Don't Stop (Annie album)

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Don't Stop
Annie - Don't Stop.png
Studio album by
Released19 October 2009 (2009-10-19)
Recorded2006–2009
Genre
Length46:02
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
  2. "Anthonio"
    Released: 4 May 2009
  3. "Songs Remind Me of You"
    Released: 17 August 2009
  4. "My Love Is Better"
    Released: 9 October 2009

Don't Stop is the second studio album by Norwegian singer Annie. Originally intended for a 2008 release on UK-based label Island Records, the planned release date was pushed back. Annie left Island for Norwegian independent 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", while revealing the title (Don't Stop) and the first track listing.[3] Pitchfork posted a different track listing two months later, which excluded a track entitled "Perfectly Honest", while "Misery" was renamed "I Can't Let Go".[4]

British girl group Girls Aloud initially provided backing vocals for "My Love Is Better".[3] Annie received tabloid attention when various publications wrote that the group 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.[5] 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."[6] The issue was resolved and the song remained on Annie's album.[7] She continued, "of course their record company said no and they ended up not singing on the song after all. I thought it was a little bit stupid but what can you say? It wasn't my choice. They were really nice, very sweet."[8]

Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand play guitar on "Loco".[9] "I Can't Let Go" features guest vocals from Fredrik Saroea of Datarock.[3] The album cover shows Annie wearing a dress by French fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.[10]

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".[11] The release was listed as "still forthcoming" on producer Richard X's official website during a period of time.[12] It was suggested that the album could see an April 2008 release.[11]

A sampler album 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".[13] A megamix containing samples of the album's songs was subsequently released.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

The album finally saw a release on 19 October 2009 with a revised track listing and new artwork.[18] 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 as of August 2013.[19]

Singles[edit]

"I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me" was released on 14 July 2008 as the album's first official single.[20] The song was described as "sweet, scrumptious electropop" by Digital Spy.[20] Pitchfork wrote that the song had "the slinky electro-pop strut" of Saint Etienne and Annie's previous single "Chewing Gum".[21] The music video, directed by Sarah Chatfield,[22] premiered online in late April 2008.[23] The follow-up single, "Anthonio", was released on 4 May 2009 by the Pleasure Masters label.[24]

"Songs Remind Me of You" was released on 17 August 2009 as the third single overall, and was the first song from the album's standard edition to be released as a single.[25] The final single, "My Love Is Better", was released digitally on 9 October 2009,[26] and was later reissued as a 12-inch single on 15 March 2010.[27]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic77/100[28]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[29]
The A.V. ClubB+[1]
Drowned in Sound7/10[30]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[2]
The Guardian4/5 stars[31]
musicOMH4.5/5 stars[32]
NME8/10[33]
Pitchfork7.2/10[34]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[35]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[36]

Don't Stop received generally positive reviews from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 77, based on 22 reviews.[28] 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."[2] The Guardian's Michael Hann praised it as "a delightful confection, filled with attention to detail and perfectly turned—and deserving of your attention."[31] The A.V. Club's Michaelangelo Matos referred to the album's music as "high-grade, glossy electro-pop, heavily indebted to the '80s."[1] 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."[37] 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."[32] 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".[30]

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."[38] 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."[29] 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."[35] Craig Carson of PopMatters 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."[39] Ailbhe Malone of NME noted, "Though production is split three ways between Xenomania, Paul Epworth and Timo Kaukolampi, the record is all Annie's own."[33] 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".[36] Matthew Perpetua of Pitchfork 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."[34]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(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 X4:06
7."Marie Cherie"
  • Strand
  • Timo Kaukolampi
  • Yngve Sætre
  • Robinson
Kaukolampi5:15
8."Take You Home"
  • Strand
  • Kaukolampi
Kaukolampi4:26
9."The Breakfast Song"
  • Strand
  • Kaukolampi
Kaukolampi3:10
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
iTunes Store bonus track[40]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
13."My Love Is Better" (Justin Robertson Remix)
  • Strand
  • Cooper
  • Higgins
  • Coler
  • Powell
  • Higgins
  • Xenomania
  • Robertson[a]
6:29
Japanese edition bonus tracks[41]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
13."All Night"
  • Strand
  • Epworth
  • Annie
  • Epworth
4:14
14."I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me"
  • Strand
  • Richard X
  • Robinson
  • Kaukolampi
Richard X3:07
15."Anthonio"
  • Strand
  • Richard X
  • Robinson
Richard X3:12
16."I Can't Let Go"
  • Strand
  • Kaukolampi
Kaukolampi3:42
17."Sweet"
  • Strand
  • Cooper
  • Higgins
  • Coler
  • Powell
  • Higgins
  • Xenomania
2:52
18."My Love Is Better" (Emperor Machine Vocal Mix)
  • Strand
  • Cooper
  • Higgins
  • Coler
  • Powell
  • Higgins
  • Xenomania
  • Emperor Machine[a]
6:09
19."My Love Is Better" (Justin Robertson Remix)
  • Strand
  • Cooper
  • Higgins
  • Coler
  • Powell
  • Higgins
  • Xenomania
  • Robertson[a]
6:29
Special edition bonus disc – All Night EP[42]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."All Night"
  • Strand
  • Epworth
  • Annie
  • Epworth
4:14
2."I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me"
  • Strand
  • Richard X
  • Robinson
  • Kaukolampi
Richard X3:07
3."Anthonio"
  • Strand
  • Richard X
  • Robinson
Richard X3:12
4."I Can't Let Go"
  • Strand
  • Kaukolampi
Kaukolampi3:42
5."Sweet"
  • Strand
  • Cooper
  • Higgins
  • Coler
  • Powell
  • Higgins
  • Xenomania
2:52

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a remixer

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Don't Stop.[43]

Musicians

  • Annie – vocals (all tracks); keyboards (track 3)
  • Tim Powell – keyboards (tracks 2, 3, 10–12); programming (tracks 2, 3, 10–12); additional programming (tracks 8, 9)
  • Brian Higgins – keyboards, programming (tracks 2, 3, 10–12)
  • Nick Coler – keyboards (tracks 2, 3, 10, 11); programming (tracks 2, 3, 9, 10–12); guitar (tracks 2, 3, 10–12)
  • Timo Kaukolampi – programming (track 2)
  • Matt Gray – programming (tracks 2, 10, 12)
  • Owen Parker – guitar (tracks 2, 3, 11, 12); keyboards (tracks 11, 12)
  • Hannah Robinson – background vocals (track 6)
  • Richard X – background vocals (track 6)
  • Yngve Sætre – violin arrangements (track 7); additional programming (track 8)
  • Mari Persen – violin (track 7)
  • Chris Sanders – marching drums (track 7)
  • Ercola – additional programming (tracks 8, 9)
  • Geoff Sanoff – additional programming (track 8)
  • Tomi Leppänen – drums (track 9)
  • Toby Scott – additional programming (track 9)
  • Alex Kapranos – guitar (track 10)
  • Nick McCarthy – guitar (track 10)

Technical

  • Annie – production (tracks 1, 4, 5)
  • Paul Epworth – production (tracks 1, 4, 5)
  • Brian Higgins – production (tracks 2, 3, 10–12); mixing (tracks 3, 12)
  • Xenomania – production (tracks 2, 3, 10–12)
  • Jeremy Wheatley – mixing (tracks 2, 10, 11)
  • Richard Edgeler – mixing assistance (tracks 2, 10, 11)
  • Tim Powell – mixing (tracks 3, 12)
  • Richard X – production (track 6)
  • Pete Hofmann – mixing (track 6)
  • Timo Kaukolampi – production (tracks 7–9)
  • Matt Gray – mixing (tracks 7–9)

Artwork

  • Nina Merikallio – front cover, photography
  • Annie – front cover, design
  • Blank Blank – front cover, design
  • Aki Pekka-Sinikoski – photography
  • Petri Henriksson – photography

All Night EP[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of the special edition of Don't Stop.[44]

Musicians

  • Annie – vocals (all tracks)
  • Timo Kaukolampi – programming (track 2)
  • Ercola – programming (track 2); additional programming (track 4)
  • Hannah Robinson – background vocals (track 2)
  • Petri Kautto – guitar (track 2)
  • Fredrik Saroea – guest vocals (track 4)
  • James Ihaboogie guitars (track 4)
  • Yngve Sætre – additional programming (track 4)
  • Geoff Sanoff – additional programming (track 4)
  • Tim Powell – additional programming (track 4); keyboards, programming (track 5)
  • Brian Higgins – keyboards (track 5)
  • Nick Coler – programming, guitar (track 5)
  • Owen Parker – guitar (track 5)

Technical

  • Annie – production (track 1)
  • Paul Epworth – production (track 1)
  • Richard X – production (tracks 2, 3)
  • Pete Hofmann – mixing (tracks 2, 3)
  • Timo Kaukolampi – production (track 4)
  • Matt Gray – mixing (track 4)
  • Xenomania – production (track 5)
  • Tim Powell – mixing (track 5)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[45] 25
UK Albums (OCC)[46] 126
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[47] 15
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[48] 12
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[49] 23

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Ref.
United Kingdom 19 October 2009 [50]
Norway 26 October 2009 [51]
United States 17 November 2009 [29]
Japan 2 December 2009 P-Vine [41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Matos, Michaelangelo (17 November 2009). "Annie: Don't Stop". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Lynch, Joseph Brannigan (18 November 2009). "Don't Stop". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Robinson, Peter (1 May 2008). "Annie's new album: it's extraordinarily good". Popjustice. Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  4. ^ Thompson, Paul (1 July 2008). "Annie's Don't Stop Revealed at Last!". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 2 July 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  5. ^ Reynolds, Simon (18 May 2008). "Girls Aloud force Annie to drop album track". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  6. ^ Levine, Nick (23 June 2008). "Annie denies Girls Aloud snub rumours". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  7. ^ Dawson, Kim (20 May 2008). "GA play away". Daily Star. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  8. ^ Pedder, Alan (13 August 2009). "words in edgeways with annie". Wears the Trousers. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  9. ^ 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.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Asked and Answered | Annie". T. 27 November 2009. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  11. ^ a b Solarski, Matthew (18 January 2008). "Annie Returns With New Single, Preps Album". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  12. ^ "Two of Hearts / Songs Remind Me of You". Black Melody. Archived from the original on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  13. ^ "Annie – Don't Stop – Album Sampler (Unmastered)". Discogs. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  14. ^ Berge Strand, Anne Lilia (7 July 2008). "Download my album sampler". anniemusic.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  15. ^ Thorkildsen, Joakim (22 September 2008). "Annie-plata utsettes til neste år" [Annie album will be released next year]. Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  16. ^ Berge Strand, Anne Lilia (8 October 2008). "NEWS". Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2010 – via Myspace.
  17. ^ Ayers, Michael D. (6 January 2009). "Annie Readies Album After Island Split". Billboard. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  18. ^ Dombal, Ryan (12 August 2009). "Annie's Don't Stop Finally Coming Out". Pitchfork. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  19. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (8 August 2013). "Annie Appreciation: Examining The Influence of The Norwegian Pop Not-Quite-Star". Billboard. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  20. ^ a b Levine, Nick (9 July 2008). "Annie: 'I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  21. ^ Hogan, Marc (3 March 2008). "New Music: Annie: "I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me" [Stream]". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 29 April 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  22. ^ Knight, David (4 June 2008). "Annie's I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me by Sarah Chatfield". Promonews. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  23. ^ Richardson, Mark (25 April 2008). "Video: Annie: "I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me"". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  24. ^ "Anthonio – Single by Annie". iTunes Store. United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Songs Remind Me of You – Single by Annie". iTunes Store. Norway. Archived from the original on 17 February 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  26. ^ "My Love Is Better – Single by Annie". iTunes Store. Norway. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Annie – My Love Is Better". Juno Records. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  28. ^ a b "Don't Stop by Annie Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  29. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. "Don't Stop – Annie". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  30. ^ a b "Annie – Don't Stop". Drowned in Sound. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  31. ^ a b Hann, Michael (30 October 2009). "Annie: Don't Stop". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  32. ^ a b Cragg, Michael (19 October 2009). "Annie – Don't Stop". musicOMH. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  33. ^ a b Malone, Ailbhe (10 October 2009). "Album review: Annie – 'Don't Stop'". NME. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  34. ^ a b Perpetua, Matthew (18 November 2009). "Annie: Don't Stop / All Night EP". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  35. ^ a b Hermes, Will (30 November 2009). "Dont Stop : Annie". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  36. ^ a b Cinquemani, Sal (8 November 2009). "Review: Annie, Don't Stop". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  37. ^ Wade, Ian (16 October 2009). "Review of Annie – Don't Stop". BBC Music. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  38. ^ Muther, Christopher (23 November 2009). "Annie, 'Don't Stop'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  39. ^ "Annie: Don't Stop". PopMatters. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  40. ^ "Don't Stop (Bonus Track Version) by Annie". iTunes Store. United States. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  41. ^ a b ドント・ストップ [Don't Stop]. Amazon (in Japanese). Japan. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  42. ^ "Don't Stop – Annie". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  43. ^ Don't Stop (liner notes). Annie. Smalltown Supersound. 2009. STS178CD.CS1 maint: others (link)
  44. ^ Don't Stop (special edition liner notes). Annie. Smalltown Supersound. 2009. STS178CDX.CS1 maint: others (link)
  45. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Annie – Don't Stop". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  46. ^ "Chart Log UK (1994–2010): A – Azzido Da Bass". Zobbel. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  47. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  48. ^ "Annie Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  49. ^ "Annie Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  50. ^ "Annie: Dont Stop". HMV. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
  51. ^ "Don't Stop (2CD) – Annie". CDON (in Norwegian). Norway. Archived from the original on 3 February 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2010.