "their first new music" and thus it’s been re-reported that way.

    It even seems the fans are falling for it, judging by some of the comments above. As we know B&B have written many songs together over the past 15 years, mostly performed by BAO but a few others as well. Hell, Kristina från Duvemåla falls into this timeframe!

    It’s not as if new music from B&B is a unique experience.

    None of the official statements have made any comment about this new music being "ABBA songs". The media release for the album states "first new pop composition".

    Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE5474RW20090508

    Polydor media release: http://www.ilikemusic.com/music_news/ABBA_Legend_New_Album_Release_Benny_Anderson_Band-6877/1

    P.S. HMV.com shows a release date of June 29.

  13. It even says the same on abbasite.com. Maybe what they really mean is first pop song written by the lads and released outside Sweden in 15 years. But even then what would that have been? Did Shapes get an international release? Anyway, I am listening to Saknadens Rum at the moment and it is beautiful, though I am aware that Bjorn did not write the lyrics to that one! Helen’s voice is wonderful…

  14. I wouldn’t neccessarily believe everything I read on Abbasite either, but no, I don’t believe Shapes got an international release. I recall hounding UK shops to stock it but eventually going on holiday to Stockholm ostensibly to buy it. I’m not sure I’m any less obsessed right now, to be honest, having read the mouth-watering descriptions of the new track….mmmmmmmmm!!!

  15. …Hi guys …in reference to "shapes" it was weird..(I’m originally from Canada…now living in Berlin)..I ordered it when it came out in Europe …and I can’t remember when exactly..but a few years later was released in U.S. with a few tid bits written in Billboard magazine( God of music news..ha!)…in more than one issue, praising it!! ..or saying with a few remixes it could be ..greater!…I kept the clippings in a scrap book in Canada…but there was no promotion or nothing it seems ..I’m surprised it was reviewed at all !! Maybe it was released purely for fans…but in the end did zilch.!!..I don’t think even a single was released..

  16. I still can’t get Saknadens Rum out of my head! I wonder if it will be on the new album …

  17. @ Saphie: abbasite has the same media release that Polydor UK and other sites have

    @ Finnesse: Shapes had a limited release in the US in 1998 or thereabouts. Did nothing chartwise. Otherwise it was only released in Scandinavia.

    @ Marco: Shapes only got press in the US because a writer for Billboard managed to get Sony to release it in the US.

    @ everyone: the whole "first pop song in 15 years" refers to their last "pop" outing, being Shapes.

  18. Ice, thanks for the update. I suppose, then, we could say it was the last album they released *entirely* in English. That would work with the 15 years thing.

    Most ‘casual’ Abba listeners won’t even know about that album. I only knew of it because it was mentioned in the booklet that came with the original ‘Thank you for the Music’ 4CD set.

    But we ‘who love them so much that we need therapy’ are well aware of their later compositions, though we may not refer to them as being ‘pop’ I guess. Even ‘Crush on You’ was only a year ot two ago and in English (though I gather based on an unfinished song from years before?)

    Thanks for putting the record straight, Ice!

    Does anyone know yet if ‘Story of a Heart’ is *really* a new composition, rather than a re-working of an earlier one? I don’t suppose it will be long before we find out; no doubt there will be some ‘preview’ radio airings sometime in June?

  19. Thanks to Marco! I’ve just listened to the 20 secs of "Story of a heart" and – it’s true – though it sounds as familiar and ABBA-esque as no other song before, it’s again something fresh and music worth waiting. I wonder if it will enter the charts. Keep swinging!!! Thanks for your fantastic website!!!!!!

  20. Thank god for this web site. Thanks ever so much. Oh My God, and that’s just 30 secs.

    "The full radio exclusive falls to Radio 2, who are playing the song on Monday between 11am and midday"

    I need a lie down.

    (Who are these Pop Justice folk anyway?)

  21. OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!
    From the snippet it’s obvious the song is simply wonderful! pure B&B.. pure ABBA ..an imaginary follow up to TWTIA. I’ve already listened the 42 secs snippet at least 20 times in the last 10 mins and it keeps growing in me! Thank u for the link.. it truly makes the waiting for the whole song even more exciting than I thought.

  22. Hello, listening to this actually brings tears to the eyes. B&B and Helen, a perfect package. So much looking forward to hearing the full songe, at this moment in time I cannot get the tune out of my head :o)

  23. Just heard this song for the first time in full. The chorus is fantastic and the one thing that really saddens me is this could so easily be an ABBA song. The boys have put out a great pop tune, showing they can still do it and if Agnetha and Frida were doing the vocals….well hello ABBA Again! I know they say never again, but we can see that there really could be one more ABBA album in them. I have dreamt of hearing ABBA again for decades and wish that they really would just go back into the studio as four friends and have the time of their lives one more time. Can dreams really come true?
    Anyway, love the song. Really catchy.

  24. Beyond OMG! Just listen to SOAH for the thousandth time. Superlatives really fail to describe. Magic, just magic!!!!

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