Europop. Denoting both the given genre of the group and the title of their breakout record, Eiffel 65 enjoyed an extremely successful year in 1999. With lead single “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” hitting the number one spot on charts in nearly every civilized nation on Earth, there was a point in which the track became such a ubiquitous staple on radio it became as reviled as James Blunt’s “Beautiful.”
To the everlasting joy of thousands, “Blue” hasn’t been heard from since at least 2002. It’s the sort of track that will invariably (if it has not already) appear on Time Life produced Remember the Nineties discs along with dance-oriented essentials like “Macarena” by Los Del Rio and “Wannabe” by Spice Girls.
Europop was unabashedly accessible, almost to a fault. This accessibility was enhanced by trendy (well, at the time) gimmicks such as extensive use of vocoders. I don’t believe a single lyric was sung though anything but a voice synthesizer.
Granted, it was a dance record, and as American Bandstand proved back in the seventies, people will pretty much dance to anything as long as there is a discernible rhythm.
The bulk of the record is composed of nitwitted by-the-numbers dance melodies for club hopping automatons. “Move Your Body”, “My Console”, “Hyperlink”. . . .those are probably three parts of the same song.
Still, Europop did have its flashes of astuteness. “Too Much of Heaven” is a damning statement on rampant consumerism, while still strangely encouraging dancing to lines like “No love, no friendship, nothing else.”
At best, Eiffel 65 will remind you of Violator-era Depeche Mode. At worst, they will recall everything vile about the nineties’ fascination for provisional dance pop.
“Blue (Da Ba Dee)” from Europop (1999) “Too Much of Heaven” from Europop (1999)