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The Golden Ratio

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Album Review

Eight years after their last studio release (2002's underperforming Da Capo), Swedish pop quartet Ace of Base return, minus original members Malin and Jenny Berggren, but with two new sound-alike vocalists in tow, Julia Williamson and Idol 2009 semifinalist Clara Hagman, for their fifth LP, The Golden Ratio. They may be synonymous with the dominant Europop scene of the mid-'90s, but with Lady Gaga pilfering their sound for recent single "Alejandro" and Katy Perry acknowledging them as a major inspiration for her Teenage Dream album, they couldn't have timed their long-awaited comeback much better. Produced and written by Ulf and Jonas, its 13 tracks combine the unexpectedly influential summery faux-reggae of their globe-conquering debut, Happy Nation, and the glossy dance-pop of follow-ups The Bridge and Flowers to produce perhaps the most quintessential Ace of Base record of their career. Packed with shimmering synths, dirty basslines, and gigantic pop choruses, the likes of lead single "All for You," the September-esque "Doreen," and the title track, which, in a situation of role reversal, owes a nod to Gaga's "Poker Face," are all the kind of euphoric schlager anthems you'd expect to see at Melodifestivalen. But elsewhere, they also embrace their more successful bubblegum reggae leanings on the bouncy "Blah, Blah, Blah on the Radio," the incessantly catchy "One Day," and "Mr. Replay," a carnival-style collaboration with emerging rapper Lex Marshall. Occasionally, they stray outside their comfort zone, and although the country-tinged "Southern California" provides one of the album's highlights, the plodding folk of "Who Am I?" and the schmaltzy trip-hop-lite ballad "Juliet" suggest they should stick to what they know. With the exception of the new lineup, The Golden Ratio could have been released during any point in the last 17 years, but although it fails to progress their trademark sound, it's an irresistibly melodic affair that could still provide today's more contemporary pop divas with a few more ideas. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews


"Ace of Base" in name only. This is not the same band I fell in love with back in the 90s. I hate that they ditched the original vocalists (the sisters of one of the boys no less!) for younger girls. Jenny and Linn ARE Ace of Base. Jenny's solo album, "My Story" was much better and sounds more like the old Ace of Base than this new crap. I'm glad I didn't buy the album and just listened to the previews. I've waited so long for Ace of Base to release a new album. I guess I can give up hope of ever getting anything new from my favorite childhood band.


Been a fan since The Sign. I'm getting to The Golden Ratio party three years late because I was convinced I wasn't going to hear anything new. Oops. Wish I had never come. This album has absolutely no personality. It is generic pop -- below average generic pop -- with no redeeming qualities. Past albums, especially their last extended release Da Capo, offered multiple tones and messages, as well as exciting technique across all of their tracks. The Golden Ratio is a sad money-making venture, and I wish I had not wasted my $9.99 on it. I convinced myself that the samples didn't do any of the cuts justice. I was so wrong. Don't buy it. Hope for something better in another five years if they rediscover their inspiration and find people who can sing with any kind of soul. The blonde zombie second from the right clearly doesn't know what she's doing.


Long awaited comeback! New members are gorgeous. The Golden Ratio just in time for summer.


Formed: 1990 in Gothenburg, Sweden

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Originally comprised of vocalists Jenny Berggren and Malin "Linn" Berggren, and keyboardists Jonas "Joker" Berggren and Ulf "Buddah" Ekberg, the Swedish quartet Ace of Base became a phenomenally popular international act with their 1993 debut album, The Sign, one of the highest-selling debuts of all time. Ace of Base's simple, melodic Euro-disco was equally popular on radio and in the clubs, earning the quartet three U.S. Top Ten singles -- "All That She Wants," "Don't Turn Around," and "The Sign,"...
Full Bio
The Golden Ratio, Ace of Base
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