Opening with ‘Animal’, declared by Annie herself to be her favourite track of the collection, some might be surprised to find that this is a simple, calming ballad of sorts, a far cry from the opening rock tracks of many of her musical peers, and yet, on the back of her two previous EP’s through which she has gradually established herself, this works well here. With comparisons, both musically and vocally to the likes of Cat Power, Nirvana and Regina Spektor, having already been made by some of the country’s biggest radio stations, follow on track ‘Bodyweight’ is proof that such recognition is deserved and truthful.
‘August’ is the sharpest and poppiest track so far, the clearest demonstration of Annie’s vocal abilities and yet despite this, a slightly repetitive groove to the album is becoming apparent and some listeners may find this slightly off putting, while ‘Bedtime’ gives way to simplistic guitars and an almost ghoulish opening few bars. As the vocals begin, with a tone slightly reminiscent of Eliza Doolittle, it’s hard to ignore how gently dark the piece is; the album sticking to a similar tone all the way through.
By the time you get to ‘Crisis’, the sense of monotony is evident, but at the same time, it makes for a refreshing change to see an album so stripped back of heavy instruments, with the attention of the listener having to be focussed on the artist.
Of all the tracks, ‘Creature’ is probably the highlight, both lyrically and musically, but ‘Basement’ with its catchy intro and toe-tapping beat makes for a great closer.
Anyone looking for an ultimately feel good album should go elsewhere, but if you appreciate simple musicianship and lyrics with stories and inspiration behind them, Annie is certainly your kind of artist.