Annie has delivered a solid pop record that does a lot of things well, but -- and this is the important thing -- that's what we should expect from all of our pop records.... Anniemal isn't a high-water mark; it's a benchmark.
It shakes the foundations of our music-consuming habits and plays with our genre expectations; it fucks with our minds a bit, just for kicks, and, more importantly, liberates us from the pernicious tyranny of monotony.
This isn't really one of those cases where bands like Wire or Mission of Burma or Vashti Bunyan come back years later with stuff that ranks among their best, but it isn't bad, either -- not bad at all.
Slug hasn't grown a whole lot.... Still, his lyricism and delivery are generally smart and entertaining, and Ant's production goes even further toward making You Can't Imagine... a thoroughly enjoyable record.
For a fractured album that spent several years in limbo, Amber Headlights does two things very well: it's an impressive introduction to Dulli's far-reaching musical talent, and a spiritual cleansing for the wry vocalist himself.