Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Abba: Greatest Hits [Atlantic, 1976]
Although four of these songs have gone top twenty here, the title commemorates the band's conquest of such places as West Germany and Costa Rica, where Abba's Europop is the biggest thing since the Beazosmonds. Americans with an attraction to vacuums, late capitalism, and satellite TV adduce Phil Spector and the Brill Building Book of Hooks in Abba's defense, but the band's real tradition is the advertising jingle, and I'm sure their disinclination to sing like Negroes reassures the Europopuli. Pervasive airplay might transform what is now a nagging annoyance into an aural totem. It might also transform it into an ashtray. God bless America, we're not likely to find out which. C+