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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Track-by-Track: Aqua - Megalomania

It's been a few months since my last album review, and I'm bringing it back with a release that's really grabbed me. You might be thinking "an Aqua album really grabbed you?", but in addition to loving their debut back in the 90's, I've always taken these guys more seriously than most. Europop is a genre just like any other, and Aqua know how to use it to its best effect. I'm happy to say that, after more than a decade away, this new album is very, very good pop. It will definitely be in my top ten of the year, possibly quite high.

1. Playmate to Jesus - I misjudged this song at first, thinking that the chorus melody was too obvious. But as I've listened to it more, the production flourishes have won me over. This is one of their best midtempos. 9/10

2. Dirty Little Popsong - It's odd that this is so early in the running order because I think it's my least favorite track. It just feels too predictable. It's a solid dance track, for sure, but doesn't have anything new to offer. 7/10

3. Kill Myself - Now we're talking! This is the type of mature, soaring pop I hoped they'd record. The verses are beautiful (Lene really shows her range), but it's that blockbuster chorus that really gets you. Instant hit, even with the dark subject matter. 10/10

4. Like A Robot - When I first heard this, I couldn't stop laughing. The filthy bluntness of the hook seems shocking at first, but it's totally in keeping with the band's desire to subvert pop music. And luckily, this doesn't rest on the novelty of the chorus. The melody's just as strong. 10/10

5. Viva Las Vegas - Melodically, I love it. Where it loses a point is the lyrics, which never break out of novelty territory. But the production and hooks are so good that it's still a standout. 9/10

6. No Party Patrol - This is such an interesting track. On the surface, it's about a sort of apocalyptic party (more and more common subject matter these days), but I can't help but think it also functions as a critique of America's political parties' inability to deal with environmental issues. Maybe I'm reading between the lines too much, but the thought makes this a very unique track. Melodically, it's ace. 10/10

7. Come 'n Get It - A midtempo that hearkens back to their 90's days. It's definitely filler, but very enjoyable nonetheless. I like the retro vibe it gives off. 8/10

8. Sucker For A Superstar - One of the rockier tracks on the album, this is a highly infectious commentary on groupies (I wonder if Aqua has groupies?). Honestly, though, it's all about that chorus. It's gargantuan. 10/10

9. Be My Saviour Tonight - A bit of a departure, and one of the more mature sounding tracks on the album. It's all string sections, heavy beats (it gets crazy toward the end), and a soaring hook. It's grown on me immensely. 9/10

10. How R U Doin? - The album's first single, which is kind of crazy because it's not the strongest track. It's fairly straightforward electro-pop. Great beat, stupid lyrics. But it's fun! 9/10

11. If The World Didn't Suck (We Would All Fall Off) - I just love this. It's as close to rock music as the band's ever come, with pensive verses and stadium-sized, anthemic choruses. It's got a great build to it. A fantastic way to end the album, and one of the strongest tracks they've recorded. 10/10

Album Grade: 9.2/10


Anonymous prigix said...

and they're back! Just love the first and last, could listen to them all day

2:15 AM  

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