Stick with the originals
The recent movie interpretation of the hit West End musical Mamma Mia naturally required an accompanying soundtrack.
The 17 tracks include dance floor favourites Dancing Queen, Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight) and, of course, the title track Mamma Mia.
Abba made a name for themselves creating insanely catchy melodies and occasionally amusing English lyrics. Lead singers Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faltskog sang with distinctly sweet voices which provided an expectedly appealing foil to the often complex musical arrangements.
Unfortunately the stars of the film don't share this vocal quality.
While the catchy melodies remain and will ingrain themselves in your mind, the actors seem to be forcing the notes out, resulting in near-shouting.
While Meryl Streep manages to sound melodious, others are less successful. Pierce Brosnan in particular sounds like someone tied his tie too tight.
The performers are, after all, actors - but perhaps they should stick to their day jobs. In context, the songs work, but as a standalone album this has some substantial flaws.
For a better taste of what Abba was all about, pick up the 'best of' album, and watch the movie to appreciate the acting skills of the roll-call of A-list stars.