Let’s face it: groups like Aqua are critic-proof. As evidenced by the sell-out success of their upcoming Australian tour, fans don’t give two hoots what reviewers have to say about plastic fantastic hits like Barbie Girl and Lollipop.

At least the oh-so-cheesy Danes are offering up an album of new material, which is more than can be said for most of the other acts currently milking the trend for ’90s nostalgia (we’re looking at you, Vengaboys, S Club, Eiffel 65 et al).

And you know what? Megalomania ain’t that bad. On tracks like Dirty Little Pop Song and How R U Doin, the group successfully bridges the 11 years that have passed since its last album. Soaring opener Playmate To Jesus even reminds that when it drops its cartoon shtick, the band is actually capable of mining some real emotion (see their forgotten Sliding Doors classic, Turn Back Time). It wouldn’t be controversial to state that Aqua have never been an albums act, but Megalomania is an admirable effort from some of pop’s more unlikely survivors.

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