Ever since Ashlee Simpson showed us a peak behind the curtain, which caused derisions and mockery among music fans, and factoring in the usual tabloid exploits involving Britney, Lindsay and other wannabe pop singers, the genre of pop music has become pretty shameful for those who like it. But while the hipsters are waiting for another blindside hit from Kylie, we could have the first “holy smoke” effort of 2005.
The one responsible for this new electronic-dance blindside is known only as Annie, who is part of the growing scene in Norway. (If you think that A-Ha is the greatest thing that came from the land of Vikings, you should check out Røyskópp, too). This debut basically gets rid of the bad pop aftertaste left by the wannabes in one fell swoop. It has ingenious samples, cool loops, and lush keyboards, topped off by some dreamy vocals. It has all the things that make pop a cool thing, but without the obnoxious behavior of Britney. Yeah, the stuff may sound effortless, but there is a dark side to all of it. Shortly after her first club hit, “The Greatest Hit” (included here also), Annie’s beau and collaborator had a heart problem that resulted in his death.
It’s that song and three others (“Heartbeat”, which has a hook that can knock out Mike Tyson while making Kylie look like Oasis at the same time. “Chewing Gum” and “No Easy Love”) that will force US pop radio to make some space for this alongside the usual crunk and pablum. All in all, one genius pop effort that you can listen to without feeling guilty.