This review is by me, Chris J, and the reason I'm reviewing an album by possibly the most annoying band in history is because I was requested to. Not by my fellow blog members, or by anyone I know. Someone from 'Tuh Internetz' has specifically requested I review this album, possibly because they thought it would be one huge rant, seeing as that's what my blogs usually end up as. Whether it's ragging against different music genres or at my favourite bands for releasing substandard albums (Anthrax - Worship Music, Slayer - World Painted Blood), my blogs usually turn into the kind of fired-up rant that Denis Leary would be proud of. Then he'd steal all my best jokes. Only kidding, Denis. Seriously, "Rescue Me" was a brilliant show!
This was released in 1997, during which Britpop and Grunge were pretty much on their last legs and people were starting to get back into cheery, bright and breezy pop again. Now Aqua weren't the worst band in this particular genre (That honour goes to either The Cartoons or The Vengaboyz. Probably the Cartoonz) but, fuck me, they weren't the best (That honour goes to Ace Of Base. Yeah, Ace Of Base, Big whoop wanna fight about it???). They seemed to have a cartoony-type image which only further cemented their status as a 'novelty' band, especially after the first song, "Barbie Girl" was released. This particular song made Number 1 in most European countries so it was pretty much everywhere. It got on people's nerves quite quickly due to the high-pitched, autotuned vocals of Lene Nystrom and the repetitive beat and music. The song was actually a duet, the male singer (Rene Dif) has a very low voice which kinda gave the whole thing a vibe as if old cartoon favourites "Rocky & Bullwinkle" had formed a techno band. On the one hand you had this high-pitched whiney chatter injerjected with low bellowings that sounded...educationally subnormal. Weird. What was even more weird is that at the end of the resulting lawsuit by US toy firm Mattel (They who make Barbie dolls), the judge said, and I quote - "Both parties need to chill". Wow.
Apart from two songs, the rest of the album follows pretty much the same pattern. If you're into that sort of stuff then go fill your boots. I'm not a conniseur of stuff that sounds like it got played on (late night Channel 4 TV show) Eurotrash but - the one song they do about 8 times does sound like it's well done. I can imagine something like this would be popular at childrens parties. You just know that when Hipsters get around to being "ironically into 90's culture and trends", they'll be playing this as well. The two best songs on the album are ballads. The first is called 'Be A Man' and sounds like the kind of late 80's ballad that the likes of Wilson Phillips, Martika and people like that were knocking out. The song itself is quite average and nothing outstanding but it stands out on here due to being so different. The second one is 'Turn Back Time' which is a really good song. Laid back and soulful which is just what we needed at this point. They also show that Lene has a really decent voice when not being mangled under so much autotune.
Well, there you go. I'm now off to go listen to some Bolt Thrower. But before I do, I'm gonna sum up - the album is not too bad although a bit of variety wouldn't have gone amiss. Yes, dance music may have a very limited structure but I've got two gabber compilations, with 100 songs on each. It still sounded less repetitive than Aqua. Anyway, onto Bolt Thrower...WORLD EATERRRRRRRRR!!!
5 - It could have been a bit better.
You can buy this album on iTunes.
(To the tune of 'Calling Dr Jones) Amazon, Amazon, buy on Amazon, Amazon Amazon - Buy it now!!!
(To the tune of 'Turn Back Time') Listen on Spot-ti-fyyyyyy, listen on Spot-ti-fyyyyyy...