...this is what pop music should sound like in 2005.
David Hooper 2005-03-08
Annie is a Norwegian singer, songwriter and DJ who has worked with the likes of Richard X and Royksopp, and she even used to be in an indie band called Suitcase. With credentials like that, nothing can go wrong. Anniemal is that rarest of jewels, a truly great pop album.
This CD has been a long-time coming since she released her first single, the Madonna-sampling underground success "Greatest Hit", in 1999. The track was made with Annie's producer boyfriend Tore Andreas Kroknes, who sadly died from a heart defect in 2001, aged just 23. Annie needed time to recover from the loss before going on to complete the album, which she had always intended to make with him.
Featuring his trademark bleeps and beats, the Richard X produced opener "Chewing Gum" is one of the album's stand-out tunes; surely the most infectious pop single to be released in 2004! Listen to it and then shrug your shoulders in disbelief that it only reached No.25 in the charts. The upbeat "Me Plus One", meanwhile, bounds along with confidence and style as Annie sings and raps over lush, breathy backing vocals.
As if we aren't being spoilt enough, fellow Norwegian's Royksopp (from Annie's home town of Bergen) contribute to three tracks, including the soulful synth-pop "No Easy Love", which wouldn't sound at all out of place on the 'sopp's debut LP, Melody AM.
"Heartbeat" ,her first single of 2005, lives up to Annie's description as being a 'party song about enjoying the moment', while "Come Together" starts off slow before turning into a hypnotic eight minute disco anthem with synth strings and handclaps. The album closes with the melancholy "My Best Friend", all about the worries of having a mate in distress.
The production throughout the album really shines, and Annie herself competes effortlessly with the best that the Kylies and Britneys of this world have to offer. Sheer Anniemal magnetism - this is what pop music should sound like in 2005.