Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ode to 90's Music: Aqua and Friends

Hugh Grant, as Alex Fletcher in "Music & Lyrics", was on to something when he said that nothing can make a person happier than a pop song. I know that when I'm in a grumpy mood, listening to bubblegum pop turns my frown upside down.

The 90's were definitely a good decade for pop music. Lately the airwaves have been flooded by songs that have such little meaning and are all about getting laid. I definitely appreciate the efforts of Colbie Caillat to change that. Anyway, back to 90's music. One of the best known pop bands of the time was Aqua with their hit single "Barbie Girl". I think everyone not living under a rock knows this song.

Aqua recently got back together to release a new album, and their music video for "Back to the 80's" is fun and the song is definitely catchy. It is currently in heavy rotation at work, alongside "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black-Eyed Peas.

Listening to Aqua made me wonder if they were unique in their colorful, high-pitched Danish-pop genre. The answer surprised me: no.Ok, not all of the bands I'm going to list are from Denmark, but you'll see the similarities. was a Swedish pop band that was huge in Japan. Evidently they are still around, as they actually performed in Seattle at the anime/manga convention Sakura-Con 2009. They are often confused with Aqua, and I can definitely see why when listening to "Butterfly."

Linnéa Handberg Lund is not a band in and of herself, but I suppose this list is not just about bands, but others who were in the same tiny little genre that has since disappeared. I have to say, as Miss Papaya, this girl sounds a lot like Lene from Aqua. Listen to "Cinderella" and try to disagree!

Daze is another band that recently (2008) got back together to try their luck with the europop dance genre. Their song "Tamagotchi" brings back memories. I used to feed mine tons of cake, then let it poop and get sick. I was a bad Tamagotchi owner.

While they may be Canadian, the Boomtang Boys definitely deserve a spot with their song "Squeez Toy." Of course, their limited success may all be due to their collaborations with singer Kim Esty.

And last but most certainly not least, we have Toy-Box. Watching the opening of "Tarzan & Jane" really makes me think that they ripped off the "AquaScope" thing Aqua did. While their most well-known song, the lyrics are certainly lacking in substance ("I am Jane and I love to ride an elephant").

What sets Toy-Box apart, however, is that I have actually heard of Anila (or Aneela) Mirza in another context. She sang "Chori Chori" with Arash.

I hope that I have made your hump day complete and turned that frown of yours upside down!

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