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However, Ani has returned with a double album which is guaranteed to have fans salivating with delight. The first CD, Revelling, continues the funky soundscapes of her more recent material. However, the songs seemed to have been tightened up somewhat, and the result is a triumph. The opening track "Ain't That The Way" sounds bizarrely like Macy Gray, but later tracks such as "Garden Of Simple" and the standout "Marrow" have DiFranco's style stamped all over them.
The second disc, Reckoning, is a quieter, more acoustic affair, remincescent of Ani's earlier stuff. A air of political disillision hangs over this set, as if Bush's recent election had knocked the stuffing of her.Nowhere is this more apparent than on "Your Next Bold Move" where DiFranco bemoans the fact that "the left wing was broken long ago...it's so hard to have faith in anything". Similar in tone is "Subdivision", with it's blistering critique of racial segregation in the USA. However, it's not just the political that DiFranco is commenting on this time - live favourite "So What" is a mournful comment on the end of a relationship, while on "Marrow", Ani declares that shes "learning to be alone and devasted".
None of this is depressing by the way - rather these thoughtful and beautifully played songs inspire you, like the best of DiFranco's material.
Like many double albums, there is some filler here ("Kazoointoit" is particulary lightweight), but otherwise this is a startling return to form. It may not propel her to the top of the charts : this isn't pure and simple by any means, rather the work of a incredibly talented songwriter working at the height of her powers.
This new offering does not dissapoint. And the added bonus is that it's a 2 parter!
"Revelling", the first disc, is a livlier cd than "Reckoning", the acoustic second disc. Although they are both very laid back. It is the perfect late night album; though that doesn't mean it doesn't sound just as good in daylight hours!
"Ain't that the way" is a good opener and sounds as good here as when performed live. The instrumentals show what talent Ani had as a guitarist, playing as only she can. Tracks like "OK" and "Heartbreak even" are good songs, while tracks like "kazoointoit" while still good are not the usual style.
But that said this is not your usual Ani DiFranco cd. It is very eclectic and will be enjoyed by many a fan and new-comer.
As ever with Ani's albums, you listen to the music and you are amazed. You listen to the lyrics and you are completly bowled over. If you're not an Ani fan already, then believe me, after hearing what she has to offer on this cd, you will be.