Photo of the A*Teens album cover
Minors Rockin' in a Major Way

The A*Teens, the pop sensations who stormed the globe last year with their ultra-peppy ABBA covers, are back with a new album of original hits. The four Swedish teens, who range in age from 17 to 17, sing their little hearts out on a series of party anthems and ballads. The majority of the album is standard pop fare, and borrows heavily from Britney, Jennifer Lopez, and even S Club 7. Their first album, The Abba Generation, was a triumph of pop synergy, mixing well-known ABBA tunes with tame techno dance beats. The new album is essentially the same kind of music, without the benefit of ABBA's lyrics and complex musical arrangements. The lyrics of the new album range from nonsensical ("I'll be waiting just around the corner of your eye") to borderline icky ("You're the sweetest thing I've ever tasted"). Even though it lacks real instruments in the songs, this is still the perfect album to put on when you're down, or when you're on your way to the gym and need to get pumped up.

The best song on the album, and possibly the best song in the history of music, is "Upside Down," a perky number about the effects of fantasies on schoolwork. There's a carefully rhymed chorus, a sentimental interlude, and a reference to Peter the Great. It's pop perfection. Nothing could be wrong in a world where this song exists. Be warned, do not listen to this song in a public place because you will want to do choreography -- it's a scientific fact.

Photo of the A*Teens
Their songs are better than candy.
Another of my favorite tunes is "Sugar Rush," a song that likens the feeling of being near a loved one to how you feel after eating an entire pack of Pixie Stix. This and other insights into the awkward mating ritual are set to a catchy tune that's either too fast or too slow to dance to. If things don't work out between you and your particular sugar rush, there's always the sentimental "For All That I Am." When you just can't find the words to say, "I am sorry I made you feel bad," the A*Teens will say it for you in harmony.

I usually hate current pop music, but I love the A*Teens. The Abba Generation won me over because it was songs that I already knew and loved. While the new album does not feature a single ABBA tune, it satisfies any late-night craving I might have for teen pop. And it has the foresight to feature significantly more Amit than The Abba Generation. About half of the songs on the album are completely forgettable, but whenever you hit one of those, just skip around to Upside Down, and everything will be better. This album has convinced me that the A*Teens are so good that I would, as they suggest, follow them into the sun.--Meredith Riley

Want more A*Teens?
Read Super Troupers: More Than Just A Cover Band.
Buy Teen Spirit or The Abba Generation at
Check out the official A*Teens website.
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