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20 Watts Reviews Annie’s Don’t Stop by Marc Sollinger

Annie brings energy and joy to her sophomore album

PREVIEW: VISIT Annie’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts

Annie is an interesting phenomenon. In almost all respects, she’s just a standard pop star, working in the mold of early Madonna. Yet, she’s still managed to attain indie credibility, the likes of which would normally be hard to come by.

Listening to her sophmore album, Don’t Stop, it’s easy to see why. Annie doesn’t do anything too differently from her dance floor contemporaries like Kylie Minogue or even Britney Spears. However, she excels by cutting out most of the filler that those similar artists are wont to include in their respective efforts.

Don’t Stop is nearly all danceable, kinetic hooks, sounding like a compendium of all the best singles from the mid-80s, updated with a nod to early 2000s electronica. Normally cheesy synthesizers and glitchy bloops and bleeps comfortably coexist on this album. The production on Don’t Stop is frenzied, never pausing or letting the album catch its breath, and Annie’s almost mechanically precise voice floats effortlessly over it.

This isn’t to say that the album is perfect, for one, the lyrics are absolutely dreadful. This isn’t too much of a mark against the album, however. The words are less important than the sense of motion that most of the songs inspire. But still, it doesn’t appear entirely necessary to resort to so many cliches.

Three of the songs (“Loco,” “Marie Cherie” and “What Do You Want (The Breakfast Song)”) also fall flat, leaving the listener unmoved — a fatal flaw in a dance record. Other than that, however, Annie has created a marvel.

Don’t Stop is everything that’s good about pop. it’s not deep or important, but Don’t Stop is pretty, fun and almost criminally catchy. The best songs on the album (“Bad Times” and “Heaven and Hell”) have a magical ability to transport the listener to a dance party, regardless of where the listener actually is. Simply put, Don’t Stop excels in the realm of dance pop. It’s a record that breathes new life into stale pop tropes, and has fun doing it too.

— Marc Sollinger

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