AN­NIE Don’t Stop (Small­town Su­per­sound)

Pasatiempo - - Cd Reviews -

Since his death last June, Michael Jack­son has been eu­lo­gized ev­ery which way. An­nie’s Don’t Stop make you re­flect on just how much Jack­son brought to the record­ing stu­dio. If he had re­leased this col­lec­tion of sprightly, min­i­mal­ist dance songs in 2009, the world would have done back flips. But in An­nie’s hands, it’s fairly life­less. The song­writ­ing and solid pro­duc­tion are here, but no per­son­al­ity seeps through. All those “hee-hees” and “jam on its” that Jack­son was al­ways gen­tly teased for are missed, as well as his un­der­rated line read­ings. Nor­we­gian singer An­nie is a prod­uct of the In­ter­net era, not the MTV era. She gained a large fol­low­ing in Amer­ica when her 2004 sin­gle “Heart­beat” caught fire on the bl­o­go­sphere. As much as I’ve heard her mu­sic in the last five years, I don’t feel like I “know” her in the way that I “know” some­one like Jack­son or Prince. Even when she turns in an ir­re­sistible track like the bratty “I Don’t Like Your Band” or the Blondieesque “Bad Times,” I find her voice to be a bit too much of a non-pres­ence, her mu­sic a bit too much of a prod­uct. An­nie is hardly un­tal­ented, but when it comes to pop mu­sic, tal­ent isn’t the only thing, or even the most im­por­tant thing. — Robert Ben­ziker

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