Aqua may be infamous for their worldwide smash Barbie Girl, but what about the album that hit originated from? After various different names and a slow start to the music industry, the Danish band finally decided on the name Aqua, and from there began their journey into a world of music and fame. Aquarium was the debut album from this 90s pop band, and was perhaps their best album, with a slew of songs released as singles which flew to the top of the charts. Aquarium may have been released in 1997, but revisting this album can be a breath of fresh air with the ever changing music industry today.
Roses Are Red was the first single released under the new name Aqua, and it was just a taste of what was to come. Going straight to the top of the charts and recieving platinum status, Roses Are Red demonstrated what was to become Aqua’s trademark style of bubblegum pop/dance. It is obvious to see the influence this style of music had on the music we here today, as many pop songs can be described as a crossover between pop and dance. With an infectious beat and catchy hook, Roses Are Red were just the start of Aqua’s rise to fame.
My Oh My was the second single to be released by Aqua; it’s hard not to sing and dance along to this song, with a melody that gets stuck in your head. With its catchy lyrics paired with a subtle beat, this track was also an instant success.. This was when Aqua began to work on their debut album, Aquarium, which featured these two singles and more hit singles to come.
Upon the release of Aquarium, Aqua’s third single was released and this was the song that made them a household name: Barbie Girl. This is a song that is still immensely enjoyed today, and as such, has become a timeless classic. However, at the time of release the song caused great controversy due to the sexual overtones and double meanings.But like most songs surrounded by controversy, it just made Barbie Girl even more popular and as a result is a song still seen regularly on playlists today.
[youtube id=”ZyhrYis509A” width=”620″ height=”360″]
Whilst it is difficult to choose highlights on an album jam-packed full of pop goodness, Doctor Jones and Lollipop (Candyman) are two great songs which may have been forgotten by some. Doctor Jones was the follow-up to Barbie Girl and reached number one in various countries. It follows the same formula of their other tracks, a song with memorable lyrics and an infectious beat. I know I keep repeating myself by saying that, and you’re probably thinking that all the songs must sound the same if I’m describing them similarly. However, one of the most brilliant things about Aqua is that all the songs follow this same formula, yet are so different and unique from the others on the album.
My favourite song on the album is, without a doubt, Lollipop (Candyman). I dare you to listen to the song and not crack a smile, particularly on the line “I am the Candyman…..coming from Bountyland!” (Don’t know why but that line gets me every time). Yes, the lyrics to this song can be a little silly, but that’s part of the appeal of this wonderful, bubblegum track.
[youtube id=”-1jPUB7gRyg” width=”620″ height=”360″]
As with all older albums, it’s easy to feel nostalgic when listening to the tracks, particuarly thinking about the first time you heard them (I was about five and did movement to music dances to them). This just adds to the charm that is Aqua’s music, and their unique bubblegum pop is enough to brighten even the worst of days. So next time you’re stumped about what to listen to, think about reviving this golden oldie; an original and extraordinary pop album, devoid of bad auto tune or singers that simply can’t sing.