Finicky Ears

First Impressions: Annie – Don’t Stop

Posted in Album Reviews, First Impressions by finickyears on November 18, 2009

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Every week, Finicky Ears will review an album as we listen to it for the first time, capturing the initial impact a record makes without the luxuries of repeat listens and second thoughts. This week, we listen to Annie’s follow-up to 2004’s Anniemal.

“Hey Annie.” Ok. Lots of percussion and we’re off. I couldn’t decide whether to do this album or Them Crooked Vultures, so I went with the shorter one. And, as the first chorus is kicking in, I’m totally happy I chose this one. I’ve been listening to The Big Pink a good amount lately and this is not a big jump. I don’t really know what kind of people listen to Annie. It’s basically pop music with electronic tendencies. Wow, the chorus keeps going on towards the end. Over and over, building and building. Pretty rad. I’m impressed.

“My Love Is Better” starts. Faster song, which is good because the first one was awesome, but this is the party starter. This has a rock and roll chorus; guitar riff in the background. I think she just said “I’m so much better, so eat this.” Yeah, this song is basically about how everything about Annie is better than whoever else. Can’t argue with that and gotta love the attitude.

“Bad Times.” The intro here doesn’t even sound like a dance track. Very 80’s and the little two beat in between verses sounds like “There Is a Light that will Never Go Out.”  3 for 3 to start off the record. I need to add that this isn’t the kind of music I normally listen to, but I enjoy Annie. I don’t know if you would call this IDM, but it seems to fit the definition. I was a little disappointed that her cover of “Two of Hearts” didn’t make the record. I love the original and was looking forward to hearing Annie’s version.

I’m getting behind. “Don’t Stop” is playing, track 4. Oh, this is the title track. My least favorite so far. Another attitude track, mid-tempo, but kinda simple for my liking. The chorus is cheesy: “let’s go, you have no, control.” Sounds like Trent Reznor lyrics. Gotta love the obvious, forced rhymes. Anyway, this album has been finished for over a year, but something happened and lots of songs were dropped (including “Two of Hearts”) and it’s finally coming out this month.

Ok, this jam is getting crazy. “I Don’t Like Your Band.” The coolest beat so far, i feel like I’ve heard this song already. I think it’s the single. This is one of those problems only musicians have. Oh, you’re fun to hang out with, but I’m not really into your music. Such a tough life on tour all the time, dating musician after musician. I’m sorry I can’t relate. Cool song though.

Another fast one, “Song Reminds Me of You.” The one is a little Eurotrash…in a bad way.  As I was saying earlier, I don’t know who Annie’s audience is. I don’t think the pop music crowd is into her. Do they play her songs on the radio?  Looks like we got MSTKRFT and Royksopp remixes. So electro-dance hipsters? 

“Marie Cherie.” Slow track, narrative structure. This song also sounds pretty weak. Sounds like French music. I don’t know what French music sounds like, but this is how I imagine it. Not to bash on the French. Phoenix is awesome. So is Charlotte Gainsbourg. This also has a spooky background where it sounds like a ghost is loose in the recording studio. But yeah, French music is cool I guess, but lame imitations of french music are not cool. While, I’m bored, let’s talk about singers who go solely by the first name. There is a long tradition, from Madonna to Cher to Beyonce. It seems to connotate a larger than life status, but Annie seems to parody this more than encompass it.

Another mid-tempo track, “Take You Home.”  This album is losing my interest. I think Annie is most successful when she is having fun (and making us have fun). This song is generic, anonymous sounding, which is the exact opposite of what Annie is going for. Look at the album cover. It’s pretty damn cool, signifying something electric, something special is coming from this artist. I understand than an EP will be released as well, with the songs from the original full length that were cut.

“The Breakfast Song.” Aptly titled. She keeps asking “what do you want for breakfast.” Well, at least this song is faster. But, it’s pretty stupid too. I really don’t know what to say here. I’m kind of embarrassed for her. Jokes are cool, as long as they are funny. I just went back to look at what I wrote about the first few songs because I had forgotten there was a time when I was enjoying this album.

Alright, this song actually sounds promising. Kinda sounds like “Ready to Go” by Republica. Remember that jam? Weird. This is called “Loco.” It’s actually pretty stupid, too. There is something inherently not right about some Scandinavian girl using the word “loco” over and over again. Isn’t there some cool word in Norwegian that means crazy? 

“When the Night.” This might be the ballad. It’s actually nice sounding. Makes me want to hold hands with a pretty girl. Or be on The Vampire Diaries. Or some shit. What the hell am I talking about, this is not my thing. This could easily have been recorded by The Spice Girls. There is nothing on this album that touches that Heartbeats jam she does.

Last song. Finally. “Heaven and Hell.” A bouncy number. In the tradition of Carrot Rope and Fraggle Rock. The kind of song that makes you want to jump around with a lobotomy induced grin on your face. This album started out with so much promise and ended up making me want to kill myself. Who would have thought?

Would I listen to this record again? Nah. Did it work as a cohesive unit? Yeah, it did. And maybe I would like this more if it were my cup of tea, but it’s gotta be a pretty amazing pop record to impress me. Did I enjoy it? For the most part, no. I think the early tracks were excellent and are gonna sound great on dancefloors, but the rest of the album did not live up to her debut.

First Impressions Grade: D+
Possible Grade Upon Further Listens: C to D+

Here is that shitty song “Loco.”

Visit Annie here!

Buy Annie’s album here, maybe you’ll like it more than me?

Here is something to remind you that Annie still kind of rules!

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One Response

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  1. athousandscreamingrabbits said, on November 20, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Totally want to buy this album now!


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