Remember “Barbie Girl” by Aqua? Of course you do! The catchy pop song played at every birthday party and skating rink in the late ’90s. It’s one of those unavoidably annoying songs that we all love to hate, yet secretly sing along to when no one is around.
Growing up in the ’90s, did we really know what we were singing along to though?
“You could touch, you could play, if you say I’m always yours.”
“You could brush my hair, undress my everywhere.”
“Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky-panky.”
When I was a kid, I always figured that this song was about playing with Barbie Dolls, or maybe that this singer wished she was a Barbie Doll. I think that all she really wants is some action.
The music video is very strange, to put it mildly. The band is existing literally in an overgrown Barbie World, and the singer seems to take on different forms of Barbie Dolls throughout the video. There are odd sitcom-like band member intros in the middle of the video, so we kind of feel like we know this group. I personally find René excessively creepy. I’m not sure if it’s his bizarre haircut, his stupid wink and point, or his insistence on wanting to get kissed and touched. The entire band gets to ride around in a big Barbie convertible with some sweet ’90s green screen effects.
This is a song that’s probably best stuck in the ’90s, but it’s a fun song to listen to when you’re feeling some nostalgia. Don’t be embarrassed to crank the volume up, and exclaim that you’re a Barbie girl. We’ve all been there.
I found the CD pictured above at a yard sale last year, and I picked it up mostly for nostalgic value. Aquarium, which was released in 1997 was a worldwide smash, mainly thanks to “Barbie Girl” (I don’t even remember any other songs from this album). It went 3x platinum in the US, and achieved multi-platinum status in many other countries as well. Their next album, Aquarius, came out in 2000, and while it sold well around the world, it flopped in the US. They could never duplicate the success of “Barbie Girl”, and their next studio album wouldn’t come out until 2011.
While Aquarium certainly isn’t a masterpiece, and doesn’t really hold up today, it’s a fun trip down memory lane. If you want to travel back in time, it’s probably worth a purchase.
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Do you have some memories of “Barbie Girl” to share? Leave a comment below.