Album Review: Annie "Don't Stop"

Norwegian singer Annie's sophomore album, Don't Stop has been through countless delays, track list make-overs, and tabloid fights with the Girls Aloud, but after sixteen months, it is about to see the light of day.

Annie is an artist with a unique position. She is melodic and electronic enough to gain the adoration of Popjustice while she has the credibility and indie sensibilities to be on Pitchfork's good side (Her 2004 single "Heartbeat" ranked No. 17 on their best of the decade list). Yes, she is a girl, and yes, she uses synthesizers, but for all intensive purposes, Annie is indie.

Indie is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days, even on this site. It can mean boys that wear tight pants, v-neck shirts, and eshew anything top 40. It can mean a particular sound. It really means an artist who is signed to independent label as opposed to a major one. All of these definitions have coalesced into a word that is for the 00s what "alternative" was to the 90s. Sure, she doesn't make music in a dumpster with her fingers bleeding, but her songwriting is very indie in its melody and structure, and, most importantly, she's not signed to a major label!

As one of the few pop acts to lay claim on the coveted "indie" word, Annie has put out an album Popjustice has called "a complete modern masterpiece". "Hey Annie" is a Scandinavian kumbaya with tribal drums and a choir of children calling out the singer's name as she sings, "it might take forever, we could grow and change together". Honestly, it's not half as corny as the lyrics suggest, its actually quiet good.

"My Love Is Better" is an electro-gem that sounds as if it were recovered from the 80s. "I Don't Like Your Band" finds Annie breaking up with a boy and using the whole it's not you, it's your band excuse. Current single "Song Reminds Me of You", produced by Richard X might be the sequel as Annie asks him how it feels to hear his songs on the radio while hating being reminded of him every time she hears his songs over a desperately danceable New Order-esque beat. The biggest downfall of the record is the songs that got cut from it, especially the epic and haunting "Antonio", a gender reversal of "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson.

In the end, it doesn't really matter what Popjustice or Pitchfork think. Screw the taste makers. You don't need their approval to like music this good.

Rating: 9/10

Must Download: Click to Preview
"Hey Annie"
"Song Reminds Me of You"


Anonymous said...

Pitchfork does love Annie, they put her on the front page a few days ago.

hun*ter said...

She is kind of the bomb.

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