For a band who were together for just ten years, ABBA left a legacy behind that has rarely been surpassed by a pop band. Over 25 years since their demise, it speaks volumes that Benny Andersson is still known solely for his work with the hitmakers, despite the fact that his other projects and interests have been many-numbered.
Since forming Benny Andersson Band in 2001, the ever-changing line-up has scored hits in their native Sweden but failed to impact further afield. Their latest album is his most high profile in recent times, however; 'Story of a Heart' is a compilation of their three albums, plus several new tracks - including the first song he's written with Bjorn Ulvaeus in 15 years, apparently.
That song ('Story of a Heart') is amongst the better songs here. Its dinky pan pipes, bittersweet lyrics and swelling chorus means that it could almost pass for an ABBA b-side. It's also one of the only songs that benefits from lyrics; although there's nothing wrong with the female vocalist's efforts, it does have a Margo O'Donnell-ising effect on songs like the naff 'You Are My Man' and '(If This Is) Our Last Dance'.
It's instrumentals like the Balkan folk-influenced 'Jehu', the jaunty 'Bed of Roses' and the cheeky tuba parp of 'Circus Finnemang' that impress the most on this patchy, occasionally even corny effort. On one hand, there's a place for songs like this, loaded with tin whistles, violins and piano ballads. Unfortunately, that place is on a cruise ship during low season.