If only I had said what I still hide,
If only I could turn back time,
I would stay for the night.
For the night...
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 Norwegian vocalist Lene Nystrøm and René 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 Megalomania with a change in sound and in attitude.
This band provides examples of:
- Artistic License Animal Care: Lene frees René (who is depicted as a goldfish) in the sea in the We Belong to the Sea music video. Goldfish are freshwater fish and cannot survive in the sea.
- Bald of Awesome: René, who often plays heroic roles in the music videos, and sings with his famous growly deep voice.
- Bare Your Midriff: Lene in the "Dr. Jones" video.
- Big Damn Heroes: René as Dr. Jones in "Dr. Jones", the robot C.A.N.D.Y. in "Lollipop (Candyman)" video, the whole band in "Cartoon Heroes".
- Break-Up Song: "Turn Back Time" is one of the regretful kind.
- Cannibal Tribe: Doctor Jones video.
- 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 turning the table 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:
- Back To The 80's is a Genre Throwback to the music, music videos of The '80s.
- Halloween is an Homage to the Slasher Movie genre, complete with creepy killer breathing, Harassing Phone Call Coming from Inside the House, Evil Laugh, Stock Sound Effects of Dramatic Thunder, and eerie, ominous music (including a brief snippet of organ music playing chords from Bach's Toccata and Fugue, or a sound-alike), topped off with The Scream. Toes the line between Affectionate Parody and Nightmare Fuel.
- Gratuitous French: The subtitles put on the speech of the cannibal tribe in the "Doctor Jones" video. ("Guys, we eat at 8 pm... And you are the dinner! As for appetizers, we have VOODOO!")
- 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.
- Incredibly Long Note: Final bridge on "Calling You": Op-er-ayat-UUUUUUUR.
- Just Like Robin Hood: René'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)".
- Lampshaded Double Entendre: From the album' 'Megalomania we have this verse of sucker for a superstar '' :''loves to ride in a limosine,Goes downtown if you know what I mean''
- Lyrics/Video Mismatch: Most prominent on My Oh My, whose lyrics is about Robin Hood-esque fantasy but given a pirate video. The song even begins with a horse sound (implying a chivalry theme), but the video just pairs it with a mechanical toy horse on the pirate ship.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "My Mamma Said", despite its fast pace and its unassuming title, it talks about death, plus in the song itself, there is a Mood Whiplash between the emotional, grieving female narrator and the oddly-scientific male narrator.
- Mood Whiplash: In an inversion of Surprisingly Gentle Song, each of their albums contains at least one song which is more serious than the rest, such as "Turn Back Time" (from Aquarium) and the Title Track off Aquarius.
- 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. So adorable when she whacks that spider.
- 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.
- Pirate Girl: What Lene becomes in this same video.
- Pointy Ears: Candyman (René) in the "Lollipop (Candyman)" music video.
- Raygun Gothic: The "Lollipop (Candyman)" music video.
- Ruder and Cruder: After a ten-year Sequel Gap, the band released Megalomania, their first album to have an explicit language warning. However, there isn't much on the album that wasn't presented as subtext in their earlier albums; it just says it much more directly.
- Screaming Woman: Lene does this at the end of "Halloween", an example that is especially effective and chilling.
- A lesser version in Dr. Jones video, where she freaks out upon seeing a Giant Spider, before punching it away.
- Self-Parody: The "Bumble Bees" video, where they discuss their own image as they shoot a music video but run out of funds to make a A Bug's Life-like 3D-animated work, so they have to resort to dress up in cheap costumes on a stage.
- 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 '80s, such as Michael Jackson, Mr. T, and MTV.
- Soprano and Gravel: Lene and René respectively.
- Steampunk: The spaceship/submarine in the "Cartoon Heroes" music video.
- Video Full of Film Clips: "Turn Back Time" with Sliding Doors - though it also toys with that movie's gimmick of Split Timelines Plot by having Lene replicate some scenes of the film.
- A Wild Rapper Appears!: René in Good Morning Sunshine.