In Defense of Aqua
Aqua though took what was out there, as all artists do, and instead of making it faster, harder, crazier, more unusual or any of what people are used to, they polished and focused it. They tried to hit every pressure point that makes for electric, fun, happy work. They had a set of electrodes and they clipped them to all our your happy receptors and threw the switch.
Now to go that far in that direction was a comfortable trip for a bunch of teeny boppers who had collections of music that were basically audio cocktails of sugar and cocaine. They were used to and even conesiours of the sickenly sweet. Thus taking it one step further out to Aqua's work was a pleasant stretching of their envelope. But for most of the people who love to identify with the majority of the music I hail to, the trip from here all the way to Aqua was not a pleasant one. Going from the thick, bitter flavors of Atari Teenage Riot to the syrupy taste of Aqua is as uncomfortable as my dad going from The Beach Boys to Iggy Pop.
As I see it, I have a nice central ground and enjoy having my palette distended from their. Usually the most stimulating direction to rip it is towards the loud, fast, and hard. Going from zero, a far jump in that direction puts me with people who like that music and then step in directions from there. So when I started from my zero point and took a flying leap to having Aqua strap the alligator clamps on to the sweetness-taste buds of my ears and turn on the juice, it was a great move. But to go not from zero but from hard and aggressive all the way to dripping cotton candy was way more than all of my attackers could handle.
I propose that those who call Aqua pointless, Pop crap can't separate the trappings of the music industry from the music and/or are seated nicely in their aggro world and don't enjoy having their envelopes stretched as much as they prefer music that happens to land where most people are stretched out to. Not being able to separate the music from all the extra elements of the music act I think shows a certain inability to appreciate music and not being able to separate the act from the marketing shows a naiveté of the way the commercial entertainment industry works. And I think that an extreme discomfort with the music demonstrates a certain trained and shrunk musical palate. Often people who like the music that comes from taking a normal taste and stretching it don't think that they have small palates themselves but have palates that can take a good stretching. When those same people can't handle the intensity of Aqua I say that they need to examine their appreciation of music; Maybe it's not the severity of the music but the tart and bitter taste of the music that you enjoy.