Quiet, not deep, is Annie's strength. Though the bratty brilliance of lead single "Chewing Gum" is undeniable, it's "Heartbeat," the album's sleeper, that plays to her assets. Uniquely feminine in its cashmere softness and in-the-moment melancholia, "Heartbeat" layers coo-ing woes over a building, pulsing synth bass and a startlingly live drum track. She gets champagne-dizzy on "Me Plus One," a Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam style bit of roller funk, and on the equally handclap-heavy disco homage "Greatest Hit." If all Annie's breathy innocence threatens to wash out the day with brightness, there's "Always Too Late," which pits percussion, plucks and ghost squelches in a moment of rubber-bass trip-hop so sultry you'll wish for evening to fall. These little dark patches make the blue skies of Anniemal all the more palatable, and give you all the more reason to look up into pop's often empty expanse.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 11.01.11 in Lists
Bad label deals, internal fighting, creative blockage and just plain procrastination — there are myriad reasons why albums stall on the road from concept to execution. In honor of the release of the ultimate "lost...
By Daphne Carr on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Quiet, not deep, is Annie's strength. Though the bratty brilliance of lead single "Chewing Gum" is undeniable, it's "Heartbeat," the album's sleeper, that plays to her assets. Uniquely fem...
By Barry Walters on 10.19.09 in Reviews
When Norway's Anne Lilia Berge Strand blew up with her 2004 Anniemal debut, the number of successful indiepop/dance music crossovers were few: the Knife were nobodies beyond Scandinavia; La Roux, Little Boots, and Lily A...
By Louis Pattison on 02.26.15 in Features
The metal legends talk about their history through the prism of eight songs.