Things have not been straightforward for Norway's electropop starlet Annie since the release of her debut album, Anniemal, over four years ago. Press copies of follow-up Don't Stop were already doing the rounds 12 months ago when Annie 'parted ways' with Island Records. The album was caught up in major label bureaucracy and though a number of the tracks existed in the murky depths of the filesharing fraternity, it seemed the album as a whole was lost.
As a distillation of the pure energy, passion and dancefloor destroying that has always run through Howlett’s productions, Invaders Must Die could possibly be the Prodigy’s best album yet.
Let's be honest, the early signs were not good. Recording in the Mojave desert, talk of a 'heavier, rockier direction', early publicity photos sporting long hair and moustaches... were Arctic Monkeys turning into The Killers circa the Sam's Town era?
Ambitious yet restrained, elegant yet exciting, Veckatimest is an endlessly-rewarding album which seems destined to vie with Animal Collective‘s Merriweather Post Pavilion for the title of the year’s best.
Ignore speculation, and simply make time to bask in the seemingly endless supply of luxurious delights contained within this stunning achievement.
For a debut album it’s brilliantly realised and contains not an inch of flab across its 11 songs.
Oozing fun out of every pore, this record is the perfect tonic to the increasingly troubled times that 2009 brings with it and will most likely feature on many of those Best Of lists come December.