Annie
Don't Stop


4.0
excellent

Review

by Rudy K. STAFF
November 17th, 2009 | 69 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A new brand of electro-pop confectionary that doesn't rot your teeth right out.

Throwaway pop artists, despite the heaps of critical and elitist disdain heaped upon them and the negative connotations they routinely perform under, couldn’t exist under a more precarious balancing act. Record a ***ty, everyday pop song, and you’re scorned, your artistic credibility sunk, torn down as overly derivate or robotically manufactured, and your long-term career doomed to happy hour residencies at Margaritavilles in family-styled resort towns once the record company declines your third album option. But write that perfect pop song and you become acceptable, nay, cool to like, someone that critics and prepubescent girls can mutually agree successfully taps that hidden bone in our body that makes us move our hips like “yeah.” Write two and you’re set. Write two whole album’s worth, and you have Norwegian electro-pop savant Annie.

Trapped in production hell for nearly two years, Don’t Stop is just that kind of balancing act of a pop album, one that dangles its legs over the precipice of radio trash but never really takes the dive. Indeed, for the first half Don’t Stop is a retro DeLorean straight back into the ‘80s, glory days of synths, airy, reverbed-to-hell-and-back vocals, and disco-fueled, John Hughes-ian odes to streaky romance. It’s catchy and excellently produced, as should be expected, but the lack of spark behind songs like “Hey Annie” or the cheesy title track leave one familiar with Annie’s work a bit worried. Too often the first third of Don’t Stop comes off like mere outtakes of her fabulous debut Anniemal, save for the bouncy, frantic buildup of single “My Love is Better,” with some textbook Franz guitar courtesy of Alex Kapranos. This is something that would immediately make these first few tracks classics on any other pop artist’s album but with Annie brings up the question; has the well run dry, or was Annie just a flash-in-the-pan novelty to begin with?

Thankfully, starting with the sly kiss-off of “I Don’t Like Your Band,” whose grimy, subtly threatening bass line and tap-dancing synth notes create the perfect atmosphere for this double-sided tune, Annie begins to separate herself from the Max Martin pack yet again. When Annie announces “music so good / music so clear” over the most direct, driving beat on the record on “Songs Remind Me Of You”, the breakup jam becomes the theme of the record – Annie taking the most basis tenets of pop, music that can hardly be called revolutionary in any sense of the word (“Songs Remind Me Of You,” for example, is vintage Kylie Minogue done thrice as good as any recent Minogue song), and making it her own. A trippy, cluttered beat calls to mind a bright-toned horror movie on the haunting ballad “Marie Cherie,” while the slow, sexual stomp of “Take You Home” turns things in a whole new direction altogether. Aside from the misguided, blunt metaphor of “The Breakfast Song” (hint: it’s not about breakfast), in fact, the remainder of Don’t Stop is a manual’s guide to effortlessly effective, genuine pop. From the what-if-Franz-Ferdinand-was-fronted-by-Annie tune “Loco” to ballad “When The Night,” which is rescued from unbearable amounts of sap by Annie’s endearingly charming accent and honest vocals, Don’t Stop is the kind of album that walks that aforementioned balance perfectly.

It’s the kind of balance embodied in closer “Heaven and Hell,” where a sunny chorus and a thoroughly well orchestrated array of atmospheric synths and effervescent drums contrast seamlessly with Annie’s sprightly vocals and the song’s love-and-hate lyrical matter. It’s the kind of frothy, flawless pop song that makes you wonder what’s in the water over in Norway, and, more importantly, where can we get more of it over on this side of the pond? Sustaining a career in pop music has never been about evolving one’s sound, but rather maintaining the relevance needed to connect to millions of listeners in a time when pop culture is constantly shifting. With Anniemal and now Don’t Stop, Annie makes a great case for best pop artist of a new generation, one who knows how to salvage the trash of artists past in order to make a new brand of bubbly, electro-pop confectionary that, thankfully, doesn’t rot your teeth right out.



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user ratings (33)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
klap
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


10499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

klap4music - now with more c!

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

AtavanHalen
November 18th 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good

Blindsided
November 18th 2009


1871 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Getting this.

Blindsided
November 18th 2009


1871 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this fucking rules.

sgrevs
November 18th 2009


698 Comments


Anniemal was awesome, I should probably get this.

cirq
November 18th 2009


9264 Comments


Man, I don't wanna get this

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


10499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cirq you'd dig it i know it

cirq
November 18th 2009


9264 Comments


I'm afraid I will

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


10499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it hurts so gooooood

oh and if you want a sampler check out the mp3 on klap4music.com (Shameless plug)

cirq
November 18th 2009


9264 Comments


Damn you, will when I get to a computer

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


10499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

something i forgot to mention in a review, it's a shame "i'm not ur girlfriend" and the "two hearts" cover didn't make it onto the standard edition. that cover is literally perfect for this

Kiran
Emeritus
November 18th 2009


6001 Comments


urgh, didn't realize this was out already, more music to get

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
November 18th 2009


3772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wOO! i was waiting for an Annie review.

love.

Btw if you like this you should check out Ladyhawke.

Digging: The Flaming Lips - With A Little Help From My Fwends

AtavanHalen
November 18th 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just heard the Two of Hearts cover - amazing.

Roach
November 18th 2009


2148 Comments


pop I might like?






probably not only GaGa is good fuck everyone else.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
November 18th 2009


4950 Comments


that's like the hipster credo

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


15052 Comments


heartbeat from anniemal was literally the best thing ever

bloc
November 18th 2009


34926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

great review dawg

lyrics are terrible, favourite song is Songs Remind Me of You.

plane
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


6094 Comments


Sucks ;|

Good review though 8)

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


10499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that strikes me close to the heart lewis



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