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March 2000 Pick of the Month
Sci-fi Canon Blue(s)
Artist: Annie
Label: Bulletproof Music
Length:  6 tracks at 35:56 minutes

New quintet Annie is going to cause quite a stir if they stay at it. They  have a great sense of art, unusual song phrasing, and a creative, mood-inducing sound. The CD is intense, as well as lovely, and relaxing.

I had thoughts of the Velvet Underground as I listened to the opening few guitar chords of the first song, "Means to an End," being lightly strummed, but as soon as Stephen Nichols began singing, the Radiohead comparison became inevitable. He has the same laid back vocal style of the popular English band, and the music moving beneath the vocals is smart and talent-laden. The guitars of Nichols and Jeff Wickes, along with Patrick McNeely on bass, David Morton at the drums, and Joel Bordeaux on keyboards and trumpet, have found a consistently sophisticated balance of Radiohead, Velvet Underground, Starflyer 59, which is lightly salted with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. They call  themselves and their music "psychedelic pop/rock." I agree. They are a noise/pop/lounge band of promise.

Annie's lyrics are free flying, free flowing verse, which threw me at first. I was scratching my head on the first listen until about the third song when the perplexing abstruse poetry began to make sense. I returned to the first couple of songs and they began to make sense as well. The stories, although enigmatic, betray a love for the Lord, a longing for a relationship with the Savior, and an appreciation for his good gifts. 

Annie and producer Matt Goldman have recorded an impressive work. The six songs that make up Sci-fi Canon Blue(s) are a mix of polish, potential, and placid pandemonium, making this CD worth the effort you may have to go through to find it.

Tony LaFianza 2/8/2000

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