Heavy Rotation (Anastacia album)

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Heavy Rotation
Studio album by Anastacia
Released October 24, 2008 (2008-10-24)
(see release history)
Recorded April–August 2008[1]
Genre Pop, R&B, dance-pop, soul
Length 42:06
Label Mercury Records
Producer Guy Chambers, Andrew Frampton, Chuck Harmony, The Heavyweights, Rodney Jerkins, Lester Mendez, Ne-Yo, REO, J. R. Rotem
Anastacia chronology
Pieces of a Dream
(2005)
Heavy Rotation
(2008)
It's a Man's World
(2012)
Singles from Heavy Rotation
  1. "I Can Feel You"
    Released: October 10, 2008
  2. "Absolutely Positively"
    Released: February 28, 2009
  3. "Defeated"
    Released: May 5, 2009

Heavy Rotation is the fourth studio album by American recording artist Anastacia. It is her first studio album in over four years, since her self-titled third studio album Anastacia released in 2004. According to Anastacia, the album title also has a deeper meaning to it, referring to the fact that life rotates and you get through the "heavy" things.[2] The album was released on October 27, 2008 by Mercury Records in Europe and the United Kingdom, and was released in America on February 17, 2009, with three tracks remixed an a brand new bonus track, "Naughty". The record was an overall flop, struggling in the music charts and regarded as a calculated 'sell out' by Anastacia's label in an attempt to achieve a successful comeback.[3] The singer herself later stressed her regret in the label's creative direction and stated that she would return to the sound of her previous projects on later albums. The album was ranked at number 10 by Billboard magazine's online "Readers' Poll: 10 Best Albums of 2008".[4]

Background and recording[edit]

Heavy Rotation will be Anastacia's first studio album on her new record deal with The Island Def Jam Music Group / Mercury Records since her departure from Daylight / Epic. She said that the album would have come out earlier but was pushed back because of the negotiations with the record labels.[5] She explained the meaning of the title as follows: "I called the album Heavy Rotation because it's a phrase that originated with DJs, and also for me the meaning is, life can be heavy, but it all turns around and goes into something else. It seemed to be the perfect title for where I'm at in my life."[6] The album has been released on October 24 through October 28, 2008 in Europe and on October 27, 2008[7] in Australia, Asia and New Zealand, with the rest of the world to follow in 2009. The first single, "I Can Feel You" and the album title have been confirmed on Anastacia's official website.

Anastacia, speaking about how long it took to record, write and produce the album: "I reckon it’s probably one of the fastest made records ever. I don’t know why but things are never easy for me. I either have to have cancer while making an album or I just have two days to make it. I signed a new record deal in April and the album is now done – 13 songs but only just. The whole thing was written, recorded and produced in super quick time. I did a metamorphosis change. If it was up to me I would loved to have started writing last year."[8] Taken from:[9] "It's been such a fast album I had no idea of what it was going to sound like, what I was going to say. I figured there would be a couple of love songs, but I didn't realise that most of the album was going to be as happy as it is. Even the songs I didn't write myself, that I chose, are all positive. Not 'Left Outside Alone' and 'I'm Outta Love', but songs like 'I Can Feel You' and 'Heavy Rotation'." 2But the music feels different to the Anastacia album. This album is more soulful. I feel more in touch with my inner self, my inner soul. I feel like I've come out of the other side of it all now, and found real peace. I've realised that life doesn't have to be controlled by me, in every way. And it's been fun, letting go, realising I don't have to be such a perfectionist."

Concept[edit]

On 7 October 2008, previews to three songs, including: "Absolutely Positively", "Defeated" and "Heavy Rotation" were posted on Anastacia's official MySpace page.[10] Anastacia has said in an interview with her Austrian fan club that her favourite song on the album is "Heavy Rotation".[11] On October 21, 2008 Anastacia hosted a webchat on www.thesun.co.uk stating the following about Heavy Rotation: Heavy Rotation has a very different vibe. It’s the first happy album I’ve ever made. I honestly never knew I could write so many upbeat songs. I guess it shows my outlook on life right now.[8] Anastacia also described the song "Heavy Rotation" via webchat: ...it’s a crazy and infectious dance song. I'm very pleased with it. I’m not an avid compulsive listener of my own music unless I’m on stage. I don't like it. But this tune perks me up all the time. It will be released as a single at some point.[8]

Taken from:[9] "I'd say this album is a softer piece of me, a gentler side, even a more feminine side. I've come into embracing my sensuality as a woman, finally. I'm like wine. It's taken a while, but my reserve is quite popular right now! I'm just really happy inside, and I think that's reflected in the music. Sometimes that comes with age, and sometimes just with what you've experienced in your life. So both of them together are why this is going to be an exciting record for me to promote. It's very thrilling, to have so many new chances, new opportunities.." Previews to all songs on the album were posted on Anastacia's German website on October 17.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[13]
BBC Music (Positive)[14]
Daily Mirror 3/5 stars[15]
Digital Spy 2/5 stars[16]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[17]
The Independent 2/5 stars[18]
The Independent Weekly (Positive)[19]
Virgin Media 3/5 stars[20]

On September 3, 2008, Anastacia hosted an album listening party at the Bureau Club in Soho, London. On September 9, 2008, Capital 95.8 posted a review of that listening party, saying that Heavy Rotation is one of her strongest and most varied albums to date.[21] MSN reviewed the album at the listening party in London and felt that "The album does sound a bit like a box-ticking exercise but the first half in particular is a reminder of what made Anastacia a big name in the first place - namely, that huge voice - and it's well worth a listen."[22]

Overall Heavy Rotation received both positive as well as mixed and negative reviews.[23] AllMusic critic Jon O'Brien gave the album four stars (out of five) and stated: "However, Heavy Rotation, her first studio album in nearly five years, tones down the guitars in favor of a more eclectic collection of songs that take in everything from glossy soul-funk to acoustic pop and even techno. [...] But despite its occasional lapses into schmaltz and generic R&B, Heavy Rotation is still a charming and versatile record that has her unmistakable voice and personality stamped all over it."[24] Maddy Costa from The Guardian gave the album a mixed review: "This album's notion of femininity is hardcore feminist: it's packed with I Will Survive-type anthems designed to get women dancing around handbags. They are exhausting to listen to, but so radiant with positivity it's hard to dislike them."[25] Alex Fletcher from Digital Spy was less impressed with the album: "Whether those who bought Anastacia's first three albums will be charmed by her fourth remains to be seen [...] For everyone else, however, Heavy Rotation will be too cringe-inducing to bear the repeated listens that its title promises."[26] The Daily Mirror called Heavy Rotation "A class act at the top of her game."[27]

The Australian newspaper The Independent Weekly was also impressed with the album, giving it a favourable review: "Heavy Rotation is a triumphant return for an amazing artist who has travelled through pain to emerge stronger than ever before."[28] BBC Music concluded about the album: "In summary: this is one happy Anastacia. Gone are the dark tracks of previous album Anastacia, replaced by soft ballads and upbeat disco stormers. Life on the sunny side is obviously doing her good, as is her partnership with Guy Chambers. Long may it continue – even, dare we say it, in heavy rotation".[29]

Singles[edit]

"I Can Feel You" was released as the album's lead single in October 2008. The music video was directed by Chris Applebaum and filmed in Los Angeles. In December 2008, the video for "I Can Feel You" ranked at #40 on VH1 Europe's "Final Countdown: 100 Best Videos of 2008".[30] The second single, "Absolutely Positively", was confirmed by Anastacia on This Morning on Monday, November 3, 2008, and was subsequently released in February 2009. The video was shot in London and directed by Nigel Dick, who also directed her videos for "I'm Outta Love" and "Cowboys & Kisses". The third single, "Defeated", was released in May 2009, but served as promotional single only, without a music video or physical single release.

Promotion[edit]

In September, October and November 2008, Anastacia made several radio and TV appearances in Europe to promote her new album. The album will also be promoted with her upcoming 2009 Heavy Rotation Tour.[31] On September 29, 2008, Anastacia opened the Operation Triumph, a Serbian music talent show, performing two songs, "Left Outside Alone" and her new single "I Can Feel You". On Monday October 20, Anastacia appeared in Spain on Dancing with the Stars ("Mira Quien Baila") singing the first single off Heavy Rotation, "I Can Feel You". Anastacia appeared on the UK chat show The Graham Norton Show on Thursday, 23 October 2008. Anastacia appeared on GMTV Tuesday, 28 October 2008 and performed "I Can Feel You" at the "Pink Ribbon Gala" in Stockholm. On Friday October 31, 2008 Anastacia gave an interview on the UK day time show Loose Women. Anastacia performed at G-A-Y nightclub on Saturday, November 1. The show took place in the club's new venue, "Heaven", in central London. Anastacia made an appearance on This Morning Monday, November 3 to promote her new album, where she also announced the second single from Heavy Rotation, "Absolutely Positively". On November the 6th, Anastacia presented an award along with Michael Owen at the 15th annual MTV Europe Music Awards held in Liverpool. Anastacia attended the 20th annual World Music Awards 2008 in Monte Carlo, on November 9 where she performed the 2nd single from Heavy Rotation, "Absolutely Positively". On Saturday November 15, 2008 Anastacia took part on "Serata D'onore", a TV show in Italy, which aired on Rai Uno where she performed her hit single "I Can Feel You". On Sunday November 23, 2008 Anastacia appeared on the "Divas II" benefit concert along with many other female artists. The show aired on ITV1. Anastacia performed two of her hits : "Left Outside Alone" and "I Can Feel You".

She performed "I Can Feel You", "Left Outside Alone", "Absolutely Positively" and "I'm Outta Love" on Friday November 28, 2008 at "Energy Stars for Free 2008" a benefit concert in Zurich. She was invited as a guest on the Paul O'Grady Show Tuesday December 9, 2008 where she also performed "Absolutely Positively". The show aired on Channel 4. Anastacia performed "I'm Outta Love", "Left Outside Alone" and "I Can Feel You" on 95.8 Capital FM's Jingle Bell Ball on December 10, 2008. The concert took place at The O2 arena in London. On Friday December 12, 2008 she performed "Absolutely Positively", "I'm Outta Love" and "Left Outside Alone" in Madrid, at "Los Premios 40 Principales" award ceremony. On the 13th of December 2008, Anastacia performed "I Can Feel You" on the popular TV show Wetten, dass..? in Stuttgart. Anastacia performed "I Can Feel You" and "I'm Outta Love" at the Cheerios ChildLine Concert in Dublin on Tuesday December 16, 2008 which then went on to be televised in Ireland on Friday December 19. Anastacia received the "World Artist Award" at the Women's World Award on 5 March 2009 in Vienna where she also performed "I'm Outta Love" and "Defeated". The television special was broadcast in over 40 countries all over the world. Anastacia performed "Absolutely Positively" on the Italian version of X Factor on Monday March 9, 2009. During her stay in Italy, she also appeared on "Quelli che il calcio e..." where she performed "Defeated" which was broadcast on Rai Due.

Touring[edit]

Main article: Heavy Rotation Tour

Anastacia spoke about her 2009 tour in an online interview and announced plans to visit several continents, but the low sales of the album worldwide and the economical crisis have caused a change in her initial plans since then: "There will be a tour but I’ve still not decided when. It’s looking like it will be mid-to-end of 2009. I know I’m a little different to other artists but I don’t like bringing out an album and then immediately going on tour. I want people to listen to my music and be very familiar with it before the gigs. I also need to understand the album before I can go out and create a tour for." 2All I can confirm is that it will be a global tour. I'll come to Asia and Australia first, then I'll do a big stint in Europe and then America. It makes sense to do America last as it's the final place I'm releasing the album."[8]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "I Can Feel You"   Chuck Harmony, Shaffer Smith Chuck Harmony 3:49
2. "The Way I See It"   Anastacia, Andrew Frampton, Jamie Jones, Jason Pennock, D'Myreo Mitchell, Jack Kugell Lester Mendez, Andrew Frampton, The Heavyweights, REO 3:28
3. "Absolutely Positively"   Harmony, Smith Chuck Harmony 4:20
4. "Defeated"   Anastacia, Jonathan Rotem, Damon Sharpe J. R. Rotem 3:55
5. "In Summer"   Anastacia, Guy Chambers, Rico Love Chuck Harmony 4:07
6. "Heavy Rotation"   Rodney Jerkins, Frankie Storm Darkchild 3:45
7. "Same Song"   Anastacia, Chambers Lester Mendez 3:56
8. "I Call It Love"   Anastacia, Frampton, Jones, Pennock, Kugell Andrew Frampton, The Heavyweights, REO 3:37
9. "All Fall Down"   Anastacia, Chambers Lester Mendez 3:04
10. "Never Gonna Love Again"   Anastacia, Chambers Chuck Harmony 3:30
11. "You'll Be Fine"   Anastacia, Mendez, Damon Sharpe Lester Mendez 3:38
12. "Beautiful Messed Up World" (Bonus track) Anastacia, Frampton, Jones, Pennock, Mitchell, Kugell The Heavyweights 3:09

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]