Ironic, don't you think, that since before Alanis could wail, the lesser-known but greater-gifted Ani DiFranco has been producing love and life power songs deep from the soul, with lyrics so spot on that you feel like they were written for you, regardless of whether you've been there or not. This is her best album (Little Plastic Castles being a close second) and if you don't own it, don't know it, haven't felt the pure emotion that is Ani, then your life is seriously incomplete (or you've never had any problems in your life and are too happy for your own good).
I was educated into listening to ADF by my wife a few years ago and must say they have together transformed me!
This album is one of my favourites as it leaves very little to doubt. From the first track, the seemingly angry yet tender Untouchable Face, she kicks and scratches her way through Outta Me Into You. No hostages are taken! Her guitar work is breathtaking at times and the variety of rhythms she uses dazzle. Then comes Superhero, which start nice and soft with more serious guitar work and sweet melodies. She then explains how she was a Superhero and I'll leave you to listen to the track for the rest of the fab lyrics.
The title track is so mellow to begin with that you really hear the quality of her singing while she is caressing her guitar into submission. A few turns of phrase and almost giggling delivery during the painful lyrics and you know just where she was when writing this one.
Amazing grace then comes through where Ani is just showing off how well she can play her guitar followed by the slightly weird Napoleon track, that by the way has nothing to with a short one-armed frenchman!
Shameless is definitely one of the best on the album and you won't be able to resist tapping your feet to some tight syncopated rhythm work. Wondering how she does what she does? Shamelessly I'd say and even shocking at points at how she drops into softly plaintive melodies.
Done Wrong then goes on to creep into all the crevices that hurt can open up and couple with Going Down you can hear the influences that she has had on other artistes. Adam and Eve then takes probably the widest detour from the other tracks on the album before Ani delivers a song that you will fall in love with the first time you hear it.
Joyful Girl is that song and I wrote this review because this song gave me permission to believe I can. If you have not heard this song you should buy the album simply for this one. The beauty and hope she conveys simply lifts her above all the rest and she even has room to wiggle her guitar a few times during the little run through beautiful emotions.
Buy this album and I bet you will buy more of her work.
This is a very good well rounded album by Ani Difranco. You've got your soft, sad and sorrowful tunes to cry to (Done wrong, Adam and Eve, Joyful Girl, Untouchable face), your beaty angry tunes (Outta Me Into You, Napoleon, Shameless, Going Down, Superhero) and one bizarre 'cover' (Amazing Grace). So far the best Ani Difranco album I've bought for listening to over and over again. For those of you who've never heard Ani Difranco (and this is a worthy one to get as your first) I guess the main features of this music are poetic angry lyrics mixed in with soft wailing tunes, great guitar playing blended in with interesting beats and background instrumentals. You can cry or lull yourself to sleep on the soft tunes and thump in rhythm or rage (non-violently) with the harder beatful ones. Over all the album is rich in sound, interesting and just plain good to listen to.
This is probably the most personnal ani album. There is something for everybody; a line, a verse... which will put it in words for you, make you wish you'd come up with it yourself. Because ani Difranco is about lyrics, first and foremost. Then comes her amazing guitar technique, inspired and unique, and her voice, the voice of someone who has lived yet retains a naive faith in the things to come, a voice she uses like no-one before, as an instrument in it's own right. This is an absolutely classic album, ani fan or not. it will move you, sadden you, rise your hopes, relax you... a fantastic "time out".
I really think this album is a real good album, I give it 4 stars because I save the 5 for the real masterworks, however this is a great CD to listen to. Very acoustic, apart from a couple of songs with a bit more rhytm, and a really great composing skill. I don't think she's got anything to do with Alanis Morrisette, who is much more pop and rock..Ani is definitely folk, more talented, and a real rebel! Musically the highest moments are Out of me, Napoleon and Joyful girl, but on average the whole album is quite good.