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Annie's Don't Stop is out now in the US
Posted at 2:08 PM, 18 November 2009 -

Don't Stop has now been released in the United States. Idolator met up with Annie to talk about the album. She reveals that she wrote around 400 songs with Xenomania and that her only Mini Viva co-write was "Left My Heart In Tokyo" (she is writing for other artists, but still doesn't reveal who).

Here's a few selected quotes from the interview:

Meeting up with Brian Higgins:
«I didn’t really know much about Brian, so I remember I first met him and I was a little bit hungover. I only slept for two hours and felt terrible! He was like, “Right. Okay. We’re gonna start working now.” And I was like, shit—this is terrible. But, to me it’s been the greatest experience, because most of the producers are much more into production and all the sounds. And of course that’s brilliant. But Brian is just about songs, basically.

«He really challenged me on my own songwriting. I just felt I experienced a lot. The first thing he said when we did the contract was, “We have to write a lot of songs, and it’s going to take a really long time.” So I ended up writing 300 to 400 songs. I have loads of songs lying around there.»

Working with Brian Higgins:
«In a way, he’s a maniac. But he’s wonderful. He’s one of the most hard-working persons I think I ever met in my life, but really such a lover of great pop music. (...)
I think he’s used to working with a lot of artists who don’t write their own music, who don’t take part in the production. I remember when we recorded “Bad Times,” I immediately had some ideas for some synth lines. He was like, “I’m amazed! I’ve got so much more respect for you.” For me, it was very natural to take part in the production. I don’t think he was that used to working with somebody who was that involved in the process of doing the actual music.»

The Girls Aloud collaboration:
«They used to [be on there], but what happened was the record label got so excited because Girls Aloud wanted to do it. I think [the label] called up their management—”Oh! We have to have a music video with Girls Aloud!” Of course, then the management of Girls Aloud panicked. They were like, “No! Their record is gonna come out at the same time as Annie’s, and it’s just gonna be confusing.” Blah, blah, blah. It was a shame, and Brian was annoyed because he thought we should just record it and not talk too much about it.»

Reviews from the US press:
  • Though it is typically the producer and co-writer's job to bring out the best in the star, Annie's best work has a way of encapsulating the appeal of her partners, whether it's showcasing Richard X's gift for giving 1980s pop aesthetics a modern make-over, or Xenomania's glossy, super-charged pop-rock hybrid. Pitchfork 7.2 / 7.7
  • The music is high-grade, glossy electro-pop, heavily indebted to the ’80s, as with the tweeting synths of “Songs Remind Me Of You,” buzzing keyboard-bass of “I Don’t Like Your Band,” and candy-coated new-wave guitars of “Bad Times.” The A.V. Club B+
  • Novelty is only part of what makes pop work, and on Don’t Stop, Annie brings enough of the other stuff — hooks, grooves, and a combination of sass and sincerity — to make you forgive her tardiness Boston Phoenix 3/4
  • Amid the booming, whistling cheerleader stomp of opener "Hey Annie," she hollas back about finding "a new pulse," and throughout Don't Stop, the singer does come off as feistier, even combative. Spin
  • Amazingly enough, what Don’t Stop sounds like more than anything else is what the pop future was promised to sound like after the electronica infiltration of mainstream around the time Annie first started making music (what we actually got is a different thing). Edge Boston
  • With Don't Stop, Annie has accomplished a rare feat-an intimate and human electronic pop album. These songs aren't cold and robotic, nor are they unearthly or bizarre. They're warm and breathtakingly pretty. The Daily Californian
  • Produced with thick warmth, strangely overlayed by an icy cold that conjures up images of ABBA as produced by Giorgio Moroder, it has a kind of futuristic nostalgia, like a memory of something very cool that hasn't happened yet. LAist



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