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That '70s show

Perhaps no single band better encapsulates the cool-as-ice pop and multilayered dance music machinations of 1970s radio music as does Swedish foursome ABBA. For some, this group's penchant for bombastic pop productions and insanely catchy ditties is lamentable, and representative of a vacuous time in pop music history. A band like this could only be loved in an ironic fashion, these folks insist.

For millions of others -- the sort who've flocked in droves to support the ABBA-celebrating stage musical "Mamma Mia!" and continue to purchase ABBA albums -- loving ABBA is nothing to be ashamed of. In the eyes of these listeners, Bjorn Again -- the cleverly named, internationally successful ABBA tribute ensemble -- is a gift from the great beyond. Able to re-create ABBA's schlock-symphonies note-for-note, and donning their respective personae -- ABBA's main songwriters Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson have become Bjorn Volvo-us and Benny Anderwear, respectively -- Bjorn Again has thrilled audiences around the globe since its formation in 1988.

Bjorn Again brings its ABBA tribute to the Avalon Ballroom, Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, for two shows next Friday and Feb. 3, at 9 p.m. each night. The shows are sold out.

-- Jeff Miers

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