Strong reviews for ’Anniemal’ in the UK

This week sees Annie’s ‘Anniemal’ album being launched in the UK, and the first reviews in are very positive.

Annie - Anniemal

Annie’s debut album, the aptly titled ‘Anniemal’ is now out in the UK on 679 Recordings in the UK. Spearheaded by such infectious singles as Chewing Gum and My Heartbeat, the launch of her first album is surrounded by substantial hype. The album was released to critical acclaim in Norway last autumn, and the same reception seems to be the case in the UK. Such major dailies as Guardian, The Times and Observer as well as music mags like Uncut have awarded the Bergen starlet very positive reviews.

Says Annie on the remarkable UK press feedback: “It’s just fantastic and incredible to get such a reception in the UK. Actually, it’s quite difficult to describe my feelings right now, it’s almost too much with so many positive reviews all at once” smiles Annie.

‘Anniemal’ will be launched in the US later this spring on Vice Records.

Below are some of the latest week’s rave ‘Anniemal’ reviews:

Guardian

If there is a crisis in pop right now, it is this: too few great pop stars have great enough songs, while some of the best tunes are performed by singers with the star quality of a rolling pin.

Norwegian starlet Annie, however, has things sewn up. Her songs, crafted with the likes of Royksopp and Richard X, are sophisticated but accessible, by turns fun and heartbreaking, and boast a unique atmospheric charm. They include last year's great lost electropop hit 'Chewing Gum', the Shakatak-sampling 'No Easy Love', and Annie's breathtaking current single 'Heartbeat'.

Artists such as the target of the cheeky pop satire 'Me Plus One' would sell their Union Jack dresses for an album like this, but Annie's personality is stamped over every one of these tracks, running through each lyric and each vulnerable vocal flourish.

Annie may perhaps be unjustly destined to remain something of an underground oddity, but she's too good for Top of the Pops anyway.

Burn it: 'Chewing Gum'; 'Heartbeat' (4 out of 5)

Peter Robinson

The Times:

This 25-year-old Norwegian’s debut album is one of those records that not only sounds fantastic but has itchy hipsters trying desperately to offer intellectual justification for their fondness for the record.

Anniemal, you see, is pure, frothy pop music. It’s constructed from electronic instruments, samples, Annie’s crystal- clear vocals and melodies made from Velcroed ice, and is designed to have you dancing around your bedroom. There are songs about partying, songs about cute men and songs about breaking up. It’s not supposed to be trendy or ironic — it’s simply gloriously catchy pop that is funny, clever and sad.

Chewing Gum, for example, three minutes of Tom Tom Club-like rhythms and call and response vocals, offers a sly sideways look at female attitudes to men (“Oh no, you’ve got it all wrong/ You think you’re chocolate when you’re chewing gum”), while My Heartbeat slips by on a river of melody that makes Kylie sound like a Status Quo tribute act. Annie even manages to sample the irretrievably uncool Shakatak’s Easier Said Than Done on No Easy Love and fashion a mini epic of heartbreak and beauty. Now, that’s Anniemal magic. Paul Connolly

Observer

Pop music is far too vital too be left to the fickle tastes of children. Norwegian singer Annie is that strange beast, a pop star that adults can get over-excited about. Already a household name in Scandinavia, her songs boast a winning combination of innocence and experience, breezy blonde melodies and just-so productions drawing from R&B, arch dance music like Daft Punk, Eighties pop soul (especially on 'No Easy Love') and Abba. Annie's melancholy disco anthems are salty with real tears - her boyfriend and musical partner died of a congenital heart defect before their album could be made; Annie completed it with a handful of collaborators. Last year's terrific mini-hit 'Chewing Gum' stands out a mile, but there isn't a duff track here.

Kitty Empire

The Daily Telegraph’s review is less panegyric but still positive:

Annie's name has been cropping up in dance music circles for several years, mainly in connection with her fellow Norwegians Röyksopp, but also because the singer had her first underground hit – The Greatest Hit – as long ago as 1999. Following the death of her collaborator Tore Andreas Kroknes in 2001, Annie concentrated on DJ-ing for several years until she was introduced to eccentric Finnish dance producers Opl:Bastards.

Their mark, along with that of Röyksopp and 1980s-obsessed production whizz Richard X, is firmly audible on Annie's debut album. Last year's single Chewing Gum has the same ditzy rhythm as Tom Tom Club's dancefloor classic Genius of Love, with a self-consciously throwaway feel enhanced by Annie's helium-high vocals.

Heartbeat, by comparison, is positively sincere, but again, Annie's voice is so squeaky that listening to it induces the same sensation as eating spoonfuls of icing sugar. Indeed, while this album is as cleverly put together as you'd expect from producers of this standard, the effect of listening to it all in one go is like overdosing on cake. Best suited to hearing in short bursts, very loud, in a disco.

Lynsey Hanley

A round-up quotes from of some of the latest reviews:
5/5 Uncut “Anniemal is a great pop album”
4.5/5 Independent On Sunday – “Seductive, synthetic, sublime”
4.5/5 DJ – “Worthy of the big time”
4/5 OK “A real sweet treat”
4/5 Metro – “Proof that pop, in the right hands can continue to be impossibly exciting.”
4/5 The Sun "..a dazzling dance record. Move over Kylie"
4/5 Daily Mirror "Buy It"
4/5 Evening Standard "..a magical atmosphere"
4/5 Attitude “Anniemal will make Kylie quake in fear”
GQ- “As Syrupy as an episode of the O.C.”
Guardian Weekend Magazine – “Your new favourite pop star”
Guardian Guide- “Sophisticated and enchanting”
Time Out "Anniemal is most likely to be the best pop album of 2005"
i-D- “Mission accomplished”
NME“Annie is set to rescue the top 40.”
Sunday Times “A truly affecting pop record.”
Arena “Pristine, heart breaking, futuristic disco.”
Vice- “Annie is a star”

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