Aqua is a Danish dance-pop group, best known for their 1997 breakthrough single "Barbie Girl". The group formed in 1989 and achieved huge success across the globe in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The group managed to top the UK Singles Chart with their first three singles. The group released two albums: Aquarium
in 1997 and Aquarius
in 2000, before splitting up in July 2001. The group sold an estimated 33 million albums and singles, making them the most successful Danish band ever.
In their prime, Aqua's singles managed to chart top ten in a number of countries where European pop acts would not normally succeed, including the United States, Australia, and Japan. The group also caused controversy with the double entendres in their "Barbie Girl" single, with the Barbie doll makers Mattel
filing a lawsuit against the group (or rather their American record label, EMI). The lawsuit was finally dismissed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2002; the opinion, written by Judge Alex Kozinski
, ruled "The parties are advised to chill.
The band's members are vocalists Lene Nystrøm and Rene Dif, guitarist Søren Rasted, and keyboardist Claus Norreen. During their split, Nystrøm, Dif and Rasted have all achieved solo chart success, and Norreen has continued in the music industry remixing other artists' material.
At a press event on Friday, October 26, 2007, the group announced a reunion tour, as well as the release of a compilation album featuring new material. In December 2008, it was announced Aqua would have three concerts in 2009.
And in 2011 they recorded their new album Megalomania
with a change in sound and in attitude.
This band provides examples of:
- Big Damn Heroes: Rene as Dr. Jones in "Dr. Jones", the robot C.A.N.D.Y. in "Lollipop (Candyman)" video, the whole band in "Cartoon Heroes".
- Christmas Songs: "Spin Me A Christmas".
- Cluster F-Bomb: Quite a few tracks from Megalomania.
- Concept Video: A few, including the videos for "Cartoon Heroes", "Lollipop (Candyman)", "Doctor Jones" and "We Belong to the Sea".
- Damsel in Distress: Lene in the "My Oh My" video (before going Damsel out of Distress on her captors). In "Doctor Jones", she ends up in a cannibal's pot and in "Lollipop (Candyman)" she is captured by aliens; in the latter two, she shares her distress with her male companions.
- Darker and Edgier: Megalomania, again.
- Drives Like Crazy: "How R U Doin" video. Okay, they are miniature cars, but toppling mini electrical poles and back-flipping midair is still pretty crazy.
- Genre Throwback:
- Gratuitous Japanese: The opening of the "Barbie Girl" video. They have never used this trope since.
- Hotter and Sexier: Any subtext from their previous songs has pretty much become, well, text as of Megalomania.
- Just Like Robin Hood: Rene's lines in "My Oh My". "Gotta steal from the rich ... Gotta give to the poor."
- Kaleidoscope Hair: Lene wore no fewer than four wigs for "Lollipop (Candyman)"
- Mood Whiplash: Each of their albums contains at least one song which is more serious than the rest, such as "Turn Back Time" and "Aquarius". "My Mamma Said" takes the cake as, despite its fast pace and its unassuming title, it talks about death.
- Ms. Fanservice: From her sexy Adventurer Outfit in the "Doctor Jones" music video to the extreme close up of her behind putting on jeans in the "We Belong To The Sea" music video, Lene fits this trope pretty well.
- Multicolored Hair: During "Aquarium" era, Lene had the front part of her hair dyed red while the rest was black.
- Mythology Gag:
- "Back to the 80's" mentions Barbie.
- "Halloween" mentions the Candyman from "Lollipop (Candyman)".
- Pirate: "My oh My" video.
- Pointy Ears: Candyman (Rene) in the "Lollipop (Candyman)" music video.
- Raygun Gothic: The "Lollipop (Candyman)" music video.
- Screaming Woman: Lene does this at the end of "Halloween", an example that is especially effective and chilling.
- Self-Parody: "Bumble Bees" video.
- Shout-Out: Plenty. "Barbie Girl" is half Shout-Out, half Take That to Barbie, "Doctor Jones" is a Shout-Out to Indiana Jones, "Cartoon Heroes" references Superhero comics among other things, and "Back to the 80's" is full of Shout Outs to pop culture from The Eighties, such as Michael Jackson, Mr T, and MTV.
- Soprano and Gravel
- Steam Punk: The spaceship/submarine in the "Cartoon Heroes" music video.
- A Wild Rapper Appears: "Good Morning Sunshine".