90s power pop group Ace of Base may have called it quits in 2003, but that shouldn’t stop a few members of the band from continuing the group’s legacy here in the 2010s. The male members of the Swedish pop outfit, Jonas Berggren and Ulf Ekberg, brought on two new, incredibly younger female singers to replace original vocalists Malin and Jenny Berggren, and the band’s first album in eight years is due to drop later this year. Hear a demo of their new song “Mr. Replay” below and see what side of Idolator’s AOB debate you fall on.
Ace Of Base – Mr. Replay
“Mr. Replay” pretty much sounds like an amalgamation of every song Ace of Base has ever recorded—there’s the midtempo Island synth beats, the standard song structure, the mix of female vocalists with a guy rap-singing. We feel like we should be listening to this track while wearing a flannel shirt and a side poinytail as we play with our super rad set of pogs.
Basically, although the remaining members of Ace of Base (joined by new members Clara Hagman and Julia Williamson) have been working on new music for years now, their sound hasn’t progressed or evolved one bit from the mid-90s. We totally wouldn’t mind Ace of Base nudging their way back into public consciousness with new tunes, but if they all end up sounding like “Mr. Replay” (which sounds exactly like “All That She Wants” and “Don’t Turn Around”) without adding a contemporary twist, we can’t see them making any headway on the charts or the radio.
That’s my take, anyway—we’re currently having a war of the words in the Idolator office in regards to the Swedish pop outfit. It’s been going a little something like this:
BECKY: What great timing for us to finally hear some new Ace of Base—they can get down on their knees and thank Lady Gaga for recording “Alejandro.”
ROBBIE: I wouldn’t chalk it up to Gaga. They’ve been working on this new album since 2007. Plus, “Alejandro” is a blatant knockoff of Ace Of Base.
BECKY: Yes, but her blatant knockoff got everyone re-interested in the songbook of the band she was ripping off. She made Ace of Base cool again and reintroduced them into pop culture.
ROBBIE: Ace of Base were always cool!! It just took the masses—and Lady Gaga—17 years to catch up.
BECKY: They were cool… in the mid-90s! The only time you hear Ace of Base anymore is in karaoke bars or played ironoically during a party. The last time one of their songs even charted in the U.S. was in 1998!
ROBBIE: Hey, just because the Swedish band lost a member a decade ago, hasn’t put out an album since 2002 and now suddenly has two brand new members doesn’t mean they’re not a part of the fabric of our lives each and every day. (Are you listening, Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?)
So what do you guys think? Were Ace of Base always cool, and they’re sure to make a comeback on the charts with their new album? Or are people just nostalgic for their old hits after listening to those “Alejandro”/”Don’t Turn Around” mash-ups?
Oh, and go check out Robbie’s Backtracking post on Ace of Base’s long lost gem of an album, The Bridge.