Here is the news: Annie's new album, 'Don't Stop', is a complete modern masterpiece and you are going to love it. Most of it was recorded in the last twelve months with new recruits Xenomania joining established collaborators Timo and Richard X, and the result is a mix of styles which won't scare Annie's existing fans but might actually give her some proper hit singles.
One of the future singles — probably the next one, after 'Girlfriend' — is going to be 'My Love Is Better'. It's unmistakeably a Xenomania track — similar in feel to 'Long Hot Summer' or 'You Freak Me Out' — which features guitar work from Alex Kapranos. Its chorus is a call and response session with Girls Aloud along the lines of:
Annie: My love is better
Girls Aloud: Than your love
Annie: My lips are wetter
Girls Aloud: Than your lips
And so on. One of the best songs on the album is another Xenomania track called 'Sweet' which has all the hallmarks of a summertime airplay smash. Along with the single 'Girlfriend', Richard X has also worked with Annie
on the incendiary dancefloor anthem 'Songs Remind Me Of You', which was
originally demoed A MILLION YEARS AGO — so long ago, in fact, that it
was first played in a nitespot environment at the Popjustice Christmas
party in 2005. 'Loco' is a sort of Blondie-esque belter whose chorus trills "you're so loco, everybody says that you're a no-go" — a lyric which is probably the only misfire on the whole album. Elsewhere, 'Heaven & Hell' is a jaunty summery number which sounds a bit like
Saint Etienne and contains one of our favourite lines from the album:
"tell me, tell me what did I do wrong? Oh baby, I'm perfect".
Fans of cliche will appreciate the fact that this is (ahem) 'very much an album of two halves', and the flipside to the upbeat element is a series of atmospheric, clever and adventurous songs which give the album a really exciting edge. Annie describes 'When The Night' as her first power ballad, while 'Marie Cherie' is a song about a girl who, after being abused by her father, kills herself, and nobody notices she's gone… There's also a gothic 'n' ghostly electroballad called 'Take U Home',
while 'Misery', featuring Frederik from Datarock, sounds like Sigue
Sigue Sputnik with a massive chorus of "it's been a long time since
you've been in my head … I wish that you were dead".
When we had a chat with Annie a few months ago she wrote us a tracklisting which is obvously 'subject to change', as these things always are, but this is how it looked.
There's some wild and crazy bracket scribbling going on there, isn't there.
Anyway, 'Don't Stop' is an album which somehow manages to cover pretty much everything we love about pop music, and we've got a feeling it's going to tick quite a few of your own boxes, too.