Abba Previews First Album in 40 Years, and 11 More New Songs

Every Friday, pop critics for The New York Times weigh in on the week’s most notable new songs and movies. Just need the music? Listen to the Playlist on Spotify right here (or discover our profile: nytimes). Like what you hear? Let us know at [email protected] and join our Louder publication, a once-a-week blast of our pop music protection.

Abba, ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’

Before Max Martin’s hit manufacturing facility dominated radio playlists, one other Swedish pop phenomenon had its run: Abba, which is reuniting after practically 40 years. A brand new album, “Voyage,” is due on Nov. 5 and quasi-concert dates are scheduled in London in May; the singers will likely be digitized pictures backed by a stay band. Though the verses of “Don’t Shut It Down” are a couple of lady stunning an ex along with her return, the choruses additionally acknowledge the strangeness of Abba’s reappearance: “I’m not the one you know/I’m now and then combined,” Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad sing, backed and produced by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. “And I’m asking you to have an open mind.” Meanwhile, the music reclaims acquainted floor: a strutting march with gleaming orchestration and scrubbing disco guitars, stolid and earnestly tuneful. JON PARELES

Charli XCX, ‘Good Ones’

Charli XCX oscillates between big-gesture pop and artier impulses, however “Good Ones” swings the pendulum again to pop. It’s produced by Oscar Holter, from the Max Martin secure that additionally concocted the Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” and it appears again on to the Eighth-note synthesizers of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” Hopping between registers, Charli XCX indicts herself — “I always let the good ones go” — neatly and decisively. PARELES

Juls that includes Niniola, ‘Love Me’

Everything is rhythm in “Love Me”: the shakers and hand drums, the squiggles of electrical guitar, the overlapping call-and-response of the blithely syncopated Nigerian singer Niniola and a saxophone that finally claims the final phrase. Juls, a Ghanaian-British producer, neatly balances 1970s Afrobeat, the hand-played, steady-state funk perfected by Fela Anikulapo Kuti, with the multitrack transparency of 20th-century Afrobeats. Even after the music erupts halfway by way of, the groove retains its sly composure. PARELES

Fred once more.., ‘Billie (Loving Arms)’

Sonically wealthy, big-tent-pop bold, soulful home music from Fred once more.., a singer and songwriter who has labored with Ed Sheeran and Stormzy, was mentored by Brian Eno and has a tender spot for brilliant dance music that’s virtually bodily cheerful. JON CARAMANICA

Tokischa and Rosalía, ‘Linda’

On “Linda,” Rosalía — a white European lady who has dominated Spanish-language pop over the previous couple of years — turns to the Dominican musician Tokischa and dembow for road cred. Tokischa is the style’s resident rebel, an iconoclast who makes authorities officers, homophobes and upper-class puritans clutch their pearls. It’s no shock that “Linda” runs like a sexed-up playground chant; over a dembow-flamenco concoction, the 2 stars trill, “Nos besamo’, pero somo’ homie’” (“We kiss each other, but we’re homies”). This is the form of music that sparks crucial reflection about race, energy and collaboration — conversations about who these cross-cultural team-ups are designed to make wealthy, and who, if anybody, they intend to liberate. ISABELIA HERRERA

Bobby Shmurda, ‘No Time for Sleep (Freestyle)’

Bobby Shmurda’s first post-prison music — seven years after his breakout single “Hot ___” made him a star — seems like burning off extra vitality. This six-minute freestyle is a exercise; it’s delivered with a doggedness paying homage to the fervor of Meek Mill, however leaves little room to breathe. The stakes listed below are purposely low. Releasing a music like this — no refrain, intense rhymes, cluttered move — lightens the stress that may include looking for to attain one other hit as huge as his first. For now, he simply needs to rhyme. CARAMANICA

Martox that includes Gian Rojas, ‘Pausa’

All cool grooves and saccharine strings, Martox’s “Pausa” is finest loved with a spiked seltzer. The Dominican duo, alongside the producer and vocalist Gian Rojas, collage disco grooves and syncopated bass traces right into a prismatic beachfront boogie. HERRERA

Jhay Cortez, ‘Tokyo’

The penultimate monitor on Jhay Cortez’s new album, “Timelezz,” exemplifies a small rise up taking place in Spanish-language pop. At occasions, the manufacturing is aquatic; at others, its twinkling synths resemble a midnight drive by way of the streets of the Japanese capital. With a thumping four-on-the-floor rhythm, the monitor is one other signal that reggaeton’s main gamers are embracing the textures of home music, and stretching the style’s boundaries past the realm of stale pop. HERRERA

Japanese Breakfast, ‘Glider’

In “Glider,” a music she wrote for the online game Sable, keyboard patterns enfold Michelle Zauner, the singer, musician and producer who data as Japanese Breakfast. There’s wonderment in her voice as she sings about an tour into the unknown: “It feels like everything is moving/Around me.” The keyboards begin out plinking like music packing containers, quickly to be joined by sustained, cascading chords, an ever-thickening construction that may’t constrain her delight. PARELES

Aoife O’Donovan, ‘Reason to Believe’

In a live-streamed house efficiency final yr, the virtuoso people singer Aoife O’Donovan performed the 10 songs on Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska,” entrance to again. She accompanied herself alone on acoustic guitar, as Springsteen had on the unique album in the early 1980s, however that’s about the place the similarity ends. The authentic album was determined and darkish, with doubt coursing by way of its tracks like murky blood; O’Donovan treats them as canon, saluting Springsteen’s songcraft with clear, pitch-perfect articulation and affable supply. The strategy is suited finest to “Reason to Believe,” the finale, a Springsteen basic that contemplates the mysterious pull of resilience. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

Ruby Landen, ‘Pt. 1’

Ruby Landen’s mix of Celtic-tinged acoustic-guitar fingerpicking and bowed strings — cello and fiddle — echoes the introspection of songwriters like Nick Drake. But she has her personal story to inform, with an unassuming however pointed voice, in songs like “Pt. 1.” It’s an anatomy of a failed relationship — “Was it the safety of my presence that made you come undone?” — that she relays patiently and quietly. Then she segues right into a modal, accelerating instrumental coda, selecting behind fiddle and metal guitar, that wants no phrases to seize the underlying ache. PARELES

Nate Smith that includes Joel Ross and Michael Mayo, ‘Altitude’

On drums, Nate Smith is in the enterprise of inspiriting. Far from flashy, he’s an ebullient technician who keys into the subtleties of his bandmates’ enjoying and laces joie de vivre into his personal. Smith, 46, simply launched “Altitude,” a breezy authentic and the newest single from a forthcoming album, “Kinfolk 2: See the Birds.” His band, Kinfolk, is joined right here by a pair of younger and prodigious improvisers: the vibraphonist Joel Ross and the vocalist Michael Mayo. The music video captures the group recording the music in the studio, simply earlier than the coronavirus pandemic struck; when Mayo digs into a brief scat solo, improvising flawlessly in little rhythmic zags in the decrease register and high-flying longer notes, you may see — and hear — him passing inspiration again and forth with the drummer. RUSSONELLO