Aqua! A Cheesy Danish Pop Band Or A Classic Of Our Time? Discuss


Who are Aqua?

I love music. All types of music to be precise. However, it has been known for me to highly enjoy a good dose of cheesy pop.

In the year 1997 I was first introduced to the Scandinavian brilliance that is Aqua. It was my first year at University and “Barbie Girl” hit the student music scene – big time! It was so corny, cheesy and fantastic all at the same time and I loved it. This was a group that was clearly having fun, taking the p*** out of themselves as well as everyone else. The lyrics were fun, the music was catchy and the video was awesome. A lot of  people probably dismissed them as being one hit wonders of a novelty “cartoon” pop record but not me.

For every “Barbie Girl” Aqua can flip the coin and produce an equally amazing “toned down” song.

What do I mean by this? Well, I was given their debut album “Aquarium” as a joke present at Christmas and needless to say I played it non stop so, in your face Mattel, here’s Barbie Girl in all it’s glory…

So, there you are jumping around your room singing along to lyrics such as “come jump in, bimbo friend, let us do it again” and then this happens…

Turn Back Time” – a beautiful song that shows the lead singer, Lene Nystrøm, has a superb voice and nothing at all like how you would expect “Barbie” to sing hence proving they were not just “bubble gum pop” and were proper, hardcore, grown up chewing gum. The song was a massive hit and featured on the soundtrack for “Sliding Doors” and the video, again, was amazing – they have started to follow the idea of creating a “mini movie” to accompany each song rather than simply “produce” a “pop video”.

Interestingly, a fact I have just this minute learned, is that the song actually samples “Heart” by the Pet Shop Boys. Who knew?

No sooner had we got Barbie Girl out of our heads when Aqua followed up with “Doctor Jones” and I have to say I much preferred this track. I loved Indiana Jones, I loved the fact this proved Aqua weren’t one hit wonders that everyone assumed they would be and, well, I loved getting drunk and dancing along…

You wouldn’t think that the same group who just sang a tribute to everyone’s favourite fictional professor of archaeology turned treasure hunter could then go on to produce a moving love ballad (albeit very 1990s) but Aqua did just that with “Be A Man”

“Lollipop (Candyman)” was their 2nd biggest hit in the USA and I think I actually love the video more than the song itself. As an 1980s kid growing up with tv shows such as Button Moon and the classic episodes of Doctor Who how could I not adore this video? The song is just an added bonus…

To close out the Aquarium album and as a “flip side” to the above we have “Good Morning Sunshine” which if listened to at just the right time of the morning can actually make the sun shine…

In 1999 the world was about to be destroyed by a giant octopus but luckily we had Aqua to save the planet. You might not remember it quite that way but take a look at their title track “Cartoon Heroes” from their follow-up album “Aquarius”, they were absolutely back with a with a bubble-gum popping bang…

From “outer space” right back down to Earth Aqua once again prove they could still do “serious” and on the album gave us “We Belong To The Sea” and the video is, once more, genius…

Aquarius contains other equally power-cheesey songs such as Freaky Friday,  Back From Mars and An Apple A Day and up until now it’s either been hardcore, ten-four poptastic or slow ballad but I think “Around The World” is a some new “middle ground”…

Aquarius then closes with two wonderful ballads “Goodbye To The Circus” and, one of my all time favourite songs “Aquarius

Even after Aqua took a break they returned with the same familiarity but – they’d grown. Their bubble-gum pop sound was so massive that even Violet Beuregarde would be impressed. For anyone who also loves the 1980s then “Back To The 80’s” must push all your buttons…

If Aqua’s pop returned with an explosion then, to keep with the theme above, their “other side” stepped right out from the shadows and punched us hard with “My Mama Said“. Quite dark but both the song and video are breath-taking…

Their latest album “Megalomania” is still quite new to me but when I hear songs such as “Sucker For A Superstar“…

Followed by “Playmate To Jesus“…

I think they have still got it, they have both ends of the musical spectrum covered, they are fun, theatrical, cheesy, superb, CLASSIC and after almost 20 years I still love them. Thank you Aqua, thank you for the music!

Now, I pose the question to you –  Aqua! A Cheesy Pop Band Or A Classic Of Our Time? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @PopAndTalk

Aqua Pop Band



31 responses to “Aqua! A Cheesy Danish Pop Band Or A Classic Of Our Time? Discuss

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  6. I also struggled to believe that Turn Back Time was from the same band that did Barbie Girl, it’s a really beautiful song. However, I couldn’t say that Aqua are a classic band. I had no idea they were making music so recently though!


  7. I LOVED Aqua while I was growing up (I was a 1990’s baby)! Their ‘fun’ songs were a great introduction into the world of pop music at 7 years old, and there is a great sense of nostalgia on hearing them. I must admit that I wasn’t familiar with (m)any of their ballads. Thanks for sharing


  8. I remember hearing Turn Back Time and couldn’t believe it was the same lot as Barbie Girl. The bald bloke in Aqua always made me chuckle!


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