gullbuy music review



Heartbeat - CD2


679 Recordings


Annie CD5 coverThe UK charts are a funny thing. Fans get shortchanged with CD1 and CD2 pairings created so that singles can qualify for the charts, which have limits on the time limit a record can have to still be considered a single, qualifying it for inclusion in the singles chart.

On Annie's last single Chewing Gum, I went for the CD2, which had two interesting remixes (by Mylo and Headman). For her second single from Anniemal, Norway's Annie (Annie Lilia Berge Strand) has chosen the Saint Etienne-ish Heartbeat. The song is a good choice. It is upbeat and catchy.

The CD1 version has the original and a mix by Alan Braxe. Alan Braxe is a French dance artist who (along with Fred Falke) put out the Intro single and the Rubicon EP. I haven't heard his Heartbeat remix, but I'll bet it is pretty good, as his own sound fits in well with hers.

CD2 has the original version along with remixes by two artists from the UK: Maurice Fulton (Mu) and Phones (Paul Epworth). Sadly, both remixes aren't as good as the original mix - sometimes you just get it right the first time.

Maurice Fulton's mix sounds like tired Felix Da Housecat. The Electroclash trademark synth sounds forced in the track, and the sweeping synth is just the kind of synthesizer work I disliked most about late 90s electronica.

Phones' mix is a little better. He adds a Gary Numan-esque synth part to the track, but removes the Playgroup-styled bass part I liked so much in the original.

To add insult to injury, the US version of this single has everything from CD1 and CD2, the Mylo mix of Chewing Gum, a non-LP track Kiss Me (originally released on CD1 of Chewing Gum), AND is cheaper (in the US at least) that either of the CD1/CD2 singles.

The main redeaming value of CD2 of Heartbeat is the video. Music videos can either be ill-conceived self-indulgences, or offer a glimpse into an artist. The Heartbeat video is nice - it is shot super-8 style and has a lot of fast moving images and a handheld feel, but it shows Annie going through a day. As such, it gives fans a feel for what the person is like in various different locations/situations. It shows her getting up from bed, going somewhere on a trolley, rehearsing with her band, taking a ferry, riding in a taxi, and going out to a club. The colors on the video are vibrant, as is she. There is a red balloon that may remind you of the Nena classic 99 Luftballoons video.

---Carl, June 14, 2005