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LABEL: Universal Music RELEASE DATE: March 26, 1997 GENRE: Pop, Dance
// review by Beverley

Drowning in a sea of bubble gum.

If you are a fan of Saturday Night Live, get ready to par-tay as a special guest and I review a nostalgic hit, Aqua's "Aquarium"!

BEVERLEY: So, Stefon, I was hoping maybe you could help me review a cool '90s classic.

STEFON: I'm listening...

BEVERLEY: I was thinking we should review Aqua's "Aquarium".

STEFON: Oh! Oh-oh-oh! Okay, here's how we start: If you're looking for 1997's hottest album, look no further. Inspired by a dressing room poster, Danish dance-pop group Aqua is breaking onto the scene with their hit album, "Aquarium".

BEVERLEY: Did you just make up the bit about the poster?

STEFON: No, it's totally true. They used to be called Joyspeed. I love their new name though, it really just says: WET.

BEVERLEY: Well, I guess I should start playing the album so we can find out what their music is like. The first track is called Happy Boys and Girls. There are girls' voices singing about being happy and a scary man voice singing about getting it on, and a back beat that sounds like it's taken from that children's show, Lazy Town. Good bounce to it. Definitely makes me want to dance.

STEFON: Okay... Lazy Town predators...


STEFON: Oh, I'm just taking notes, don't worry. Our review will be fabulous.

BEVERLEY: Okay, well, let's take a look at the next track, My Oh My. Hmmm, it starts out with some very funky harpsichord and some horse sounds. The lyrics are about some interesting medieval romance between some vigilante and a princess. The backbeat is pretty similar to the last song though. Very danceable, but also very corny.

STEFON: "If you were my King, I would be your Queen... woooaahhh!" Catchy.

BEVERLEY: The next track is the classic we all remember: Barbie Girl! I remember dancing to this when I was in middle school. Of course, now it's a bit too bubblegum for me. The sexuality of the song confuses me, too, because Barbie is such a childhood thing. I just keep getting Pedobear vibes from this album.

STEFON: No need to freak out; René probably just loves plasticating bobble dolls and wanted share the good times.

BEVERLEY: Please explain?

STEFON: René Dif, the male vocalist?

BEVERLEY: No, the plasticating thing...

STEFON: Oh, that's when a girl with a huge head, like Vanna White huge, puts on a vinyl morphsuit and does the Macarena until she passes out from asphyxiation.

BEVERLEY: So you think Barbie Girl is about that? Wow... well, let's check out the next track. Good Morning Sunshine slows it down a bit and gets pretty chill. The lyrics are actually really annoying though, because it's basically a collection of obnoxious weather metaphors. There's also a crazy rapping segment. This is probably my least favourite song but at least it breaks up the tone of the album. Next up is Doctor Jones, which is incredibly catchy and just makes you have to dance. After the previous track, the high energy beat is more than welcome.

STEFON: Yippie-ah-ooo yippie-ay-yeah! I should have brought my cowboy hat!

BEVERLEY: I know, right? That song is so much fun. And then there is this sexy tropic melody, In The Heat Of The Night. It just gets you so excited for summer. There's this funky guitar, a reggae beat, and even some cool horn in there.

STEFON: Definitely puts me in the mood for a midnight fiesta... I should give Carlos a call sometime...

BEVERLEY: The next track is called Be A Man, it's another much slower track. You can tell they were trying to get a little more deep and complex and step beyond the party anthems, but it just comes off as sad and whiny.

STEFON: Funny, when I saw the title I thought it was about hitting on hot guys who end up being lesbians who look like guys. "For once in your life, be a man." Guess not.

BEVERLEY: Next track up is Lollipop, this is another famous party track that was incredibly popular back in the good old days. This one also gives me some pretty heavy pedo vibes. Really? Let me be your candy man?

STEFON: Come on, Bev. Lots of people like candy!

BEVERLEY: Like who?

STEFON: People on ecstasy.

BEVERLEY: Oh, well, that makes sense. Okay, next track: Roses Are Red. This track doesn't strike me as anything special. It has the same party beat and lyrics about love as the other tunes. One thing that I noticed is there is one section that is backwards, so I went online and listened to the song backwards, and I think the phrase "Roses are red" is supposed to sound the same backwards as it does forward.

When I heard the opening piano for Turn Back Time, I knew it was going to be another slow sensitive song, and again I was not excited. Even though I am annoyed by how many of Aqua's songs are just party anthems with the same beat, I still think they should stick to that because they do not do slow songs well. At least this song has a bizarre experimental interlude, and while it doesn't save the song, it does mix things up a bit.

STEFON: And now, the last track: Calling You Now.

BEVERLEY: Okay, so we have another fun party beat that gets you dancing, a collection of obnoxious telephone metaphors -- these guys really aren't skilled lyricists -- but also this very cool synth that reminds me of a key horn. This was a surprisingly short track but it got me moving. Okay, Stefon, that's all of them. Can you read me back what you've written down?

STEFON: Okay, get ready for the review of the century! If you're looking for 1997's hottest album, look no further. Inspired by a dressing room poster, Danish dance-pop group Aqua is breaking onto the scene with their hit album, Aquarium. This album has everything: Lazy Town predators, distressed queens, dolls in latex, the candyman, people who aren't quite men, and subliminal satanic messages. Get ready to fiesta so hard, you'll wonder if there's a doctor in the house.

BEVERLEY: Hmmm, well, that's not how I'd describe this album, but I would say it is a fun album that's rich in sexual fantasy that will get you moving.

STEFON: Who cares? We're finished that review and I know a great club you just have to check out. Come on Buffy, let's go party!

BEVERLEY: Aw-aw-aw yeah!

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