Annie, "Don't Stop"
Working with a host of producers on her second release, "Don't Stop," Norwegian pop singer/DJ Annie continues to balance her carefree playfulness with darker themes of struggling love to create a bittersweet dance party. But regardless of the mood, Annie steals listeners' hearts with her light-as-a-feather vocal delivery and infectious beats. On the electro-tinged "I Don't Like Your Band," she reveals her distaste for her lover's band ("Your latest 7-inch sounds obscene/Unless you spin it at 45") and suggests seeking inspiration from the "cosmic songs" of Kraftwerk, Bobby O and Giorgio Moroder. The haunting Timo Kaukolampi-produced "Marie Cherie" is a dark journey through the life of an abused girl who commits suicide and goes unnoticed. Annie lightens the mood on tracks like the swirling Brian Higgins-produced "Loco" (featuring cameos by Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy) and "The Breakfast Song," on which she repeatedly asks over snare taps and heavy synth, "What do you want?/What do you want for breakfast?" The album includes a five-track EP, which features several songs ("I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me," "I Can't Let Go" and "Sweet") that were originally intended for a 2008 version of the album that was halted following Annie's split from Island Records.-Mitchell Peters