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Which Side Are You On? CD


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Biography

Ani DiFranco has written hundreds of songs, played thousands of shows, captured the imaginations of legions of followers, and jammed with folkies, orchestras, rappers, rock and roll hall-of-famers, jazz musicians, poets, pop superstars, storytellers and a martial arts legend. She’s “fixed up a few old buildings” and minimized her carbon footprint before it was trendy – ... Read more in Amazon's Ani DiFranco Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Sep 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Righteous Babe Records
  • ASIN: B0060GVI2C
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,451 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Life BoatAni Difranco 4:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. UnworryAni Difranco 4:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Which Side Are You On?Ani DiFranco feat. Pete Seeger 6:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. SplinterAni Difranco 4:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. PromiscuityAni Difranco 3:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. AlbacoreAni Difranco 4:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. JAni Difranco 5:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. If Yr NotAni Difranco 2:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. HearseAni Difranco 4:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. MariachiAni Difranco 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. AmendmentAni Difranco 6:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. ZooAni Difranco 3:08£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Which Side Are You On? marks Ani DiFranco s first studio album in more than three years. The collection features 11 new songs alongside a radically reworked rendition of the classic title song, famously popularized by the one and only Pete Seeger nearly five decades ago, but no less relevant today. Backing DiFranco is a remarkably diverse line-up of stellar musi cians, including members of her own crack touring band as well as such guest players as Ivan and Cyril Neville (of New Orleans first family of funk and R&B, The Neville Brothers), avant-saxophonist Skerik (Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, The Meters), acclaimed singer/songwriter (and Righteous Babe recording artist) Anaïs Mitchell, guitarist Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, Amos Lee), and a host of New Orleans-based horn players known for their work in such outfits as Galactic, Bonerama, and The Rebirth Brass Band. What s more, Ani is joined on her stunning new version of 'Which Side Are You On?' by the aforementioned Pete Seeger, whom she praises as 'my elder, my forefather in folk music and political song.'DiFranco was inspired to record the famed protest anthem after being invited to perform at Seeger s 90th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in May 2009. She contributed her own straight-from-the headlines verses to the song and has used it to close her own live shows ever since. The newly recorded version of 'Which Side Are You On?' is a funk-fueled epic, incorporating not just Ani s band, but Seeger himself on banjo and vocals alongside The Rivertown Kids, a Hudson Valley-based children s chorus, and The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders, a brass band consisting of students from The Roots of Music, a music education program for at-risk middle-school students in New Orleans. 'All of my musical community, my comrades, are in there,' says Ani of the crossgenerational recording. Which Side Are You On? was co-produced by DiFranco and her longtime collaborator Mike Napolitano over a series of sessions in 2010 and 2011. The basic tracks feature two slightly different versions of Ani s touring band, recorded at Bogalusa, Louisiana s renowned S tudio In The Country, Brooklyn, New York s Brooklyn Bridge Studio, and her own New Orleans home studio, The Dugout. 'I m testing deeper waters with the political songs on this album,' she says. 'I feel a little bit frustrated, politically desperate. After having written hundreds of songs over decades, I think, Now what? How far can I go with this? Can you sing the word abortion, can you sing the word patriarchy what can you sing and get away with? I guess I ve been pushing my own boundaries of politics and art. Seeing what people have the ears to listen to. How big is my mouth? What can I get out of it successfully?'

Review

Engrossing music every bit as fiery as her earliest work - CD Of The Week. -- Sunday Times, January 15th, 2012

The general tone is melancholy, thoughtful and as you would expect from a talent of this calibre fiercely intelligent. --Daily Express, January 13th, 2012

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Charles Mason on 24 Jan 2012
Format: Audio CD
Pete Seeger makes a welcomed return to provide vocals and banjo for the title track `¿Which Side Are You On?' No less than 71 YEARS since he originally recorded the song. He was an iconic figure in the mid-20th century American folk music revival. Can Ani DiFranco create a folk revival of her own with this record? Well it must be said, 20 records into her career she has, in my opinion, fashioned a beautiful collection of songs which might just do this!! The tight rhythmic pulses harmonize beautifully with DiFranco's charming lyricism whilst maintaining her simplistic, earthy folk-roots. A great album! 10/10
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Jan 2012
Format: Audio CD
Ani DiFranco has been producing consistently good albums for more
than two decades. A big welcome, then, to her latest release 'Which
Side Are You On?'. There's nothing here to break the mold thank
goodness; just one more collection of terrific songs performed with the
kind of easy grace and consummate skill which we have come to treasure.
If anything, greater maturity brings with it greater depth and complexity
and Ms DiFranco inhabits these twelve new songs with fluid confidence.

Of the compositions on offer I have been particularly impressed with
'Unworry' whose staccato rhythm and episodic nature keeps us on our
toes. The words are packed in tight and crackle and burn like fireworks.
The grungy electric folk of Pete Seeger's 'Which Side Are You On' (he
features on banjo and backing vocals) gets a powerful reinterpretation.
The sprightly, open-textured 'J' is another cracker (Paul Simon might well
have been smiling in the wings) full of light and shade but with darker
lyrics which belie the song's bright and breezy ambience. 'Mariachi' is
simply delightful; the lilting pace and happy-go-lucky vocal smacks of
sunshine and summer breezes and the promise of romance. Final track 'Zoo'
is a plaintive stripped-down bluesy number with an ecological subtext;
a small message of hope and a prayer for survival in a world gone mad.

Ms DiFranco continues to shine like a beacon. It is a light worth following.

Highly Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caravanserai on 10 Feb 2012
Format: Audio CD
'90s icon Ani DiFranco is back with a great album that proves she's still got it, some 20 years on from her debut. At traits baldly political, at traits introspective, deep and emotional, Which Side Are You On delivers a nice blend of outstanding tracks, which will leave you wanting to listen to the album over and over again. Definitely recommended, both to long term fans and and those new to her repertoire.
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Format: Audio CD
Ani di Franco is back with her new album "Which side are you on". In all honesty, I wasn't sure what to expect of the accomplished singer/ songwriter's new piece of work - has the music scene progressed quite a lot since her last release. However, I am pleased to say that the break seems to have done Ani di Franco very well. The new album seems more thorough than any of her previous ones. The songs are compact and powerful as well as intricate in their musical arrangements while Ani's lyrics convey a matured mind. She has lost nothing of her rebelliousness, though it seems motherhood has helped her refine her overall approach.
For me personally, "Which side are you on" is probably her best album to date - highly recommended!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 31 reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing, but not without its charm 18 Jan 2012
By Chris Challans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Without a doubt, Ani DiFranco is among my favorite songwriters. At her best, she can express complex ideas with a powerfully simple, understated wit that can make you want to laugh and cry at the same time. Relentlessly self-aware, her sense of humor lets her mock herself in a way that's instantly relatable, totally endearing, and without the slightest hint of self-pity. ¿Which Side Are You On? features precious little of any of the above. The cynical assertion would be to say that she doesn't know how to write anymore. Another thought, which I've seen her seem to express in some interviews, is that this is just a conscious stylistic shift toward more simplistic writing. I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume it's the latter, and that's fine, but I don't think that makes it unfair to point out that a lot of the lyrics on this album are straight up cringeworthy.

Merely stating things your fanbase is likely to applaud does not good songwriting make. "If Yr Not" is the perfect example of this. The first line of the song is, "if you're not getting happier as you get older... you're f***in' up." Okay, I get it; yes, I agree with you... but when you just say it flat out like that, it's not interesting songwriting. The "old" Ani would have taken that as the root idea, then found novel and clever ways to express it. A successful song that expresses the same idea as "If Yr Not" is "Back Back Back" from To the Teeth. The song "Amendment," in which Ani makes the tongue-in-cheek case for a constitutional amendment "to give civil rights to women," is one of my favorites from the album, though the humor and delivery of the lyrics are best when they're getting a reaction from a live audience. A performance element also makes the clumsy ending a little more tolerable.

It might look like I'm nitpicking awkward lines and ignoring the album's broader strengths - which it does have, but I have some final smack to talk before we get there. Let's talk about "Albacore." Ani has always had a tendency to dip into clichés, but traditionally those moments have been more aesthetic (like the way she delivers a lot of her spoken word pieces). That tendency has finally bled over into her actual writing. Gone is the sense of irony she had in "Superhero," which was about how even the most independent and self-aware of us become pathetic, blubbering clichés when we fall in love. Now she's fallen in love and sounds very much like a pathetic, blubbering cliché in songs like "Albacore."

Fans of her feminist sensibilities will be drawn to "Promiscuity," in which Ani criticizes the idea of commitment for the sake of commitment. Some gems of her argument: "Promiscuity is research and development..." - "How you gonna know what you need, what you like, `til you been around the block a few times...?"

Despite much of it being littered with awkward writing, ¿Which Side Are You On? still provides a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience, for non-lyrical reasons. From Ani's guitar, to the newfound affection that's just everpresent in her voice, to the killer contributions from New Orleans acts such as The Neville Brothers, Bonerama, and The Rebirth Brass Band. Righteous Babe's own Anaïs Mitchell also makes a guest appearance, providing backing vocals on the song "J." Although ¿Which Side Are You On? is easily one of Ani's weakest efforts as a writer, it's not without its charm. Ani's decided to take a different direction as an artist, and DiFranco fans would do well to take the new music for what it is. She's got handfuls of albums full of brilliant songwriting and awesome quotables; she's now dialing it back and making music that reflects where she is in life - it's calmer, more loving, made to satisfy the ears and the heart more than the mind. While I miss "the old" Ani, albums like this imbue her catalog with a kind of diversity that makes her my favorite to listen to in a variety of contexts.

The only song on the album I find absolutely irredeemable is "If Yr Not." Some others ("Amendment," "Hearse") are generally enjoyable, with some awkward writing that distracts from otherwise decent songs. "Life Boat," "Promiscuity" and "Mariachi" are some of its high points, with "Life Boat" being my favorite on the album. "J" is great for purely musical reasons, and for all the grief I give "Albacore," it's totally heartwarming.

For DiFranco fans, it's certainly worth its share of spins. Actually, that's also true for non-fans. Put it on in the background while you're cooking or during a relaxing day around the house. It's a nice album to chill to. Ani DiFranco is happy now, and it's kind of infectious.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Great return to politics 17 Jan 2012
By ALA - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I read the first review on here and was a bit skeptical of the album before I listened to it.
Then I listened to it and loved it. This is Ani making political statements along side a few songs of her marraige/parental bliss.
She had me from the beginning and kept me interested throughout. I don't believe she's lost her fire, it's just changed from fire to a different type of energy.
Great album and not like anything else out there!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
An album that this generation needs, lyrical, poetic and beautiful 17 Jan 2012
By B-Goody - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As a lackluster male fan of Ani, Iv'e been bombarded by many, many Ani albums that my girlfriend has put me through. That sounds like a bad thing but it's not. She is a great guitarist, a lyrical poet and has a unique voice that is gorgeous.
When my girlfriend received her copy on her site, she put in on right away, and honestly I was blown away, she thought I was kidding when I said play it again and joking when I asked for a copy. This is music the way it started, it makes you think, makes you feel and teaches along the way. Now I know most Ani fans are female and my girlfriend is a outspoken feminist. So do I feel less of a man for loving this album?. No. It's taught me a lot of things;civil liberties and rights for women and their mind and body's.
In my opinion this album may be her greatest in terms of beauty and lyrics, my favorite song 'Unworry' has a pretty acoustic rhythm that makes the spine tingle. On this track she sings,"You know I have enjoyed my life/It's been exciting/and Iv'e become more peaceful/no more fighting".
Her lyrics are smart and truthful in these times we live in, which is something that lacks in today's industry(which is why she is underground).
There is so much meaning in this music and I hear new things every listen.
On the title track she sings:"They stole a few elections/but still we the people won/voted out corruption and big corporations/we voted for an end to war and a new direction/and we aint gonna stop now until the job is done/So tell me which side are you on?"
I cannot say for sure if this is her best effort, but I can't stop listening to this wonderful album. So you decide, which side are you on?. I'm on Ani's side.

Key Tracks
- Unworry
- Splinter
- Mariachi
- J
- Amendment
- If Yr Not
- Which Side Are You On?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful! 21 Mar 2012
By Ginger Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I discovered Ani as an 18 yr old, when both of us were full of angst, rock, and powerful revelations about life and the world around us that we were growing up and into. I immediately fell in love with her sound and her lyrical honesty that somehow managed to say exactly what I was feeling but unable to put into words at that point in my life. Since then have grown into a 30-something adult right alongside her and her music. I have always found it astounding that every time she has released a new album, it has perfectly mirrored my life emotionally, mentally, and physically. Ani has grown up, and her music has grown up right along with her into a mature, thoughtful, mellow, and dare I say happy reflection on her life and how she wants to live. I adore this new album, the full range of musical sounds, deeply personal reflections that are ever present in her music and lyrically genius twists, and the incredible instrumental mastery shown in the music behind the lyrics. This is an album that I haven't been able to stop myself from playing over and over again for weeks since it came out.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent addition to a masterful body of work 22 Jan 2012
By beb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ani's latest is one of the best in years. Instantly enjoyable - moving, thoughtful lyrics and interesting instrumentation. Definitely add this to your collection.
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