Abba: Pop superstars are back – BBC News Review reviews

May 24, 2022



ABBA are back! This is every music fan’s dream to see their favourite band make a comeback, and now, for ABBA fans – that dream has become a reality.

Not only have they announced a new album, but also they will be going on tour – but in digital format – replaced by avatars – or ‘Abbatars’ as some are calling them.

Roy and Neil talk about the vocabulary from this story so you can talk about it too.

Related stories:
Why do people like sad music? – 6 Minute English

Spotless reputation – Learn English vocabulary & idioms with Shakespeare Speaks

Video chapters:
0:00​​​​​​​​​​ – Introduction
0:31 – Story
1:45 – Headline 1: Abba’s so-called ‘return’ is an utterly dismal prospect
4:50 – Headline 2: Abba are back – with the old magic intact
7:45 – Headline 3: Abba, I Still Have Faith in You, review: comeback single is a bit of a damp squib
11:22 – Language summary

The story:
Now they famously sang ‘Thank you for the music’. And now, after 40 years, there’s going to be some more.

Abba, one of the most successful pop groups of all time, are to release a new album. ‘Voyage’ will feature ten songs, two of which have just arrived on streaming services.

Abba also announced that digital re-creations of them, so-called ‘Abbatars’, will go on tour next year. The real members can stay at home in Sweden.

Key words and phrases:

dismal
sad; hopeless

*The party was a dismal failure – nobody came.
*The outlook for the company was dismal. They’re expected to go bankrupt.

intact
complete; in the original condition

*The package arrived intact – nothing was broken or missing.
*The company’s reputation remained intact despite the scandal reported in the news.

damp squib
something less impressive than expected

*The announcement was a damp squib. We were hoping for a pay rise!
*That Michelin star restaurant was a bit of a damp squib. I could have cooked a better meal myself.

To download the audio and a transcript and test your understanding, go to our website:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/newsreview/unit-22/session-227

For more English videos and English lessons to help you learn English: www.bbclearningenglish.com

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#learnenglish #newsreview #abba #abbatars

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37 Comments
  1. Reply
    Your English Practice May 24, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    I always admire their lyrics! ABBA’s songs are incredibly beautiful, meaningful and so well-rhymed! Fantastic band, glad they’re back!

  2. I still cannot believe I´m saying this: "I´m buying ABBA´s latest album tomorrow morning"…thank you ABBA for making me feel this way! ♥♥♥♥

  3. ❤ ABBA ❤

  4. Love Roy, he is so energetic and delightful. Neil is calm, knowledgeable and intelligent, a perfect pair!

  5. I love Abba! I need of a show their in Brazil! ❤

  6. Thank you very much

  7. Hello! LOVE ABBA!!!
    We were young and happy, great years!

  8. ABBA HOD MADE ABBA BE BORN 4 US & THE REVIEWERS ARE DISMAL & SAD JEALOUS MUCH LIKE NICK Jonas SONG THEY STILL GET JEALOUS CUZ ABBA IS SEXY BEAUTIFUL EVERYBODY PARTY IN THE USA WANTS A TASTE THEY STILL GET JEALOUS & NEGATIVE CUZ THEY HAVE NO LIFE OR GIFTS OR TALENTS OF THEIR OWN CREATIVITY CREATIVENESS EFFECTIVENESS & THEY CAN'T SING OR EVEN Carry A TUNE OR ANYTHING EXACT EITHER & EXACTLY ALL YOU GUYS SAID TOO ! I NOW LOVe YOUR CHANNEL & TEACHING PERSONALITY WAYS. SO SHARING ON FB ETC, SUBSCRIBING. I LOVE 💘 IT ! ! ! LEARNING. I LOVE WRITING & got it LATE IN MY ADULT AGE OF my 4O'$ & sometimes I go overboard as you can very well see. 😆 THEN 30'S MORE NEW FRESH CREATIVE IDEAS & LAST FEW YRS Not GET DONE IN DEPRESSION & B4 COVID THEN DURING WORRY IRRATIONAL FEARS, IDK, ruined my own skin & health all over body sedentary issues etc plus circulation issues hereditary from my mother & now will cost me more & procedures etc whatever is not few to fix fast asap.

    I FELL DEEPER IN DIFFERENT WAYS ROUTINE then in past short or long longer spells & ACTIONS IN THE PASt ESCAPING ON TABLET WATCHING AMAZON & TOTAL RECALL SOON OF THE PAST MUSIC FILM REFERENCES SAYINg IN Spanish & English SPIT OUT OUT FASTER THEN ANYONE ON EARTH WELL NOT LIKE AUCTIONEERS ETC OR WRAPPerS EtC YET OR FAST SPEAKERs that are not auctioneers or for making A living with it, but natural or that type or kind of person om just speaks fast & they take every award & prizes Respect in the 🌎 World, cuz it would be good if I specially or everyone could who deserves this gift so if you want no one to know what you are saying or learn Pig 🐖Latin, or other language, etc. 😆 like 2 cladirs once on the bus were speaking pig Latin. It's odd so Idk.

  9. Is "damp squib" synonym for "mediocre"?

  10. Reply
    Caio Batista da Silva May 24, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    Please, don't stop this program, it is very good! Neil and Roy: perfect duo.

  11. Reply
    Игорь Фёдоров May 24, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    There is one saying in my homeland: It's impossible to go into the same river twice.

  12. Great! Thanks a lot;)

  13. I love ABBA but The Herald must be taking lessons from CNN, if they think the ABBA return is "Dismal" someone should ask them why ABBA is number one in trending on youtube and why their new song I Still Have Faith in You has over 17 million views in a couple days.

  14. The most favourite ABBA song for me is "Lay all your love on me ". Maybe I heard this song more than a thousand times ! And I want to hear it again and again whenever I feel like.

  15. ‘Dismal’ indeed…! Words of a so-called expert run in the face of music lovers the world over. Let’s call it a bad use of a good word!

  16. Why did you chose some (and rare) negative reviews about the come back of the century? Who cares about sore grapes?

  17. But it'd be nice if they can at least do 1 last world tour with their old songs and new ones together. Not now, but when the pandemic is over. Then we can all enjoy their concerts one more time. How many 40 years can each of us have really. You know what I mean. Make it the last one, instead of abbatar.

  18. I'm literally obsessed with ABBA's new releases. After all those years, their music still has remained intact. In Vietnam, my country, everybody often plays "Happy New Year" to celebrate Tet holiday. Personally, I find ABBA's music incredibly superb because not only the girls' voices sound great but also the boys are exceptionally talented at writting and producing their music. While all my friends are so keen on raps and EDM things, I'm glad that I have ABBA as my biggest inspiration. I'm really looking forward to listening to their upcoming album.

  19. Reply
    Linh 21. Nguyễn Hương May 24, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    can not reach to the website of BBC learning English

  20. Reply
    Linh 21. Nguyễn Hương May 24, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    i don't understand why i can't download the audio and transcript.

  21. Reply
    joaquim luizbarbosa May 24, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    WE WANT FREEDOM FOR POLITICAL PRISONERS OF RIGHT AND CONSERVATIVES IN BRAZIL…NOW

  22. In my opinion ABBA's come back is only.. Money, money, money must be funny in the rich man's world. Greetings from Spain 🌀

  23. Reply
    Jahongir Otajonov May 24, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    Good bro

  24. Mamma mia! They are coming back Great news! Hope their returning won't be a dump squib.

  25. Reply
    Πετρος Νικου May 24, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    Intact dreary dismal damp squib

  26. Reply
    Shodiyor Ibrohimjonov May 24, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    I'm from Uzbekistan 🇺🇿

  27. I agree, their comeback single is a bit of a damp squib.

  28. let's have a mamamia 3

  29. I love your smile, Roy, from Japan♡

  30. Thank you guys for all your persistent hard work here!!!

  31. Has the writer of the Herald article been fired already?

  32. Reply
    maria 🏳️‍🌈 May 24, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    i'm so so happy they're back😭 i was literally the biggest abba fan when i was 7 & now i'm 17 and FINALLY get some new songs🌞❤️

  33. I'm.. 50 a.n.d my husband 54 we are both retired with over $3 million in net worth and no dept's. Currently living Smart and frugal with our money. Serving and investing life Style in the stock market made it possible for us this early even till now we earn weekly.Thanks to fire movement.

  34. hi. In the quiz first question, it is written: this party is what I was expecting. It is a bit of a …I think it should be "isn't" right? if the answer is damp squib.

  35. Dismal of Herald and also age-racism ,actually Herald are using swedish culture there -In folklore there were the ätte-club/mace with you used to kill your elderly so younger could take over.Nice Herald continuing on old viking traditions

  36. Amazing. Thank you

  37. I would guess that the Herald critic was very likely projecting when it came up with the word "dismal".

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