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Review: Annie Mac – Annie Mac Presents 2014

Annie Mac returns with the sixth compilation in her Annie Mac Presents series, and the Radio 1 DJ deserves a huge amount of credit for an album which is still at the very top of the iTunes album chart.

For the last ten years, Mac has built a reputation as one of Radio 1’s finest DJs. Her Friday night show, Annie Mac is a must-listen and her weekly feature Annie Mac Mini Mix is something that DJs from across the country aspire to be a part of, as an outlet to showcase their talents. When the opportunity arose, the Irish DJ took a step into production and in 2009, her first compilation, Annie Mac Presents 2009, was released, with a new album following every year since.

“Annie Mac has got the balance just right this time and it’s harder to pick out a bad track than a good track from the album.”

Annie Mac DJing in Ibiza.
Annie Mac DJing in Ibiza.

Previous compilations in the series have been mixed, with some good songs but a disappointing proportion of bad or average songs. For example, Annie Mac Presents 2012 had a few chart-toppers, like Azealia Banks’ 212” and Redlight’s Get Out My Head” but the rest of the album was unremarkable. Annie Mac Presents 2013 also fell short. However, this latest compilation bucks the trend.

Annie Mac has got the balance just right this time and it’s harder to pick out a bad track than a good track from the album. There are songs that most listeners will have heard and enjoyed before, particularly in the first CD, including Secondcity’s I Wanna Feel,” Duke Dumont’s I Got U and Gorgon City’s Ready For Your Love.” Then there are lesser-known songs which Mac has scouted out perfectly, showing her experience as a Radio1 DJ, and marking an improvement to the rest of the series. One song which stands out is Tiga’s “Bugatti,” a stylish, catchy song and a worthy addition to the compilation. The Canadian DJ had been an unfamiliar talent but Mac has helped propel him into the spotlight; this is one of the great things about her series.

English producer Jamie xx’s “All Under One Roof Raving” is another lesser-known song that helps to improve the the compilation. His blend of Jamaican-style music with drum and bass, set alongside powerful vocals, works well and Jamie xx is without a doubt as exciting as he has been with The xx. One last song that’s a real bonus is American rapper Vic Mensa’s “Down On My Luck.” Mixing house and rap music hasn’t really been explored yet but Mensa pulls it off well and it’s another great addition to the album.

There are also a few good remixes across the two CDs; Skream’s remix of Jess Glyne’s “Right Here” is probably the pick of the bunch. Like the previous compilations, there are a couple of songs that you could question the inclusion of;  this time though it’s a minority rather than a majority and it’s impossible to find thirty six songs that will please everyone.

Overall, Annie Mac ‘presents’ an exciting compilation, showcasing the best dance songs from 2014, with a diverse mixture of well-known, up-and-coming artists and remixes. If you enjoy Annie Mac’s radio show or enjoy dance music in general, this album is definitely worth a buy.