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dot_clear.gif (43 bytes) 3 of 5 (by PJ)
Return to Music Page Aqua - Aquarius (CD Album)

Sophomore albums are always the hardest things to do. Despite the high cheese factor of their debut release "Aquarium", I have to give Aqua lots of credit for putting out a decent follow-up album after taking it hard from the critics for their debut album. "Aquarius" is pretty diverse and offers the listener a little something of everything. Vocal wise, most of the tracks are very clean and pleasing to the senses – a drastic turnaround from their previous work.

In addition to vocals, Aqua have changed with the times and updated the way they approach songs as well, perhaps with a hint of more maturity. “Goodbye to the Circus” is a tune that bids farewell to the carnival life – sung with a hint of realism. The duet between the two lead vocalists is harmonized well. With “Around the World” Aqua returns to its roots, complete with annoying vocals. If you liked “Superhero” by Daze a couple of years ago, this song would be a favorite for you.

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“Freaky Friday” is just that, freaky. Catchy hook, but doesn’t really go anywhere. However, “We Belong to the Sea” certainly does. This tune is an incredible departure from the traditional Aqua camp and sounds more like it should be in a musical. The string orchestrations are well arranged and the song lends itself to nice background atmosphere.

“Keep the Doctor Away” is a classic, jazzed-up Euro tune, which might work a little better as  a dub. As a radio edit it’s very chopped up; but serves as great filler.  “Halloween” spoofs the very popular horror flicks, “Scream” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer”. The special effects are a bit over top, but the song is very upbeat and fun. This would be perfect for a re-release around Halloween.

“Aquarius” is my favorite track on the CD – a little gem in the rough. The song is rather pared down, a few strings and keyboards - putting me in mind of Jewel. Released commercially in the States, this song has massive potential for either soundtracks or jingles. “Cartoon Heroes” is Aqua’s newest release, and provides us with a throwback back to their true roots – Euro in its purest form!

“Good Guys, Back from Mars, Cuba Libre, and Bumblebees” complete this 12-track album. Parts of this album are extremely interesting and others are vastly uninspired. Overall, Aqua should be commended for trying out new material and not recreating their first album. Although Aqua is all over the place with their latest effort, if you’re a fan, "Aquarius" is certainly worth checking out.

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