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Annie Don't Stop

Life isn't always easy for pop princesses. Sure, some become international megastars, but legions more simply fade away, or even worse, get stuck in label purgatory. Such was the fate of Annie, which is why it feels like a millenium or two has passed since songs like "Chewing Gum" and "Heartbeat" were being hailed as works of electro-pop genius. Now that her label drama has passed, Annie is back with her sophomore effort. Where her debut, Anniemal, harkened back to the Tom Tom Club's '80s funk-pop bounce, Don't Stop is at its best when channeling Hi-NRG—"Bad Times" and "Songs Remind Me of You" are practically 2009 versions of Stacey Q's "Two of Hearts." The album's second half seriously drags, but the sticky pop stylings of the title track, "Hey Annie," and "My Love Is Better" are deliciously fun—not to mention respectable—alternatives to the Lady Gagas and Kylies of the world.

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