Even more than their three previous American releases, Arrival is Muzak mesmerizing in its modality. By reducing their already vapid lyrics to utter irrelevance, lead singers Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog are liberated to matter on in their shrill voices without regard to emotion or expression, and the language barrier is broken. Songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjöln Ulvaeus are indeed apt students of the American white pop hook, but their expansion of the hook to envelop the entire song into a single narcotic hugas on Arrival's "Dancing Queen," "Dum Dum Diddle" and "Money, Money, Money"is perhaps the most infuriating thing about this cheery group.
Since they are so cheery and determinedly inoffensive, however, one cannot really hate them. The strongest emotion a dissenter can muster is resentment that these charming twerps will attract enough attention to help obscure the achievements of adventurous artists.
(Posted: Apr 7, 1977)
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