Annie 

Anniemal (Big Beat/Atlantic)

If Kylie Minogue were Superwoman, then Annie would be her ward, a pint-size Supergirl-in-training. And Anniemal would be Supergirl's secret weapon, a disc so hook-ridden that it makes people powerless before it. The Norwegian bombshell's CD -- written and produced with English mash-upper Richard X and members of Opl:Bastards and Röyksopp -- sounds beamed down from some distant future, with its gooey electro-funk thumps and laser-beam melodies. On songs like "Chewing Gum" and "Greatest Hit," Annie plays the glittery ingénue, luring boys with her reed-thin voice and PG come-ons (lines like "If ever there was a girl who could rock your world/Then that girl sure is me" are more tickle than slap). At times the cartoony synths and processed "ah ah" action threaten to cause a sugar headache, but luckily Annie understands what makes superheroes (and pop music) more complex: Sprinkle just the right amount of anger and ennui -- prove, say, that even supergirls get the blues -- and you've got a modern marvel.

More by Dan Strachota

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