Last updated on October 5th, 2017
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. The memorable single helped their album, Aquarium, which was released in 1997, become a worldwide smash. It went 3x platinum in the US, and achieved multi-platinum status in many other countries as well.
“Barbie Girl” was one of those unavoidably annoying songs that we all love to hate, yet secretly sing along to when no one is around. Even if we didn’t want to admit it, Aqua was bringing us into their Barbie world, and we were loving it. Despite some questionable lyrics that clearly passed over our heads when we were younger (“You could touch, you could play, if you say I’m always yours.”), we would dance to this song until we couldn’t dance anymore.
The music video for “Barbie Girl” is just as fun and wacky as the song. 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 line of “Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky-panky.” To top everything off, the entire band gets to ride around in a big Barbie convertible with some sweet ’90s green screen effects.
Much like many other artists, the memory of Aqua will always be preserved in the ’90s. 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.
“Barbie Girl” 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.
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.