Don't Stop (Annie album)

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Don't Stop
Studio album by Annie
Released 19 October 2009 (2009-10-19)
Recorded 2006–09
Genre Synthpop
Length 46:02
Label
Producer
Annie chronology
iTunes Live: London Festival '08
(2008)
Don't Stop
(2009)
Wednesday Mix
(2009)
Singles from Don't Stop
  1. "I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me"
    Released: 14 July 2008 (2008-07-14)
  2. "Anthonio"
    Released: 4 May 2009 (2009-05-04)
  3. "Songs Remind Me of You"
    Released: 17 August 2009 (2009-08-17)
  4. "My Love Is Better"
    Released: 9 October 2009 (2009-10-09)

Don't Stop is the second studio album by Norwegian recording artist Annie. Originally intended for a 2008 release on UK-based label Island Records, the planned release date was pushed back. Annie left Island for independent Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound, which released a revised version of the album in October 2009.

Don't Stop received generally positive reviews from music critics. The album features production work from previous collaborators Timo Kaukolampi and Richard X, as well as Xenomania and Paul Epworth.

Background[edit]

In May 2008, Popjustice called the album "a complete modern masterpiece", revealed the title (Don't Stop) and gave the first track listing.[1] Pitchfork Media posted a different track listing two months later, which excluded a track entitled "Perfectly Honest", while "Misery" was renamed "I Can't Let Go".[2]

Girls Aloud initially provided backing vocals for "My Love Is Better".[1] Annie received tabloid attention when various publications wrote that Girls Aloud requested "My Love Is Better" be removed from the album. Producer Brian Higgins was reported to have included vocal tracks from a Girls Aloud demo in the song without their permission.[3] Annie told Digital Spy in an interview that "it's not as dramatic as they said in the papers", citing problems with the record company. "Brian asked them if they'd like to help out. They were really up for it and came into my studio and it was really fun."[4] The issue was resolved and the song remained on Annie's album.[5]

Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand play guitar on "Loco".[6] "I Can't Let Go" features guest vocals from Fredrik Saroea of Datarock.[1] The album cover shows Annie wearing a dress by French fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.[7]

Promotion and release[edit]

The first single was initially going to be a cover of Stacey Q's 1986 song "Two of Hearts", backed with "Songs Remind Me of You".[8] The release was listed as "still forthcoming" on producer Richard X's official website during a period of time.[9] It was suggested that the album could see an April 2008 release.[8]

An album sampler was released in April for promotional purposes, containing the songs "I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me", "My Love Is Better", "When the Night", "Marie Cherie" and "Songs Remind Me of You".[10] A megamix containing samples of the album's songs was subsequently released.[11]

Prior to the release of "I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me", "Loco" was released as a digital-only single. The album's actual first single "I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me" was released on 14 July 2008.[12] The song was described as "sweet, scrumptious electropop" by Digital Spy.[12] Pitchfork Media wrote that the song had "the slinky electro-pop strut" of Saint Etienne and Annie's previous single "Chewing Gum".[13] The music video, directed by Sarah Chatfield,[14] appeared online in late April 2008.[15]

On 22 September 2008, Annie's manager Kathrine Synnes told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet that the album's release had been postponed to 2009 so that Island Records could spend more time on the album.[16]

Annie reported in a Myspace blog post on 8 October 2008 that "Two of Hearts" would be released as the next single from Don't Stop on 27 October 2008 but was cancelled last minute due to legal issues with Island Records.[17] The following month, Annie left Island Records, taking the masters of the album with her. She subsequently announced that Don't Stop would be released in 2009 with a different track listing from the one leaked onto the Internet.[18]

The album finally saw a release on 19 October 2009 with a revised track listing and new artwork.[19] New songs "Hey Annie", title track "Don't Stop" and "I Don't Like Your Band" were added to the album's final track listing. "I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me" and "Anthonio" were released on a bonus disc, titled All Night EP, among "Sweet", "I Can't Let Go" and new song "All Night".

According to Nielsen SoundScan, Don't Stop had sold 6,000 copies in the United States by August 2013.[20]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 77/100[21]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[22]
The A.V. Club B+[23]
Drowned in Sound 7/10[24]
Entertainment Weekly B+[25]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[26]
musicOMH 4.5/5 stars[27]
NME 8/10[28]
Pitchfork Media 7.2/10[29]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[30]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[31]

Don't Stop received positive reviews from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 77, based on 22 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[21] Joseph Brannigan Lynch of Entertainment Weekly described the album as "a savvy mix of energetic early-'80s synth-pop and indie electronic", noting that Annie is "as close to LCD Soundsystem as to Kylie Minogue. Her vocals switch between seen-it-all sass and breathy melancholy with convincing ease."[25] The Guardian's Michael Hann praised it as "a delightful confection, filled with attention to detail and perfectly turned—and deserving of your attention."[26] The A.V. Club's Michaelangelo Matos referred to the album's music as "high-grade, glossy electro-pop, heavily indebted to the '80s."[23] BBC Music reviewer Ian Wade stated that "Don't Stop is 12 slices of sublime pop genius, and one ranks right up there with the best contemporary female pop."[32] Michael Cragg of musicOMH raved, "Featuring some of the most inventive producers in pop and steered by a singer who knows her way round a catchy melody or five, Don't Stop is one of the best pop albums of 2009."[27] Drowned in Sound's David Renshaw called the album "brilliant", adding that "[t]he production throughout Don't Stop is noticeably strong. The sound is taught and modern but avoids the current pitfalls of sounding like a prime cut of Stock, Aitken and Waterman Eighties chart fodder or a Timbaland reject circa the year 2001".[24]

Christopher Muther of The Boston Globe viewed the album as "an electro-pop truffle—a tasty confection with a hard, glossy shell surrounding a smooth, melt-in-your-ear interior of cheeky, playful lyrics", while commending Annie for her "incredible knack for marrying Pat Benatar's lip-gloss feminist swagger with playful dance-club melodies."[33] AllMusic critic Andy Kellman wrote, "As on Anniemal, Don't Stop contains some of the catchiest, most clever dance-pop in circulation, highlighted by the fizzy 'I Don't Like Your Band'", but argued that the collaborations with Xenomania, Timo Kaukolampi and Richard X "aren't as powerful, [...] with a good handful of their songs no match for Anniemal's weaker moments."[22] Rolling Stone's Will Hermes commented that the album "refines [Annie's] Euro-disco with more flavors and fewer hooks. Still, the music remains rapturous and cheeky."[30] PopMatters' Craig Carson expressed that the album "exudes polish, depth, and the sense that Annie is moving confidently forward as a pop artist of the first order", concluding, "All tracks considered, Annie makes a significant step forward with Don't Stop."[34] Ailbhe Malone of the NME noted that "[t]hough production is split three ways between Xenomania, Paul Epworth and Timo Kaukolampi, the record is all Annie's own."[28] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine opined that while Xenomania's contributions are "largely hit or miss", "the album's true highlights, not surprisingly, belong to Timo Kaukolampi and Richard X, the pair responsible for the bulk of Annie's debut".[31] Matthew Perpetua of Pitchfork Media felt that "[n]ot every song on Don't Stop or its bonus All Night EP is a classic, but Annie's good taste has yielded another fine crop of pop tunes."[29]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Hey Annie"  
  • Annie
  • Epworth
4:08
2. "My Love Is Better"  
3:19
3. "Bad Times"  
  • Strand
  • Cooper
  • Higgins
  • Coler
  • Powell
  • Higgins
  • Xenomania
3:57
4. "Don't Stop"  
  • Strand
  • Epworth
  • Bjornsdottir
  • Annie
  • Epworth
4:10
5. "I Don't Like Your Band"  
  • Strand
  • Epworth
  • Bjornsdottir
  • Annie
  • Epworth
3:25
6. "Songs Remind Me of You"   Richard X 4:06
7. "Marie Cherie"  
  • Strand
  • Timo Kaukolampi
  • Yngve Sætre
  • Robinson
Kaukolampi 5:15
8. "Take You Home"  
  • Strand
  • Kaukolampi
Kaukolampi 4:26
9. "The Breakfast Song"  
  • Strand
  • Kaukolampi
Kaukolampi 3:10
10. "Loco"  
  • Strand
  • Cooper
  • Higgins
  • Coler
  • Powell
  • Higgins
  • Xenomania
3:13
11. "When the Night"  
  • Strand
  • Cooper
  • Higgins
  • Coler
  • Powell
  • Higgins
  • Xenomania
3:31
12. "Heaven and Hell"  
  • Strand
  • Cooper
  • Higgins
  • Coler
  • Powell
  • Higgins
  • Xenomania
3:23

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Don't Stop.[38]

Additional personnel for All Night EP[39]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Norwegian Albums Chart[40] 25
UK Albums Chart[41] 126
UK Indie Albums Chart[42] 15
US Dance/Electronic Albums[43] 12
US Heatseekers Albums[44] 23

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
United Kingdom 19 October 2009[45]
Norway 26 October 2009[46]
United States 17 November 2009[22]
Japan 2 December 2009[36] P-Vine Records

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Robinson, Peter (1 May 2008). "Annie's new album: it's extraordinarily good.". Popjustice. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  2. ^ Thompson, Paul (1 July 2008). "Annie's Don't Stop Revealed at Last!". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 2 July 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  3. ^ Reynolds, Simon (18 May 2008). "Girls Aloud force Annie to drop album track". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  4. ^ Levine, Nick (23 June 2008). "Annie denies Girls Aloud snub rumours". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  5. ^ Dawson, Kim (20 May 2008). "GA play away". Daily Star. Northern & Shell. Retrieved 24 May 2008. 
  6. ^ Mackenzie, Malcolm (7 July 2008). "Annie is the latest Scandinavian star giving Robyn a run for her Kroner". The London Paper. Retrieved 26 July 2008. 
  7. ^ "Asked and Answered | Annie". T. The New York Times Company. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Solarski, Matthew (18 January 2008). "Annie Returns With New Single, Preps Album". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  9. ^ "Two Of Hearts / Songs Remind Me Of You". Black Melody. Archived from the original on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  10. ^ "Annie – Don't Stop – Album Sampler (Unmastered)". Discogs. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  11. ^ Berge Strand, Anne Lilia (7 July 2008). "Download my album sampler". anniemusic.co.uk. Island Records. Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  12. ^ a b Levine, Nick (9 July 2008). "Annie: 'I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  13. ^ Hogan, Marc (3 March 2008). "New Music: Annie: "I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me" [Stream]". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 29 April 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  14. ^ Knight, David (4 June 2008). "Annie's I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me by Sarah Chatfield". Promo News. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  15. ^ Richardson, Mark (25 April 2008). "Video: Annie: "I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me"". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  16. ^ Thorkildsen, Joakim (22 September 2008). "Annie-plata utsettes til neste år". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). DB Medialab. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  17. ^ Berge Strand, Anne Lilia (8 October 2008). "NEWS". Myspace. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  18. ^ Ayers, Michael D. (6 January 2009). "Annie Readies Album After Island Split". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  19. ^ Dombal, Ryan (12 August 2009). "Annie's Don't Stop Finally Coming Out". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  20. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (8 August 2013). "Annie Appreciation: Examining The Influence of The Norwegian Pop Not-Quite-Star". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "Don't Stop – Annie". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  22. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. "Don't Stop – Annie". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 November 2009. 
  23. ^ a b Matos, Michaelangelo (17 November 2009). "Don't Stop". The A.V. Club. Onion. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  24. ^ a b "Annie – Don't Stop". Drowned in Sound. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  25. ^ a b Lynch, Joseph Brannigan (18 November 2009). "Don't Stop (2009): Annie". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  26. ^ a b Hann, Michael (30 October 2009). "Annie: Don't Stop". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2009. 
  27. ^ a b Cragg, Michael (19 October 2009). "Annie – Don't Stop". musicOMH. Retrieved 18 November 2009. 
  28. ^ a b Malone, Ailbhe (10 October 2009). "Album review: Annie – 'Don't Stop'". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 18 November 2009. 
  29. ^ a b Perpetua, Matthew (18 November 2009). "Annie: Don't Stop / All Night EP". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 18 November 2009. 
  30. ^ a b Hermes, Will (30 November 2009). "Dont Stop : Annie". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  31. ^ a b Cinquemani, Sal (8 November 2009). "Annie: Don't Stop". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  32. ^ Wade, Ian (16 October 2009). "Review of Annie – Don't Stop". BBC Music. Retrieved 18 November 2009. 
  33. ^ Muther, Christopher (23 November 2009). "Annie, 'Don't Stop'". The Boston Globe. Boston.com. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  34. ^ "Annie: Don't Stop". PopMatters. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  35. ^ "Don't Stop (Bonus Track Version) by Annie". iTunes Store US. Apple. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  36. ^ a b "ドント・ストップ" [Don't Stop] (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  37. ^ "Don't Stop – Annie". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  38. ^ Don't Stop (CD liner notes). Annie. Smalltown Supersound. 2009. STS178CD. 
  39. ^ Don't Stop (special edition liner notes). Annie. Smalltown Supersound. 2009. STS178CDX. 
  40. ^ "Annie – Don't Stop". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  41. ^ "Chart Log UK – Chart Coverage and Record Sales 2009". Zobbel. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  42. ^ "2009 Top 40 Independent Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 31 October 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  43. ^ "Annie – Chart history: Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  44. ^ "Annie – Chart history: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  45. ^ "Annie: Dont Stop". HMV. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  46. ^ "Don't Stop (2CD) – Annie" (in Norwegian). CDON.no. Retrieved 14 January 2010.