By the time you read this, nearly two months will have passed since the major-label debut from Norwegian electro-pop princess Annie first appeared on CD-store shelves. And while that's a veritable eternity in the ever-fickle record-selling business, it's still a bit early to determine if she's destined to join the ranks of other female soloists (M.I.A., Keren Ann) who seem lately to have exploded out of near-obscurity to become indie-scene darlings, almost overnight.
Probably, Annie is only a critical magazine cover or two away from obtaining that curious brand of obscure superstardom herself; one can only imagine the squeals of joy that must have shot through her publicist's office after a critic writing in New York magazine noted her status as "Britney Spears for hipsters."
But Anniemal, a lighthearted mélange of even-tempo'ed dance-floor cuts and Annie's enchantingly sweet vocals, is easily worthy of any attention it's thus far received. Sure, this is fluffy and uncomplicated disco-pop, but one gets the sense that Annie fully intended it that way -- no irony and no knowing smirks hidden inside. And while some of Anniemal's lyrics admittedly come across as a touch too earnest for their own good, that's hardly the point. Rather, the point is the album's light and airy production, and its irresistibly addictive beats and hooks, and of course Annie herself, who has already cemented this disc into one of the happiest club records of the season.