|3. Educated Guess|
|5. Bliss Like This|
|6. The True Story Of What Was|
|8. You Each Time|
|10. Grand Canyon|
|12. Rain Check|
There are four excellent beat poems here--the brief and hardhitting "Platforms" and "Akimbo" and the more exploratory "Grand Canyon" and "The True Story of What Was". But the real stand-outs are "Bodily" and the closing "Bubble", with their deep, rootsy riffs and brilliant vocal performances, DiFranco managing to flit through octaves without losing emotional force. There's also the affecting "You Each Time", where she comes over like an ethereally jazzy version of that other great maverick, Victoria Williams.
Throughout, her lyrics are well-wrought, the dissection of a past relationship on "Origami" proving that her avowed feminism is not of the bigoted variety. Indeed, her perceptive and pointed descriptions often recall the work of Paul Simon. Educated Guess will be a real treat for all longstanding DiFranco fans, and for anyone seeking the very best American acoustic music. This is an idiosyncratic and very necessary voice. --Dominic Wills
I am currently on my second listen (in a row) and I'm still getting used to all the new songs but, so far, all good. A few spoken numbers including "grand canyon" (her political song for the album) which starts "i love my country / by which i mean / i am indebted joyfully / to all the people throughout its history / who have fought the government to make it right" and goes on to describe feminism as the "coolest f-word ever."
The booklet contains not only all the lyrics but also three poems and some fantastic artwork by ani, all simple black and white drawings that go with the laid-bare sound of the album.
Another beautiful work, definitely recommended.
Over the past few years, we've seen her folk-punk mellow out into a more jazzy, relaxed sound; this continues here into what could be described as a quiet, introspective meloncholy. As personal as ever, Ani reflects on failed relationships - specifically her recent marriage - as well as the nature of patriotism and the love of her country despite the hatred of its leader.
Beautiful but jarring, this isn't going to convert anyone to the DiFranco stable - for the rest of us, however, it's a wonderful addition to an overflowing collection.
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