CD: Aqua - Aquarius

By: Bill Yong
Oakwood C.I.
Toronto, Ontario

Three tedious years have crawled by before this capricious Danish quartette introduced a new album after their highly successful debut chart-topper Aquarium. Right out of the recording studios in Scandinavia, Aquarius is yet another Europop/Dance collection Aqua has released to the worldwide market.

With the advent of this new album, Aqua has the promise to dominate the dance floors all over the globe and is unquestionably foreshadowed by the high success of the first single Cartoon Heroes.


Somewhat comparable to the previous works, this album is mostly comprised of the fun-loving, beat-driven tunes synthesized by band members Søren Rasted and Claus Norreen. Combined with the unforgettable vocals of Lene Grawford Nystrøm and René Dif, several tracks are reminiscent of past melodies Barbie Girl and Roses are Red. Although the liveliness remains, the overall sound has grown over the past years for it sounds more developed with the addition of new elements. Reggae influences, Latin American sound and brush with Country themes are a few new tricks used by Rasted and Noreen after their various experiences worldwide. The band's period of repose also has affected the Nystrøm, and in effect, she demonstrates an incredible vocal power and dexterity.

This sophomore album of Aqua begins with their trademark timpani solo as it develops into a full orchestral accompaniment in Track 1 Cartoon Heroes -- a probable counter reformation to their Techno-forged Barbie Girl impression. The Symphonic-Pop fusion continues intermittently onward with other songs such as Track 5, An Apple A Day and Track 8, Back From Mars. Integrated in the collection are epic ballads which showcase Lene's new vocal talents such as Track 3 We Belong To The Sea, Track 9 title track, Aquarius and the melancholy Track 12 Goodbye To The Circus.

This auditory delight will send a rhythm straight to the listeners' soul until they feel the need to dance. The melodies are so addictive and entrancing that they captivate and embody the purest of high-spirited emotions. Aquarius has showcased faultless musical talent in the Pop and Dance
industry to an extent one hasn't seen since ABBA. Definitely this is another incredible album not intended for a dance lover's shelf, but within their boom box.


This article originally appeared in The Voice, an online
student publication at Oakwood High in Toronto, Ontario.