Yes, I know. Abba is hardly the hippest musical group out there and they recorded more than a few songs that even I have trouble defending. But like most successful pop groups, when they're good, they're very good. And though there was a time when I liked to pretend that I never listened to this group, I feel more honest admitting my fondness for them than pretending otherwise.
Besides, the older I get, the more disgusted I get with the need to seem fashionable. All too often the current fashion has little to recommend it beyond the fact that it is the current fashion.
You don't always pick the art that speaks most to you, and it seems silly to pretend that the art that speaks to you doesn't really speak to you. Okay, maybe it seems a tad pretentious to classify Abba songs as art, but I feel silly pretending that their songs don't count as art. Or that there wasn't a time when I welcomed their presence on the radio.
It could be mere nostalgia responsible for this feeling. But I don't wax nostalgic over every musical group I heard while I was growing up, and there are many -- Van Halen, Journey, KISS -- that I would rather not hear from again.
Besides, when I listen to Abba, I just don't think of Abba. I think of all the things that went on when I was listening to Abba: my parents' divorce, my high school days, my first job, etc. And if that makes me weird, well, then I'm weird.
Anyway, if Abba's music doesn't speak to you, then it doesn't speak to you. But that doesn't mean it doesn't speak to other people apart from you. And I'm glad it does.
But then I'm biased.