This week’s new tracks: Abba, Josef Salvat, Vengaboys

In this final ever edition, there’s the return of some pop titans, a stomping electro whopper and existential musing on what ‘Vengabus’ actually means

Abba
Don’t Shut Me Down

It has been out two weeks but after 40 years what’s a fortnight between friends? Song of the week and, as this is the final Guide and these reviews will spin through all eternity with the top spot never being reclaimed, song of the year, song of the millennium and song of our lifetime. In short, it’s the greatest band that ever existed returning after the lengthiest absence in pop history, sounding exactly like themselves, on a song of such a high standard it’d fit right in on Abba Gold, the longest-charting album in UK history. The closest we’ll ever get to a true pop miracle; evidence, too, that sometimes goodbye is just bye-for-now. Even if you have to wait four decades.

Josef Salvat
I’m Sorry

Here we find Josef Salvat, established purveyor of above average if regularly overlooked electronic audio wonderment, storming into full-throttle bop territory on a song so good it took an Abba comeback to knock it off the top of the list.

Girli
Ruthless

Glitchy, shouty and with a Marie Antoinette-themed video, Ruthless is the latest instalment in Milly Toomey’s slow and steady mission to conquer pop. She might eventually pull it off: other artists have entered her space but Girli has been doing it longer, and does it far better.

Vengaboys
1999 (I Wanna Go Back)

Let’s gloss over this appalling/brilliant Charli XCX cover. Instead, with finality on our minds this week, let’s reassess the Vengabus. It is, we were once informed, coming. Though commonly regarded as the ultimate party vehicle, might the Vengabus and its inevitable arrival not more usefully be seen as a metaphor for death itself, with the Vengaboys positioned as the four horsemen (well, a cowboy and three others) of the apocalypse? If you ever wondered for whom the Vengabus is coming, wonder no more: it is coming for thee.

Stereophonics
Hanging on Your Hinges

Apparently the word count for the Guide singles review column has dropped since I last did it, which means I just have space to say this is the biggest pile of sh

Contributor

Peter Robinson

The GuardianTramp

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