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Review of the Album "Happy Nation" by Swedish Pop Music Group Ace of Base

Updated on August 17, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

"Happy Nation" Is More Than Just an Album With an Eye Opening Title

The album called "Happy Nation" is the European version of their debut album called The Sign and the track listing for this one is different but the style is pop and techno mixed into one album and gives the listener a lifetime of enjoyment. The motivation for doing this review is not just because of the love of this musical group but the album’s title is an eye opener and meaningful.

"Happy Nation" Alternate Album Cover


Happy Nation Is an Album That Shows That Sweden Is Doing Another Thing Right

The United States has the capability and potential to be a happy nation if it moves away from its materialistic culture but that’s a different topic for a different day. Sweden is a country that does so many things right and pop music is another one of those things that it has excelled at if we count the group ABBA as well.

"Wheel of Fortune"

How Successful Was the Album Happy Nation?

"Happy Nation" was released in Denmark on November 16, 1992. That was just before I got into their music which was in 1993-1994 and those were some of the greatest times of this writer’s life as well! It is estimated that by 2007, Happy Nation/The Sign has sold about 23 million units including 9 million in the US alone.

A Swedish Woman Laughing Symbolizes Sweden as a Happy Nation


"Happy Nation" Album Review

The song “Waiting for Magic” on this version of the album is slower and different in some respects and it is not as good. However, Ace of Base knows how to make up for any deficiencies musically. I think that the group should have definitely included the song “Don’t Turn Around” on this version as well even though it is a cover song. “Fashion Party” is a song about really being determined to have a good time. Dancer in a Daydream is one of those songs that will be familiar to those of us that heard it on “The Sign” over the years. This high energy song can also let us know that we have the power to daydream and imagine the kind of life that we want and through these dreams we can set our goals. “My Mind” is a techno/electronic kind of song that is one of the weaker songs on both versions of the band’s debut album.

Young and Proud of course would end up being the third song on “The Sign” but on Happy Nation it is the second to last song. The song is about being too young to understand what the future might bring for us but we can be united for a good cause and make the world a better place to live.

And then, whether this is something that the band did on purpose or not, the song Voulez-Vous Danser is the first song on this version on the band’s debut album. Fans in the US will always be used to The Sign being this group’s debut album but for European audiences, this debut album will always be Happy Nation.

"Dancer In a Daydream"

Happy Nation Final Thoughts

Overall, "Happy Nation" is a good album for the European version of Ace of Base’s debut but it is not as strong as “The Sign.”

One more note about the song Dancer In a Daydream is that helping another person makes us feel like we are important, like we contribute to the community at large and that’s a solid message in a song!

© 2019 Ara Vahanian


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