Annie is a distinctly Internet-age musical figure: the pop star who isn’t actually a pop star. At least, not outside her native Norway. But on 2005’s Anniemal and the new Don’t Stop, she carries herself as someone born to golden-age MTV—albeit with a wink, since that age has been gone for decades. “I Don’t Like Your Band” taunts, “Buy yourself a sequencer and then let the games begin,” and “The Breakfast Song” is a braying, affectionate parody/tribute to M.I.A. (“Wot do you want for BREAK-FAST?”) The music is high-grade, glossy electro-pop, heavily indebted to the ’80s, as with the tweeting synths of “Songs Remind Me Of You,” buzzing keyboard-bass of “I Don’t Like Your Band,” and candy-coated new-wave guitars of “Bad Times.” Even a limpid ballad like “When The Night” works, and that one sounds like a song Patrick Swayze might have cut. Anyone who can bring real emotion to lines like “How does it feel to hear your songs on the radio? / And does it hurt to hear your songs on the radio?” deserves to be a real star.
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