Annie's followup to her brilliant debut, Anniemal (2005), finally arrived last November after years of tantalizing frustration. My daughter has almost doubled in age since Anniemal came out, which she loved.
So, how does it compare? There's nothing quite as sticky as "Chewing Gum," on Don't Stop. For that, you'd have to get the single, "I Know You're Girlfriend Hates Me," which was released earlier in 2009.
The new album is less bedroom electronica, with fewer digital squiggles, blups and buzzes. The new songs are still pop, but with more of a filled-out rock band arrangement. Guitars are a lot more prominent, and the drums and percussion sound more "live," (whatever that means in 2010).
The songs on Anniemal frequently revealed a touching sensitivity, with occasional flashes of a confident and analytic sarcasm. The ratio is reversed on Don't Stop, with most of the songs displaying self-assuredness, humorous cattiness, challenges, and kiss-offs. It's pretty amusing, and fun. On the whole, it's spunky and perky pop with a rockier edge, although Annie is working with a variety of producers here, so some of the tunes have a completely synthetic glow:
Songs Remind Me Of You
Some high points: the tribal drum corps and chanting in the opening "Hey Annie," which starts out very Missy, and ends up quite cosmic, and the song built around the ultimate insult for a musician: "I Don't Like Your Band."