Monday, August 5, 2013

back together with Annie

Annie is back, Back, BACK! The Norwegian songstress has returned with a bubbly, 90s rave inspired EP bristling with pop brilliance! "A&R EP" has been masterfully produced by Richard X who has worked with Annie in the past, and has also twiddled knobs for such pop luminaries as Pet Shop Boys and Saint Etienne. In fact, the A&R in the title of the EP refer to Annie and Richard. Simples!

The artwork for the sleeve is all bright and brash which reflects a clubbing era from once a upon a time and long ago. The EP has the look, feel and sound of E fueled evenings (and mornings!) of yesteryear. Actually, it also reminds me of the single sleeve for "How To Be A Millionaire" by ABC which preceded the rave scene by half a decade.

The lead track, "Back Together", features Annie cooing over a ramped up pop banger filled with 909s and Italo piano which wouldn't have sounded out of place in the summer of 1992. To these ears, it sounds like a cross between Saint Etienne and Cathy Dennis. And the video is a treat for anyone that remembers "The Chart Show".

The rest of Annie's EP is just as jubilant as the opener. If this EP was part of an album and this was the early 90s, four of the singles would be massive hits.

"Hold On" is gorgeous with a rhythmic nod to "Break 4 Love" by Raze, lots of tinkly bits and lovely steel drum sounds. A song titled after the act who played the hero in the movie, "The Karate Kid", could have been a cheesetastic embarrassment, but "Ralph Macchio" is a glorious ode to a childhood crush resplendent with swishing hit hats and plonky keyboard bleeps. "Invisible" moves into darker territory with its rave bits, acid squiggles and machine gun handclaps. Think the love child of Baby D and Altern 8 as a reference point. The EP closes with "Mixed Emotions" another slice of 90s retro activity with a killer chorus. It throws a few rave shapes and seems to hint at shades of Electribe 101.

All in all, it's a tremendously strong EP. It's a welcome return considering she dipped her toe back in the pop landscape with the ill-advised "Tube Stops And Lonely Hearts" last April.

Eek! No comment.

1 comment:

  1. As soon as I saw the EP cover I thought - ABC:Millionaire!! Back Together is fun and bouncy - There certainly is A LOT of Saint Etienne in the track's DNA.
    I wonder how interesting Annie would be if she reached back a bit further and did dabble in some Fairlight CMI era ABC/Scritti Politti type sounds...