From Scandinavia came the group called Aqua. Aqua were very popular with the release of this album which is best described as cheesy Techno, although it is really a form of EDM music technically. This release had some memorable Pop chart hits on it at the time, with a kind of Eurodance feel about it. Let’s take a listen to this regardless, and see how it sounds.
We kick off with Happy Boys & Girls which is really cheesy and laughable (in a good way). It’s a decent piece of music, with alternating vocal parts. It’s not supposed to be taken seriously at all, it is a funny, yet original piece of music that is super cheesy. But, it is supposed to be. This sort of music is ideal for those who don’t take life super seriously or younger audiences. It has a House music feel to it with the beats and sounds, this is very much 1990s mainstream EDM. Good effort regardless.
Next is My Oh My which begins with horses galloping and making animal sounds, before a harpsichord sound enters, followed by strings and singing. Obviously this is somewhat like Happy Hardcore music, very hard to take seriously. It is a decent piece of 1990s Pop music that hasn’t aged well. But remember, this music is not supposed to be taken seriously at all. The lyrics are about children’s sort of ideals. Anyone growing up in the 1990s would enjoy this in retrospect, good for a laugh and the memories here. Short at three minutes long, so it is good to occasionally crank up loud and surprise people nearby who think you normally like things that are way more serious. Good fun though.
Barbie Girl is the chart topping classic and parody song that is brilliant. Ironically, Mattel who made Barbie dolls attempted to sue Aqua over this song, unsuccessfully. It is a laughable but enjoyable track that never gets old. No doubt one has some good memories of this song and remembers it vividly if you were around in the 1990s. Very catchy and musically delivered well, the duet vocals here are wonderful. A great Pop music with an EDM feel, if you have to listen to one Aqua song, this is it. Nice song, very throwaway and cheesy though.
Good Morning Sunshine is a salsa style track with some melodic guitar and piano to match. It is a good song to hear, although it is a more serious sounding piece and rather throwaway. It is very difficult to take this sort of music seriously however, it is not supposed to be taken seriously. Good sentiment and melodies are here, but clearly this is filler. Enjoyable filler at that, good music is here. It is obviously overly dramatic, with a semi-Rap section in the second half of the song. Interesting song to hear.
Next is another hit Doctor Jones which is about missing a partner from a holiday romance and talking to a psychologist about it. It begins with chirping crickets, electronic sounding guitar parts, beautiful singing and a catchy Pop/Dance feel to it. It is really awesome listening all the same, sounding very fresh and inspired. Once again, it is not supposed to be taken seriously this music. All the same, a wonderful and interesting listen, even amongst trying not to laugh at it. A Pop classic.
Following is Heat Of The Night is a weird piece lyrically referring to Spanish music. It is laughably enjoyable and super cheesy, and is a Pop/Dance classic in that respect. Good for a spin, this music is clearly not to be taken seriously at all. For throwaway Pop music from the 1990s, this has aged surprisingly well. Repetitive and enjoyable, this is musically good as well with some excellent instrumentation on it. Enjoyable and fun, this is quite surreal to hear. Funky fun.
Be A Man is a 1980s sounding piece that is rather slow and weird. It sounds like a movie soundtrack piece and is romantic sounding. This is way more serious than the other songs on the album, and is about being in love with a decent man. An interesting and melodramatic piece of music, this is quite serious and good for a lesser track on this album. Good to hear that Aqua had variety, this is a good and nicely structured piece of Pop/Dance music. There is a suspenseful piece that has a surprise stop in the second half of the track. Nice piece.
Lollipop (Candyman) is next, which is another radio ready piece that sounds rather cheesy and danceable. A really cool piece that is likely designed for people who want to get it on, this sounds very upbeat and odd for Aqua. Still, it is a reminder of a happier time in human history before the COVID-19 pandemic and a more enjoyable time for our world. Rather repetitive though, but the alternating vocals and EDM feel about it make it worth it. Decent tune.
Following is Roses Are Red – Original Version begins with some keyboard sounds, good singing and some awesome electronic sounds. It goes into another EDM/Pop piece that sounds really interesting and should have perhaps been a hit single. A good Pop song that is somewhat like Happy Hardcore in its intentions, once again, it is actually fairly listenable to hear. It may be throwaway but all the same is very decent and listenable in retrospect, good for a look back into the 1990s, and better than the Spice Girls as well for cheesy Pop/EDM. Nice effort.
Next is Turn Back Time begins with a melodic piano and string section, before some other instrumentation kicks in. It sounds rather melodramatic and melancholic here. Still in hindsight, this is a good effort for Aqua, it sounds like it could have been used on the Titanic film score at the time, although this is not Celine Dion. Serious and more moody sounding as a piece of music, this is different. There is a weird midsection here that is not really needed, but for the most part, this is a more serious and equally enjoyable piece as the rest of the album here. The singing here is really wonderful, and makes this track magical. Good song.
Calling You is the last track here on this album. It is back to the trashy European EDM sound we know by now and are used to from this album. It’s about calling a lover non-stop, but sounds danceable and super cheesy again. This music is not really supposed to be taken seriously, this track included. A lively and wonderful piece of retro music that is here today, gone tomorrow, it is different. If you dig Happy Hardcore and/or trashy EDM Pop music, this is for you. Rather amusingly catchy all the same, a nice way to finish off this album.
Granted, this is neither the best album ever, nor was it ever intended to be. However, the songs here are cheesy Pop/Electronic/EDM classics to get you moving and laughing. If you ever want to hear how bizarre Pop music got in the 1990s, this is a great place to start. Good yet throwaway fun.
Cheesier than a toasted cheese sandwich.
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