A*Teens

Pop 'Til You Drop!

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Review

When the A-Teens paid tribute to ABBA on 1999's The ABBA Generation, it was obvious that none of the group's members had great voices. But they had great material to work with; "Dancing Queen," "S.O.S.," and other ABBA hits are Europop classics. So, despite their limitations as vocalists, the A-Teens were able to provide a pleasant, if unremarkable, tribute to Sweden's most famous Euro-popsters. But Pop 'Til You Drop, the A-Teens' third album, is another matter; this time, they are saddled with a lot of pedestrian material. While The ABBA Generation had more of a Hi-NRG/Euro-dance outlook, Pop 'Til You Drop isn't as consistently European-sounding. The ABBA influence has not disappeared altogether -- "Closer to Perfection," for example, is full of ABBA-isms -- but overall, this bubblegum CD favors more of an American teen pop approach along the lines of Britney Spears, NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. And more often than not, Pop 'Til You Drop has a mechanical, assembly-line quality. Nonetheless, the CD has its moments. The A-Teens' dance-pop remake of Alice Cooper's "School's Out" (which features Cooper himself) may offend some '70s rock devotees -- some Cooper fans may be horrified that the influential shock-rocker would have anything to do with a teen pop act. Regardless, the A-Teens' "School's Out" cover is fun and is arguably Pop 'Til You Drop's best track. And the mildly funky "Floorfiller" (one of the album's more European-sounding tunes) has a somewhat Silver Convention-ish charm -- the high-tech production is early 2000s, although the hook has a "Get Up and Boogie"/"Funky Party" type of Euro-disco vibe. But the memorable tracks are the exception instead of the rule. The ABBA Generation is still the A-Teens' best album, and Pop 'Til You Drop is, for the most part, a forgettable exercise in Britney Spears/NSYNC/Backstreet Boys worship. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi

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