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Overview: Aqua are a Danish-Norwegian pop band who are primarily known for one track, "Barbie Girl". But that isn't their only good song (if you like it, of course), as you will find out during this review, on their opening album they have many wonderful songs that show why they truly are one of the best bubblegum pop bands who have ever played music. This album, "Aquarium", is their debut studio album released all the way back in 1997, and since then has sold over 14 million albums worldwide. In this review of the album I will review each track individually, I will also review the album as a whole and name the band individually. Just before I get onto reviewing the album's tracks, I would certainly check out this album, it may be corny, cheesy and whatever else, but it's good, catchy fun with plenty of sing along tracks, so without further ado, let's get onto the band's members.
Lene Nystrom - Songwriter, Lead and Backing Vocals.
Rene Dif - Songwriter, Lead Vocals.
Claus Norreen - Songwriter, mixing, guitar.
Soren Rasted - Songwriter, mixing, instruments, backing vocals.
01: Happy Boys & Girls - 5/5. For an opening track on an opening album, this is a great song. It shows what the band can do, a catchy beat, a sing along chorus, great dual-vocals from Lene and Rene, and overall just a funky song. I have heard this one a few times now, and it's only getting better and better the more I hear it, it's really upbeat as well (like every song on here to be fair), you can't listen to this song and feel down, you just can't haha!
02: My Oh My - 5/5. Now onto the second track on the album, this is my personal favourite. If the first one didn't get you into the Aqua spirit, then this one definitely will. Once again, a fantastic, catchy intro that really hooks you right away, a brilliant beat that you can't help but sing along to, and Lene's vocals are once again top notch. One word of warning though, if you listen to this song, you won't be able to get it out of your head! I may sound like I'm over-exaggerating but this track is that good.
03: Barbie Girl - 5/5. Here we are, the song we all knew was coming, it's Barbie Girl! Now I know this track can get a bad rep for being overly annoying, but for me it's the opposite, it's overly superb. Just like the previous one, try listening to this one without singing along, an insanely catchy and wonderfully sung vocals by the awesome team makes this three amazing songs on the spin. This is one song I've heard many times, but it's still brilliant, it just never gets old, fantastic track.
04: Good Morning Sunshine - 3/5. This is the first song out of the opening four that I don't love, just liked, but not every song can be a classic can they? Overall this one has a much slower beat compared to the others, with more of a melodic feel to it, it's good but not up there with their best. One thing I didn't like about this one as well is that Rene sings some sort of rap mid-way through the song, which was totally random and out of place for this bubblegum pop artist, a solid track, but not one of their best.
05: Doctor Jones - 5/5. There we are, Aqua back to their best, with another stick-in-your-head catchy pop song that you're still singing three hours after the track finished. With lyrics based on Indiana Jones, the song sings about a man called Dr. Jones who has to rescue his band mates from an evil tribe, well at the least the video is anyway haha! But seriously, if you still have any doubts about Aqua this a wonderful track to change those doubts.
06: Heat of the Night - 4/5. Another really impressive song, although no classic I still really enjoyed listening to this one. Like all Aqua songs, it's between 3-4 minutes, so it doesn't drag on but it doesn't feel too short either. This one sounds more Spanish/Mexican than Danish-Norwegian but I guess that shows how clever they are when it comes to music creativity. So another really good song for their debut album, we're half way through now, will the quality keep up or dip near the back-end? Keep reading to find out.
07: Be a Man - 3/5. To be fair this is probably the weakest song on the whole album, it's by no means a terrible track, just compared to the others it really does pale in comparison. Like "Good Morning Sunshine", it has a much slower tempo and the beat is a lot more dramatic, which I don't think suits them too well. The chorus is decent, the lyrics are quite meaningful and shows that they can make more than just fun pop songs, but to be honest all their best ones are the fun pop songs.
08: Lollipop (Candyman) - 5/5. We have just entered classic territory once again, this is one of their most famous songs and for good reason. I toss around the word "catchy" a lot but for this song I really do mean it; the main piano part played regularly throughout the song is enough to make anyone bob their head to the tune, but the verses and choruses are just as good. Another winner for the album and it shows that they are at their best when they do cheesy songs.
09: Roses and Red - 5/5. Two classic tracks on the spin, that's more like it! This was actually the first video the band ever shot despite coming in ninth on the album's track listing. What can I say about this song that hasn't already been said about other Aqua songs? Catchy, fun, funky, great beat, you have to sing-along or you have no soul (just kidding), and a very good song to kill four minutes. One of their best on the entire album and as a band as a whole, great song.
10: Turn Back Time - 4/5. Another slower song, although this one is better than "Be a Man" and "Good Morning Sunshine". The music video, for anyone who has seen it, features clips from the movie "Sliding Doors". While this isn't one of my all time favourites for the band, it's still highly impressive and shows a new side to them, a more mature and intelligent side to them. It shows they can do emotionally powerful songs with a deep meaning to them, while still being enjoyable to listen to.
11: Calling You - 4/5. So we come to the final song on the normal album release, does the album go out with a bang or a whimper? Simple answer, it goes out with a half-bang, it's by far an epic classic, but it's leagues above a decent song. It's the fine median, the beat is really well done, the vocals great as ever and the lyrics just as stupid as ever! But I didn't find the chorus to be one of their best, and when you're hearing the chorus three times you need it to be the best part of the song. A good song though just has a minor flaw in it.
(Bonus Track) 12: Didn't I - 5/5. Why this is only a bonus track on certain editions of the album is beyond me, it's another brilliantly catchy pop song that is much better than "Be a Man" or "Good Morning Sunshine". But alas it was left out, but it's available on YouTube for anyone interesting in hearing it, you won't be disappointed (probably). The classics having been coming in fast like a speeding bullet on this album, and here's another.
Conclusion: So there we have it, the first album of the pop band Aqua, what do you think? Does this review make you go out and buy it? Or vow to never listen to Aqua ever again? Or something else entirely? Either way music's subjective and all about opinion, and in my opinion this album rocks (or pops), it's great catchy fun and it's something you can never be too old or too young for. I'd definitely recommend this since it is fairly cheap and it doesn't get old no matter how many times you listen to it. An impressive debut the band, their first and best album out of the three they've done.
Aquarium is the debut album from Danish pop group Aqua. The album was released in 1999 and so is quite 'old' now. The album is currently available to buy from Amazon from as little as 1p which I think is excellent value for money.
~ * Track listing * ~
1) Happy Boys & Girls 2) My Oh My 3) Barbie Girl 4) Good Morning Sunshine 5) Doctor Jones 6) Heat of The Night 7) Be A Man 8) Lollipop (Candyman) 9) Roses Are Red 10) Turn Back Time 11) Calling You
The album consists of euro-pop (think Vengaboys!). The music is very cheesy!! They have a very unique sound!
The songs which stand out for me are the ones which were released as singles. I absolutely love, Barbie Girl,(an incredibly cheesy, yet girlie song) Doctor Jones (so catchy) and Turn Back Time (a lovely ballad).
The lead singer, Lene's voice is very high-pitched and can be annoying at times. However, I think it is her voice which makes the songs so unique and also means that you can easily identify any of Aqua's songs. I wouldn't say she's a good singer; in fact she's very child-like, however she does bring life to the songs.
This is the kind of album that will appeal to kids as well as adults. It's the type of album you can sing along to whilst driving in the car.
The lyrics are very catchy and just make you want to join in. Lyrics include; 'I'm a Barbie Girl, in a Barbie world, life is plastic, it's fantastic' along with other songs consisting of lots of 'I-pee-ai-ee-ai--pee-ai-oh-ai-pee-ai-eh-oh-woah'. You can guarantee that you will be singing along in not time. The songs are very 'fun' - so much that they are quite comical.
If you love cheesy pop, I would definitely recommend this album to you!
Thanks for reading!
Xd-o-n-z-x / xdonzx
I bought this album in 1998 when I was 13. I loved the band back in the day, their music was happy and cheerful.
The whole album is happy and cheerful. It's very much a "bubblegum pop" album with cheeky lyrics and pop beats in the background. The album contains the single Barbie Girl which was a huge hit in 1997. The single focuses on Barbie and her little "world", what it's like to live in her world. The band are foreign and you can hear a foreign twang in Lene's voice but I quite like this. Yes, Barbie Girl is slightly auto tuned, however it IS a great pop song and I still enjoy listening to it today.
Doctor Jones was the follow up to Barbie Girl and it's featured on this album. It's another great pop song with a good dance beat in the background. My Oh My is another pop song with the Aqua feel. All of their songs sound pretty much the same. Aqua like to place pop songs over dance beats and add some silly lyrics over the top to finish the songs off. It is a little cheesy, however I was surprised at their ballad Turn Back Time as it does sound a little too mature for the band. I was surprised in a good way, just listen to it. It's stunning.
This is a cheeky slice of bubblegum pop that wouldn't be for everyone but I happen to like it.
Jump into the Aquarium.
Aqua burst onto the scene way back in 1997 with their super annoying pop track 'Barbie Girl', I dare doubt that it has been voted by the 'most annoying track' of the 90's a fair few times. The track spent several weeks at number 1 in the summer of 97 and they released their debut album 'Aquarium' on the back on it.
I think it is safe to say that this album is for serious pop fans only. Those who like a bit of cheesy bubblegum pop. But the true test is whether the music is of that cheesiness quality or whether it is pure dirge.
'Aquairum' consists of 11 pop songs. Here is my track by track review:
'Happy Boys And Girls' - Well what an opening! This is pure pop at it's best. Something that is so instant and gets stuck in your head for days on end. This is a great start to the album. Incrediably, it is not as annoying as you'd expect it to be, but more of a classic pop song. 8/10.
'My Oh My' - This was released as the 4th single from the album and was a hit in the UK. 'My Oh My' is another 'what-you-would-expect' Aqua song. It's consistant all the way through and a definite highlight on the album. 8/10.
'Barbie Girl' - We all know this. You're going to either love it or hate it. I have to be honest and say that I despised this song when it first came out, and i'm still not keen to it to this day. However, it gets me buzzing when it's played in a 90's themed nightclub and i'm wasted. 7/10.
'Good Morning Sunshine' - The first ballad on the album. It has a slow beat that their previous songs and is an instant 90's pop ballad song. I think it showed that Aqua had the potential to write 'serious' songs as well as their bubblegum tracks. This song served as the 5th and final single from the album in the UK. 10/10.
'Doctor Jones' - The album's second single in the UK and their second number 1. Simmilar to 'Barbie Girl' for pure annoyance, but all these years later, it's not the track they are remembered for. I prefer it to 'Barbie Girl', but again it isn't my favourite track. 8/10.
'Heat Of The Night' - More of a mellow song, but not a ballad. It has a Spanish theme to it, with the male singer taking part in a small bit of the language. It's not a bad song, but it does not stand out as much as the other songs. 7/10.
'Be A Man' - Time for another ballad, and i've said this on the review for their second album, but Aqua are incredibly good at doing ballads. This song however, doesn't really gel with me. In fact, once it's stopped playing, I kind of forget what the song goes like. A bit of an album filler. 6/10.
'Lollipop (Candyman)'. Cheese factor 10/10. This song was released throughout Europe but in the UK (thankfully) we were spared. I have no doubt this would have been massive if it had been released. What can I say about this song? It's annoying, it's cheesy, it's typical Aqua! 8/10.
'Roses Are Red' - This is more dancey than their previous stuff, but the cheese is still there. Another song that was a single throughout Europe (they sure liked releasing singles off this album) but again not in the UK. It is one of the weaker songs on the album. 6/10.
'Turn Back Time' - This was the third single and their third UK number 1. The song was also on the official soundtrack to the film 'Sliding Doors'. A ballad and probably their most serious song. A definite highlight and a 90's classic. 10/10.
'Calling You' - And onto the album's closing song. I'm dissapointed they've ended on this song. It's probaly the weakest track on the album and they could have ended it on a higher. It's very pop but does not have the appeal of their previous songs. 5/10.
Aqua sure know how to do cheese. This album is the perfect example of that. Some of the songs let it down but there are still some classics on there. I do prefer their follow-up 'Aquarius' though as that tends to be more poppy but less annoying.
Well here it is, probably the most embarrassing album I own! I bought this album back when I was 16 in 1997. It was only cheap and I thought it would be a fun album to give a listen. This was a massive hit for the band Aqua, Aquarium was number one in loads of countries and sold millions of copies. When I spotted this the other day I thought I would give it a listen and then a review. Here is what I think if the songs.
1. Happy Boys And Girls - So here is what this album is all about. Euro dance pop music. For what it is its actually not that bad. The words in this song are pretty ordinary and the music is nothing special, but it just works. Its a happy joyful start to the album. 3/5
2. My Oh My - Another song in the same vain. Cheerful pop. Again its nothing special but it is just a good happy song. A strong beat and good sounds to this one. 3/5
3. Barbie Girl - Well love it or hate it, you have to admit its original. When this came out it was massive, yes its one of the most cheesy songs in the history of music, but I love it. Its so catchy and sounds really good fun, I love this song and don't care what everyone thinks! 5/5
4. Good Morning Sunshine - This song is a little slower and not as dancy as the others. Its actually a really good song with some nice words and excellent vocals. 4/5
5. Doctor Jones - More Euro pop class. This was another massive song for the band that was a huge hit. Again you could say its shocking, but for me its just such good fun. I loved this song when it came out and listening to it now still really enjoy it! 5/5
6. In The Heat Of The Night - Not quite as keen on this one. The words are a bit poor and its not as catchy as most of the songs. 3/5
7. Be A Man - This is a really poor song. Its slow and has little charm. The lyrics are trash and the music pretty poor. The band need to stick to what their good at and avoid ones like this. 2/5
8. Lollipop (Candyman) - Back to the dance music. This one is better however it still does not quite work. There are some nice sounds in this one and a good beat, but it just does not flow very well. 3/5
9. Roses Are Red - More quality rubbish. Another great little pop song, shockingly bad lyrics and more cheese but again it works so well. You just have to smile when you hear songs like this. 4/5
10. Turn Back Time - This shows that the band are capable of something different. This song featured in the film 'Sliding Doors' and was another hit for the band. Its a slow song with some very good lyrics in it. Not a song many people thought the band were capable off. 4/5
11. Calling You - So how to the band finish off the album. Just the way they should, with another dance pop classic. More happy music for you to bop along to. Again nothing special about the lyrics but its just yet another feel good tune! 4/5
So overall this album is something of a surprise. Yes it's pure cheese, but it's great cheese! The songs are so happy and fun and they sound great. There is the odd shocker on there but overall the standard is very good. I remember enjoying this back in the 90's and I can see why now. If you fancy a giggle and some really good fun music go and get yourself a copy of this. I'm sure you could find it for pretty cheap somewhere!
Back in 1997, the sudden death of Prncess Di was fresh in peoples minds. The UK needed a quick dose of something to lift the spirits. It came in the form of this lot, sending Elton John's 'Candle In he Wind' down the charts and making a name for themselves overnight.
Danish pop stars Lene, Rene, Claus and Soren. Lene and Rene sung, the other two wrote the music.
On this album:
Upfront cheesy and catchy pop, combining Lene's girly squeaky vocals with Rene's macho raps and the euro synths of Claus and Soren. 'Babrbie Girl' sold a million, is a party favourite and a hate it or love it affair. 'Doctor Jones' is much of the same, a homage to Indiana Jones, delivered with wit and carefree abandon. 'My Oh My' has a medieval slant, but retains a strong pop edge. 'Turn Back Time' is a haunting and sombre ballad and shos Aqua in a darker frame of mind.
'Good Morning Sunshine' is weak, the song plod away and fails to register.
The group were fun, they dressed madly, the music was bright and cheerful and the production was superb. Despite the naff image, the group do have strong songwriters in Claus and Soren.
Verdict: Fun for parties
When Aqua released their first single 'Barbie Girl' in 1997, I think most people assumed that they would be a one-hit-wonder with just a single novelty track. However, Aqua proved everyone wrong, with many more hits, most of which feature on this fab album. 'Barbie Girl' went to number one in the UK and their two subsequent hits 'Doctor Jones' and 'Turn Back Time' did the same. This is actually a hugely successful beginning that not many other bands have rivalled.
Aqua are a Danish-Norwegian group who produce happy, poppy, danceable songs which are admittedly very cheesy, but are also a lot of fun.
Personally I love Aqua's music. It's not going to win any awards for deep and meaningful lyrics or beautiful arrangements, but it is great fun and always cheers me up after a depressing day.
I also think that 'Aquarium' would be a great album to buy for kids who are too old for 'children's songs' or nursery rhymes, but not old enough for mainstream chart music. It would go down really well at a children's party.
The track list is as follows:
1. Happy Boys & Girls
2. My Oh My
3. Barbie Girl
4. Good Morning Sunshine
5. Doctor Jones
6. Heat Of The Night
7. Be A Man
8. Lollipop (Candyman)
9. Roses Are Red
10. Turn Back Time
11. Calling You
Although most of these follow a very upbeat, poppy formula, there are a few slower songs, most notably the lovely ballad 'Turn Back Time' which is on the Sliding Doors soundtrack, and also my favourite track on the album, 'Be A Man', which is a gorgeous emotional song that really shows off the smooth, full tones of the lead singer's voice.
Aqua followed up 'Aquarium' with a second album, 'Aquarius', in 2000. This was not quite as successful and in 2002 the band split, though they are rumoured to be reuniting for a tour in 2009, and hopefully releasing some new material!
You can buy 'Aquarium' for £6.97 at Amazon.co.uk though I imagine you could find it for a couple of quid on Ebay.
I have had this album for many many many years, the whole album just spells out the word CHEESE! but it's brill! even if you hate it its guaranteed to put a smile on your face because you seriously wont be able to stop yourself from laughing at some of the songs, Id say there is about two serious songs on ere which are really good, just genuine songs that you can actually sing along to and relate to. Saying that I'm sure theres many people who could actually sing along and relate to the song "Barbie Girl", yes I'm sure you can all remember this one! Funny, cheesy, upbeat songs mostly. If ever your feeling down and want a laugh just listen to this album, its PERFECT! especially perfect for a kids party, actually I think even the kids would laugh at half the words in these songs, so overall this album is FUN and CHEESE!
I first got this album as a birthday present over ten years and I loved it!. I stopped listening to it as I grew up but a few years ago I heard a few of the songs again and I still enjoyed it. If you're looking for an album full of cheese then Aquarium is the album for you. Along with the classic Barbie Girl which everyone knows, are other good songs including Turn Back Time and Doctor Jones. Aqua is not only for children at a disco! When listening to it again it reminds you of your youth and is great to listen to with friends and remember how you used to like years and years ago! Even if you haven't heard the album I would say it's worth a listen to. It has some good songs on it, that I even enjoy now as a twenty year old!
This is one of the most cheesy albums I own! It is a mix of Euro dance, bubble pop and a couple of surprisingly good ballads. This album contains Aqua's most well known song Barbie Girl a wonderful upbeat high pitched girly sing a long song, this always goes on when we are getting ready for a night out! Equally as catchy is the lesser known Doctor Jones this is just a really silly song great for getting ready and going out and kids just love it! Turn Back Time is a incredibly good ballad that featured in the sliding doors film soundtrack it really is hard to believe the same people that mad this song are the people who made Barbie Girl! The rest of the eleven song album contains songs that are not well known but they are great fun, kids love them. Highly recommended for anyone who has kids as they can put it on and leave them to dance around for an hour!
Aqua first exploded onto the airways with the ever so infectious pop tune Barbie Girl which shot straight to number one. Filled with Cheesy songs is Aqua's First debut Aquarium. If you're looking for Cheesy Pop, then this is the CD for you! Aquarium has spawned many Pop hits including the Number ones, Dr Jones, Turn Back time, My Oh My and Good Morning Sunshine. As well as the hits, Aqua’s debut also has some great feel good tracks. Heat of the Night is a very spicy Spanish-feel song and also the infectious Calling You includes a like phrase C-a-ll-90now I’m calling you...etc which just gets you singing along and in no time you're hooked! I got this album from a Swap site and thought it'd be all right. The album must have been really good when it was first released but now it is kind of past its sell by date as there are much better artists out there! If you want infectious pop, get this album now. (Should be able to get in cheap as they have already released a second album!) Also includes the track happy boys and girls currently on the soundtrack to Bring it On!
Most of my friends shreeked when I bought this one but I just love Aqua. No, they don't have huge statements about the poverty of the world or the status of the environment; "Barbie Girl" is probably the closest thing to a 'statement' they make. They simply create songs that have a lively beat and are fun to listen to. The kicky pop beats in songs such as "Lollipop", "Happy Boys & Girls", and "Doctor Jones" may be a little too much for some listeners, though."Turn Back Time" (a slower, more mellow song) should have been placed in the middle to give a break. I think it's great.