The band name Groenalund feels quite Swedish. In fact, there are references to Sweden in the band history. First of all, the band is doing music strongly inspired by ABBA. Secondly, Gröna Lund (translating to “Green Grove”) is also the name of an amusement park in the heart of Stockholm. It is by the way located right next to the ABBA Museum. I am sorry that I am blowing up all this story: Groenalund is in fact a German band. They present their debut album #lovestorm on 13th January 2023. I had a listen.
Groenalund – About the Artists
Groenalund is a pop band from Cologne in Germany. The key driver of the band is Martin Gerke, who ran into a 1979 ABBA record and from then on was fascinated by their music. He is nowadays joined by three ladies, Karolin Biewald, Mabel Winkler and Sarah Schumacher. They by the way even recorded the aöbum #lovestorm in the original ABBA studio. The music of Groenalund is inspired by the late 1970’s sound of the most famous Swedish band.
Groenalund – #lovestorm – Track by Track
The twelve song album lasts 57 minutes.
1. Eye Of The Hurricane
The three female vocalist create a beautiful atmosphere from the very beginning. And, indeed, the slow starting Eye Of The Hurricane, which is then turning into a song with rhythmic, almost dramatic parts, reminds of the biggest Swedish foursome ever. You feel the reference, but at least I don’t feel Anni-Frid and Agnetha yet in the first song. Nonetheless, a really nice recording.
2. I´m Sorry, I Love You
I’m Sorry, I Love You comes with the elements of a real ABBA song: quite emotional (with a touch of soupy), rhythmic, happy, the song is making you move. A song which feels like an easy ditty as well as a complex pop song. One of my favorite songs on this #lovestorm.
3. Just A Story
After the very pop-ish and easy-listening second song, Just A Story introduces itself with powerful guitar riffs. The rock feeling is fading quickly (until the chorus, where the guitars are back), but the bass groove keeps on and leads to an enjoyable listen.
4. Until Your Door Is Open
The bass is also the dominating instrument on the melodic side of Until Your Door Is Open. This leads to a very energetic and groovy listen in some parts – before Martin Gerke and his female vocal powerhouse is creating an almost plushy sound. Overall, I nevertheless feel that Unitl Your Door Is Open does not work as well as other songs on the album.
5. Just Like That
No doubt, this one sounds like ABBA – and, of course, it is for a very good reason. The credits of Just Like That state Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog. By the way, this is the only ABBA original on the album. But this fifth show definitely illustrates that this quartet has the potential to add some Swedish original tunes once they are on stage. Sounds really cool to me.
6. The Curse
The four minute track The Curse has been the very first single release by Groenalund. This is quite surprising, as the dramatic piano song is one of the tracks on the album which spreads the lowest level of ABBA-esque feelings.
7. I Want You Back
I Want You Back, you treated me so badly are the opening words of this fourth song (and of the chorus). A track full of struggle in its storytelling. A really nice plot, which also works with very intense storytelling. I like it, for sure – and feel that this song deserves its five minute playtime.
8. We Keep On Dancing
The eighth track is adding quite a strong flavor of funk-pop feelings to the album, at least in the verses. The sound of the chorus, however, is rather classic. Verses like You’re a superstar in social media definitely illustrate that this one is not a song written by Ulvaeus and his former band mates.
9. Painting Black
Painting Black is a song which feels to perfectly fit to the concept of the album. Some parts of the song feel familiar, but overall, this one does not feel that present to me.
10. Whatever We Do To Music
If I had to name my least favorite song of the album, it would likely be Whatever We Do To Music. The song does have a touch, but simply feels a bit too long and thus almost boring to me.
The promo package states 6:00 minutes exactly, while the mp3 is measured with 5:59 minute. Regardless whether Forgiven is really a six minute song or not, it is a very impressive ballad, which makes use of its duration. The song follows a slowly developing dramatic plot. I am always curious what is happening next while listening. Regardless of that possible one second gap.
12. A New Tomorrow
Has ABBA every sung a soundtrack for a Disney movie? Especially the fairy-alike sound, the emotions and the gentle vocals strongly make me feel of that. Later, the song turns into a beautiful soft rocker with orchestral elements. Definitely a beautiful finale, which also illustrate the huge musical potential of the Rheinland quartet.
Groenalund – #lovestorm – Spotify
Here is #lovestorm on Spotify:
Groenalund – #lovestorm – My View
#lovestorm makes me smile. Honestly, there is just one thing I struggle with. Sometimes, the song feel a bit too close to ABBA to me. There will always be a gap between Groenalund and the Swedish legends – this is simply why they have been (and still are) the greatest pop band of all times. Groenalund are flying really high on this album… but they need to take care that they don’t get too close to the sun. If they cover the ABBA sound too closely, they will always sound worse than they actually are. Great album!
2022 Debut Album/EP Reviews
Here all my Media Reviews of 2022, which feature debut albums and EPs:
Flyctory.com in Stockholm
Here are all postings about my visits to the Swedish capital: