Heavy Rotation (Anastacia album)

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Heavy Rotation
Heavy Rotation cover.jpg
Studio album by Anastacia
Released October 24, 2008 (2008-10-24)
Recorded April–August 2008[1]
Studio
Genre
Length 42:06
Label Mercury
Producer
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 singer and songwriter Anastacia, released on October 24, 2008 by Mercury Records. It is her first studio album in over four years, since her eponymous third studio album. According to Anastacia, the album title has a deeper meaning to it, referring to the fact that life rotates and you get through the "heavy" things.[2] In the United States, Heavy Rotation was released on February 17, 2009 in digital format only, including three reworked tracks and the bonus track "Naughty".

The album failed to match the commercial success of its predecessors, 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 marked Anastacia's first studio album on her new record deal with The Island Def Jam Music Group and Mercury Records since her departure from Daylight and Epic Records. 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 was 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 October 7, 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 favorite song on the album is "Heavy Rotation".[11] On October 21, 2008, Anastacia hosted a webchat on The Sun's website, stating, "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, 2008.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 66/100[13]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[14]
BBC Music (Positive)[15]
Daily Mirror 3/5 stars[16]
Digital Spy 2/5 stars[17]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[18]
The Independent 2/5 stars[19]
The Independent Weekly (Positive)[20]
Virgin Media 3/5 stars[21]

Heavy Rotation received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 66, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", based on 4 reviews.[22] 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.[23] 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."[24] 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."[25] 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."[26] 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."[27] The Daily Mirror called Heavy Rotation "A class act at the top of her game."[28]

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."[29] 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".[30]

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".[31] 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]

From September to 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.[32] On September 29, 2008, Anastacia opened the Operation Triumph, a Serbian music talent show, performing two songs, "Left Outside Alone" and the lead single from Heavy Rotation, "I Can Feel You". On October 20, Anastacia performed "I Can Feel You" on the Spanish show Mira Quien Baila. She appeared on the UK chat show The Graham Norton Show on October 23. Anastacia appeared on GMTV October 28 and performed "I Can Feel You" at the "Pink Ribbon Gala" in Stockholm. On October 31, she gave an interview on the UK day time show Loose Women. Anastacia performed at G-A-Y nightclub on November 1. The show took place in the club's new venue, "Heaven", in central London. Anastacia made an appearance on This Morning on November 3 to promote her new album, where she also announced the second single from Heavy Rotation, "Absolutely Positively". On November 6, Anastacia presented an award along with Michael Owen at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards held in Liverpool. Anastacia attended the 2008 World Music Awards in Monte Carlo on November 9, where she performed "Absolutely Positively". On November 15, Anastacia performed on "I Can Feel You" on the Italian television show Serata D'onore. On November 23, Anastacia appeared at the "Divas II" benefit concert along with many other female artists, which aired on ITV1. Anastacia performed "Left Outside Alone" and "I Can Feel You".

She performed "I Can Feel You", "Left Outside Alone", "Absolutely Positively", and "I'm Outta Love" at "Energy Stars for Free 2008", a benefit concert in Zurich, on November 28. She was invited as a guest on the Paul O'Grady Show on December 9, where she also performed "Absolutely Positively". 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 the Los Premios 40 Principales 2008. On December 13, Anastacia performed "I Can Feel You" on the television show Wetten, dass..? in Stuttgart, Germany. Anastacia performed "I Can Feel You" and "I'm Outta Love" at the ChildLine Concert in Dublin on December 16, 2008 which then went on to be televised in Ireland on December 19. Anastacia received the World Artist Award at the Women's World Awards on March 5, 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 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"
3:49
2. "The Way I See It"
  • Anastacia
  • Jack Kugell
  • Jamie Jones
  • Jason Pennock
  • Andrew Frampton
  • D'Myreo Mitchell
3:28
3. "Absolutely Positively"
  • Harmony
  • Smith
  • Harmony
  • Ne-Yo[a]
4:20
4. "Defeated" J.R. Rotem 3:55
5. "In Summer" Harmony 4:07
6. "Heavy Rotation"
Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins 3:45
7. "Same Song"
  • Anastacia
  • Chambers
Mendez 3:56
8. "I Call It Love"
  • Anastacia
  • Kugell
  • Jones
  • Pennock
  • Frampton
  • The Heavyweights
  • Frampton
  • REO
3:37
9. "All Fall Down"
  • Anastacia
  • Chambers
Mendez 3:04
10. "Never Gonna Love Again"
  • Anastacia
  • Chambers
Harmony 3:30
11. "You'll Be Fine"
  • Anastacia
  • Mendez
  • Sharpe
Mendez 3:38
Notes

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Sweden (GLF)[63] Gold 20,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[64] Gold 15,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Edition Label Ref.
Germany October 24, 2008 Standard Universal [65]
Italy [66]
Netherlands [67]
Australia October 25, 2008 [34]
France October 27, 2008 [68]
United Kingdom Mercury [33]
United States February 17, 2009 Digital download
  • Standard
  • deluxe
[36][37]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]