Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Aqua - Aquarium (1997)

Today is my 45th birthday and my first since starting this blog. In honor of the occasion, let's try something different today. A long-time friend and faithful reader sent me this CD as a birthday present. Other than the song Barbie Girl, which I've heard on the radio, I have never heard any of this music. So today, I'm going to post about a CD as I listen to it for the first time.

First, I need to do a little research on the Interwebs. Apparently Aqua is a Danish band. 7 of the 11 tracks on the CD were released as singles. The going rate for used copies of this CD at is one cent. Allmusic gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Can't find it on metacritic. Got my noise cancelling headphones on. Let's do this:

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #7 (Oct 18, 1997)

  • Happy Boys & Girls: Wow. At least they're energetic. The male "singer" has an interesting voice. Lots of typical, bubbly Europop synths and drum machine.
  • My Oh My: Someone found the harpsichord setting on their synth. The lyrics contain such confusing logic as "If you were my king, I would be your queen."
  • Barbie Girl: From the back of the CD case: "The song 'Barbie Girl' is a social comment and was not created or approved by the makers of the doll" (see photo below). I don't know if that's a disclaimer or the band wanted you to be sure that you knew the song was a social commentary. Even I have to admit that it is one catchy tune; likely to be a birthday earworm for me. Thanks, Annie.
  • Good Morning Sunshine: The group slows things down a bit and someone picks up an acoustic guitar. Still, the heavy synth bass moves things forward. Surprisingly, there's some interesting chord changes in this one. I was really enjoying it until the male "vocalist" starting rapping; I was hoping he was taking a break on this track.
  • Doctor Jones: The first track I've really felt the urge to skip. As a dance track, the manic tempo is far too quick for someone my age. I find myself unable to bust a move.
  • Heat of the Night: A complete Gloria Estefan Latin flavored knock-off, only worse (if that's possible). At least Estefan had real horns, not bad synth horns.
  • Be A Man: the obligatory ballad! These are some bitter lyrics. Maybe Alanis Morisette wrote them? The CD started off with such promise, now it's all falling apart. I'm hoping for a comeback as we enter the home stretch.
  • Lollipop (Candyman): Yay, back to mindless Europop dance trash!
  • Roses Are Red: Do you think this song will contain the lyrics "Violets are blue"? There it is, five seconds into the song. In spite of inane lyrics, it's a catchy dance tune.
  • Turn Back Time: OMG. Not only have I heard this song before, I actually own it. It's track 3 on the Sliding Doors soundtrack. I never put it together that it was by the same group that sang Barbie Girl. Thankfully, the male warbler doesn't sing on this track, setting it a notch above the others on the CD. Not a dance track, this is a very good pop song, probably the best on the CD (but we've got one more track to go)...
  • Calling You: Surprise, surprise another dance tune, ending the CD on the same vibe as it began. More bubblegum pop like you'd hear as background music at a water park. (Get it? Water park? Aqua? See how I tied that all together?)
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None, obviously. I share my birthday with musical greats such as Les Paul, Cole Porter, and Jackie Wilson, so I should have listened to one of their CDs today, but I just can't refuse a request.

Now my CD collection has an Aqua CD in it. Looking forward to next year's surprise.

1 comment:

  1. Your 300th review occured on your birthday?

    Cosmic coincidence?

    If you're not keeping score, the average release year of the 300 discs reviewed so far is 1992.587