Friday, September 12, 2008


Song: Sweet
Artist: Annie
Album: Don’t Stop

I’ve been awaiting Annie’s sophomore record since… well pretty much since her debut, “Anniemal” was released back in 2005. Well finally her follow up has seen the light and will be released next month. “Don’t Stop” is yet another slice of bouncy electro-pop that even hipsters can like. And that is precisely how Annie has positioned herself. When she came out she was being described as “Kylie meets Daft Punk,” a bouncy pop girl that’s cool enough NOT to be straight-up top 40 pop (well… European pop.) I have no qualms proclaiming an affinity for Kylie or Britney (or even Paris, ha!) so there is no guilt here… but Annie did have a little something special, and with “Heartbeat,” the second single from her debut she had what I consider an electro-pop classic. A dancefloor ready slow-burner that was sweet, sexy, and fun.

Unfortunately, I am not sure I hear a track on the level of “Heartbeat” on “Don’t Stop,” but after a couple listens I am digging it… and the ratio of good songs to bad may even be better than on “Annimal.” I had already posted first single, and the first leaked track, “I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me,” which sounded a bit “Chewing Gum” to me. It’s a fun track… and fits well with the rest of the album.

Actually, the album starts strong (with rumored next single “My Love is Better”) and doesn’t hit a weak moment until the seventh track, the odd, atmospheric, “Marie Cherie.” And then it inexplicably continues with the downturn on “When the Night,” some serious ballad-y drivel. Then the album sort of flies off the rails, with the 90’s Brit-pop influenced “Heaven & Hell” which is bouncy fun, then a totally strange song called “What Do You Want (the Breakfast Song)” in which Annie just repeats “What do you want… what do you want for BREAK-FAST!” Morning after techno-pop? Things slow down again for “Take You Home” (which should have come before breakfast right?) but I actually like this track. Not single potential for sure, but it has a sexy vibe to it, slow… deliberate. The album ends with “Songs Remind Me of You” one of the best tracks on the album… the fun returns, only for it to end.

But wait… the first half of the album is actually rather good. I wasn’t sure after a couple listens but the more I heard it the more I dug it. “Sweet” is a pretty upbeat track that is the albums closest match to “Heartbeat.” An initial favorite. “Loco” (as well as “My Love is Better”) receive guitar help from Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos, and “Bad Times” and “I Can’t Let Go” show that Annie doesn’t stray too far from the indie-rock world. “Bad Times” even reminded me a bit of moments on Santogold’s debut.

I think she’s released a pretty worthy follow-up and one that fans of her first album are sure to latch onto.

Enjoy the weekend!

I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me


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