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Overview: Aqua are a Danish-Norwegian pop band who released their first album "Aquarium" all the way back in 1997. Returning to the studio once again, they come back with their second effort "Aquarius", and while the record may not be as good as the first, it still contains many decent tracks which are good fun to listen to. This album was originally released fourteen years ago and saw four singles come off it, the album itself also contains twelve songs and I will review each track individually. In addition to that, I will also name the band members and their roles in the famous pop band.
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: Cartoon Heroes - 5/5. The first song on the previous album was brilliant and really set the bar high for the rest of the album, does this song do the same? Yes, it does. A great opening song that may just be the best one of the entire album. A great beat, a sing-along chorus and some well-written lyrics show why this was the lead single. I've heard this one many times now and it's a great song every-time, a wonderful song to open the album, great start.
02: Around the World - 5/5. Back-to-back classics here, another great song that shows why are they are the leading band in bubblegum pop. Lene's vocals are spectacular here and she truly is a joy to listen to when singing at her best. The verse and chorus is catchy as per usual, the lyrics are smart and corny (in a good way); and overall it's just a good listen. Will we have three great tracks on the spin or has the bar been set too high? Keep reading to find out.
03: Freaky Friday - 5/5. This song was a mix up between a 4 and a 5, but I really did enjoy this one so I chose 5. The intro is a bit strange and out of place, but the lyrics and general beat is too good and you forget about the weak opening and ending. Like most Aqua tracks, the chorus is so catchy you just have to sing-a-long. This isn't the most well known track the popular pop band have ever done, but it's up there with the best.
04: We Belong to the Sea - 4/5. This song is a lot more slower and melodic, and while it doesn't usually work for them, this is a surprisingly good track. Lene shows that she has a powerful voice and she uses it to full effect here, the lyrics, while still cheesy, are very well-written and I'll give them top marks for that. It's a good song overall, not one of their best but a solid track that shows not every song has to be a fast, catchy one. A solid 4/5 track and a decent listen.
05: An Apple a Day - 3/5. So here we are, the first mediocre song of this album. While not a bad song by any means, it doesn't even come close to their best and it's not one I'll choose to listen to voluntarily. The beat is very generic and unoriginal, the lyrics poor and the verses average at best. The chorus saves it somewhat, as it's decent and something you could sing along if you were in the right mood, but it's not a song I'm going to listen to again any time soon.
06: Halloween - 5/5. Now this is more like, this is what Aqua does best. A wonderfully catchy song that's still stuck in my head, this is one the most underrated tracks they've done. The intro is fantastic and references "Friday the 13th" and "Scream" brilliantly, the verses are the best part for me though, the chorus is like usual, superb and the lyrics cleverly awesome. This the half way point of the album, and the great songs keep coming, will the album be able to stay great or stumble towards the end? Carry on reading to find out.
07: Good Guys - 2/5. This is the first Aqua song on both albums I've rated a 2, and for good reason. A very weak song in almost every sense of the word, a slow, dull track that has almost no redeeming features. The only reason that it didn't get a 1 is because the chorus is half decent at best, and even that's pushing it. The lyrics were repetitive, the verse dull and the beat boring. Let's just hope the next song makes up for this poor one.
08: Back From Mars - 3/5. Better than the previous one, but not quite gold. The beat again sounds quite generic, the verses forgettable and the lyrics too silly even by their standards. The chorus is a bit catchy so it does redeem itself somewhat, so a solid 3/5 is about right. It's not the greatest song since "All Along the Watchtower (either version)" but it's a decent listen that kills a few minutes, although it's not a song I'm going to fall over backwards just to listen to.
09: Aquarius - 3/5. This album has tailed off a little bit since the lightening fast start. This song is probably the slowest one they've done, and while it does show the band do have musical talent and can do different genres, I don't think it suits them. I'll give it some praise because it does show they have range and Lene's a fantastic singer, but it's not one of their best. I've listened to it a few times now and it hasn't really got better, sorry Aqua, I appreciate you trying something different but I'm not a fan.
10: Cuba Libre - 4/5. This is better Aqua, much better. A short, catchy pop song that has a really great beat, this is more like it! It has a Spanish/Mexican feel to it, a bit like the song "Heat of the Night" from the previous album, and while this one isn't as good; it's great in it's own right. One thing that's different about this one is the fact that Rene has more of a prominent role by being the main vocalist, which was different but also great.
11: Bumble Bees - 5/5. One of the best songs on the album here, pure Aquaness from start to finish. Great dual vocals by Rene and Lene and this highlights how well they work together, great lyrics and the chorus is catchy as well. The verses are awesome as well, and if you happen to watch the video, prepare to have a good laugh. Only one track remains, will the album end with a big bang or a little whimper? Keep reading to find out.
12: Goodbye to the Circus - 2/5. A dog-like whimper here, not a good song to end on, I'm disappointed Aqua. This track sums up the album for me, too inconsistent. Some decent tracks but a fair share of bad ones as well. The pace on this is snail-like slow and just a bit of a drag to listen to. Not many redeeming qualities, a poor song to end on, expected a bit more.
Conclusion: While not as good as the opening effort, the album still boasts some impressive tracks that are catchy as crazy and only get better the more you listen to them. This would be the final album until eleven years later, so my review for that one will be up in the next week. So to summarise, if you liked the first album you should like this one, if you didn't then I wouldn't bother with this one. If you're new to Aqua this is a good one to start, even if it's inferior to it's previous record. But it's still a great pop album.
Aquarium is the second album from Danish pop group Aqua. The album was released in 2000 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) Cartoon Heroes 2) Around The World 3) Freaky Friday 4) We Belong To The Sea 5) An Apple A Day 6) Halloween 7) Good Guys 8) Back From Mars 9) Aquarius 10) Cuba Libre 11) Bumble Bees 12) Goodbye To The Circus
~ * So What Do I Think? * ~
I like this album as it provides great easy-listening. However, I do have to say that there aren't any 'stand out' songs like there was on their debut album (Barbie Girl, Doctor Jones, Turn Back Time etc). I feel that the songs on here, whilst they are good, they are just 'album songs' and there isn't really much 'single material' songs on here which is a shame. Songs which I like include: We Belong To The Sea and Around The World as I think that they have the nicest melodies.
This album is catchy - each song gets you singing along. I think that this is the kind of album which you can blast out whilst driving to the beach. It is a fabulous summer album which is sure to put you in a good mood.
Whilst the album is quite similar to Aqua's debut album - Aquarium (it has the same style of fun catchy tunes), however, I have to say that this one is better. I thought at first that the second album probably wouldn't be as good as the debut album as they would probably have to try to hard to get the songs to be in the style that the fans love. But, I was surprised to hear that they have actually pulled it off, so well done Aqua!
One thing which I noticed about this album was the fact that the singers Lene and Rene sing properly on here. I can't say they have lovely voices, especially Lene who has a very childish and squeaky voice, although they are so unique and the songs are so fun that you just can't dislike them.
If you like fun euro pop music, I would definitely recommend this album. It's a great party album for children and adults alike.
Thanks for reading!
Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x
Aqua were known thoughout the nineties as the ultimate cheesy pop band. The quartet from Norway and Denmark hit the big time in the UK when their single 'Barbie Girl' reached number 1 in the summer of 1997. Several more number 1 singles follow from their debut album 'Aquarium' and it was this album that produced the hit singles that to this day they are best known for.
However, a couple of years later, Aqua returned with their second album 'Aquarius' as as you would expect, it was full of the classic bubblegum pop that flooded their first album. This album was not as successful as their debut in the United Kingdom but that is not to say that it wasn't as good, there are some fantastic, if not better, pop gems on here that outshine what was on their first album.
The album's lead single 'Cartoon Heros' is a fantastic pop track, cheesy, disney-like pop. 'Around The World' was the albums second single as is on par with the first single but in my opinion is much better. The next track is 'Freaky Friday' which has a western-cowboy-pop feeling. Very good. 'We Belong To The Sea' is the first ballad on the album as was released as a single throughout Europe but not in the UK. It's a great song, simmilar to their previous hit 'Turn Back Time' and it's a shame this didn't get the chance to shine in the UK. 'An Apple A Day' seems very much like a filler track, it's annoying pop, 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away' kind of grates after a few listens.
'Halloween' is a scary themed pop track with a haunting intro. It is laid out that Lene is the victim and Rene is trying to catch her. It's another fine slice of bubblegum pop. 'Good Guys' is the next track and its another of the slower paced tracks. I have to say, although Aqua do releasing annoyingly catchy pop songs that you'll either love or hate, they do manage to record some fantastic and credible pop ballads and this is one of them.
'Back From Mars', this is probably the most 'poppy' song on the album, i'm surprised they didn't choose this song to launch the album campaign as it has an instant pop 'punch' that Cartoon Heroes slightly misses. 'Aquarius' is the title track and is another excellent ballard, if you liked 'Good Morning Sunshine' from the first album then you will almost certaintly love this song. 'Cuba Libre' is track 10 on the album and Spanish/Mexican sound to it. There is nothing to dislike about this song. 'Bumble Bees' is another one of those classic Aqua tracks that has that bubblegum pop chorus and crazy verses. This song was released in Europe and had a great video to it. The final track on the album is 'Goodbye To The Circus' which signs off the album. It's a slow song and it's kind of like Aqua knew they were splitting up after this album, it's their goodbye song. Although they were set to return in 2011 with their comeback album 'Meglamania'.
If you like cheesy bubblegum pop then this is the perfect album for you, if I had to select the 5 best songs then I would have to pick 1. Back From Mars, 2. Around The World, 3. We Belong To The Sea, 4. Aquarius 5. Cartoon Heroes. I actually prefer this to their first album, the songs are not as annoying as 'Barbie Girl' or 'Doctor Jones'. They've found a way of making a classic pop record without making it too annoying. Buy this as your guilty pleasure.
Aqua was known for its big hit 'Barbie Girl' in 1997. The child-like voice of Lene Nystrom and the big bad voice of Rene Dif caught the listeners' attention with its first 'Aquarium' album. The band came back with this 'Aquarius' album in 2000.
1. Cartoon Heroes - 3:39
2. Around The World - 3:29
3. Freaky Friday - 3:45
4. We Belong To The Sea - 4:18
5. Apple A Day - 3:38
6. Halloween - 3:51
7. Good Guys - 4:00
8. Back From Mars - 4:05
9. Aquarius - 4:22
10. Cuba Libre - 3:38
11. Bumble Bees - 3:53
12. Goodbye To The Circus - 4:02
As I expected, Aqua sticks to its upbeat and danceable tracks in this "Aquarius' follow-up album which was released in 2000. The opening track 'Cartoon Heroes' is catchy and youngsters loved it. 'We Belong To The Sea' is good and the 'Cuba Libre' which has a Salsa beat is nice. 'Halloween' is quite different from the other tracks. 'Around The World' has a fast beat which talks about the group's travels. 'Freaky Friday' is a wildly-upbeat song with a tragic theme. 'Bumble Bee' is the closest track to the band's former album.
I can sense that the band has become more mature in this album since their "Barbie Girl' days. The tracks of this album seem to be different but Aqua managed to retain its funny identity. Although I liked the first 'Aquarium' album much better, this 'Aquarius' album doesn't bore me at all when I listen to its tracks but I guess none of the tracks would ever reach the 'Barbie Girl' fame.
Aqua were a Danish-Norwegian band who specialised in cheesy, happy pop songs and who broke onto the scene with the novelty single 'Barbie Girl' in 1997. Aqua's second album 'Aquarius' was released in 2000 after the huge success of their first CD, 'Aquarium'.
The second CD follows a similar formula to the first, including the up-tempo songs that they are best known for as well as some lovely slow ballads.
The up-tempo pop is in the form of the reasonably successful singles 'Cartoon Heroes' and 'Around the World' which are very cheery and will get you up and bopping around the room. 'An Apple A Day' and 'Bumble Bees' are similar though not quite as good.
The ballads include the single 'We Belong to the Sea' which I am not too keen on, and also 'Good Guys', 'Aquarius' and 'Goodbye to the Circus', all of which are lovely and surprisingly soothing and calm. They show a more grown up side to Aqua though they will still appeal to children too.
The album also includes some new genres, such as pop-country in the amusing and very danceable 'Freaky Friday', and some Latin/salsa style in the excellent 'Cuba Libre'.
Generally this is a more mature album with a more varied sound than 'Aquarium' but if you loved the first CD then you will like this one too. It is great for anyone who likes cheeky pop songs, and would probably be especially appreciated by young children!
The track list is as follows:
1. Cartoon Heroes
2. Around the World
3. Freaky Friday
4. We Belong to the Sea
5. An Apple A Day
7. Good Guys
8. Back from Mars
10. Cuba Libre
11. Bumble Bees
12. Goodbye to the Circus
Unfortunately in 2002 Aqua split due to various issues involving ill health and love affairs within the group. However they have now promised to reunite for a tour and three dates are booked for 2009! There is also talk of releasing a new album which will be a combination of their greatest hits and some new material, so I will be keeping an eye out for that.
You can buy 'Aquarius' for £11.00 from Play.com, but you could probably pick it up for a couple of pounds on Ebay.
After the success of the first album, the four Danish popstars tried to recapture the magic with this followup. It was huge in Denmark, yet failed to perform well here in the UK.
Claus, Lene, Rene and Soren. They write and perform all their own material.
On this album:
'Cartoon Heroes' was an attempt to have another stab at doing a 'Barbie Girl', a feisty slice of pop with a bold chorus and great production. 'Around The World' sounds like an Abba track that never was and is actually a very strong song with a hookladen chorus and great harmonies. 'Halloween' is a seasonal song, but with a rip roaring chorus which will excite and make your spine tingle. The group turn in some pleasing ballads in the form of 'Aquarius' and 'We Belong To The Sea'
Much of the same as before, only glossier. This album spurned less hits but if you liked the first then this will please you. Aqua fans need it, non pop fans should avoid like the plague.
Verdict: Fun filled pop album
Hot on the heals of Aqua infectious debut comes Aqua's second album Aquarius is jam-packed with new pop tunes to listen to. This CD I had to listen to, My sister bought it so I thought I'd give it a listen to and was not disappointed. To me, this CD seems more mature then the first album although it still deals with all things pop it tends to have a feel of progression from its previous album where the tune and chorus meant everything. All though this album is good, it failed to spawn a release that could be compared to the Debut Barbie Girl, Cartoon Hero’s was first to be released and then around the world and we belong to the sea, although the last 2 didn't make much of an impression. There are tracks on the album which, to me, are better than the releases, They include :- Cuba Libre, an infectious Spanish samba feel which is great for a party and the ever-so enchanting Aquarius of which is my favorite songs on the album a great ballad if ever I heard one! Aquarius on a whole lives up to its debut and if you like great pop not as cheesy as the first, get this album now!
Well, here we are again. We have a great cd by a great band in our midst, but with Aqua's reputation as being a sell-out, has been band, people are hesitant to buy it because they are afraid of getting "Barbie Girl: The Sequel". Well, that is not the case AT ALL! This cd is much more mature and down to earth (so to speak). With powerful dance songs like Cartoon Heroes, Around the World, Freaky Friday, An Apple a Day, and Halloween. There is also a really good slow song called Good Guys that I think should be released as a single.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Cartoon Heroes
2 Around the World
3 Freaky Friday
4 We Belong to the Sea
5 Apple a Day
7 Good Guys
8 Back from Mars
10 Cuba Libre
11 Bumble Bees
12 Goodbye to the Circus