The Sign That The 90s Are Back—The Return Of Ace Of Base

Jul 14th, 2010 // 12 Comments

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.

  1. This AOB 2.0 is a pale shadow of the glory of AOB 1.0. They’re very generic sounding — AOB 1.0 had that blend of faux reggae and Euro-Scandi-pop that was unique sounding. AOB 2.0 just sounds like bad, synth-y reggae with bland singers. The real culprit is the rap-singing — there’s too much of it, and it’s not trying to be rap, like in “Don’t Turn Around.” The best rap-singing in non-rap songs is always short and is a high point of the song, like in “Poker Face” or even “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies. Fail.

  2. Michael

    Ace of Bass were not ever ‘cool’. Ever. And they will never be in RRHoF. Ever.

  3. Shane

    ACE OF BASE IS BACK! AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Andrew

    Hey, you guys are missing the big point here, which is that Mr. Replay is a DEMO that hasn’t been finished yet.

    Plus, if you’ve listened to the preview they’ve given of their new single “All For You”, they’re definitely branching out. :D

  5. Danny

    Ace Of Base were always cool and influenced many of today’s big artists and producers so I believe that modern pop owes something to them. Unfortunately they are still underestimated. Back in the ’90s their sound was innovative but their record companies tried to change their music and make the most of them which brought them the opposite and then they dropped them.
    Personally I’d prefer an album with all the original members.

  6. Monkichi

    As a fan from the start, the legend that was Ace of Base made heat waves in the 90’s like a fire fed by pure oxygen. With sisters Linn and Jenny, they brought a level of emotion when they sung that was simply real and magical. It was the oxygen that fed the fire. They etched moments in 90’s history that will forever be remembered. Ace of Base will forever be identified by Ulf, Jonas, Linn and Jenny.

    The new single and band line up leaves much to be desired. The vocals are weak and bland which is cemented by the fact that the track sounds over produced, and heavily edited. It embodies an element like any flash in the pan dance act of today. It has no substance and mirrors what Cascada could do with very little effort.

    EPIC FAIL.

    Having new faces in the lineup and still carrying the name Ace of Base is insulting. If they would have given the new band a new name I would have more respect for them.

    The legend that was Ace of Base will never be matched because good music never dies. Forever the memories…

  7. Mike

    Ace of Base are semi-legendary in the pop/dance scene. If you don’t like that type of music, it’s no big deal, but I can definitely see them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with 30-60 million albums and singles sold in the past 20 years.

    I like the new vocalists (though nothing can truly replace Linn), and hope they’re able to continue putting out hit CDs.. or downloads.. whatever…

  8. Musicfan5

    Love Ace of Base. Their *BEST* release came in 2002 with Da Capo. I’m afraid its just not the same without Linn and Jenny. A pale comparison of the glory years.

  9. Zak

    For me , Ace Of Base were of the BEST , but since Linn left the band they became Messy , and now ,,, they didnt have the right to play like this with the name of the band and adding two silly singers ,,,, WOW

  10. OK, to STILL calling themselves ace of base is DISGUSTING!!!! They are NOT Ace Of Base to ME!!!! Those new girls are probably real talented, so if you haven’t HEARD them sing, you should shut the hell up. But I hate the change REGARDLESS!!!!!

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