on 17 July 2005
This album mesmerises me. It is certainly one of the best I've ever heard in my life. Such a fresh, exciting fusion of styles, and such superb musicianship. Ani DiFranco's roots are in strongly lyrical folk/punk, so my first listen to this album was a revelation - I wasn't expecting anything quite so musically sophisticated. It is a unique and subtle blend of avant-garde, funk, blues, African and modern jazz, scat singing, folk, hip hop and downbeat. All the compositions are stunningly inventive and engaging, and the instrumentation is so adventurous! Across 13 tracks, Ani and her band play bass, organ, wurlitzer, accordian, steel drums, tuba, trumpet, trombone, clavinet, flute, piano, saxophone, turntables, bells, triangle, banjo, all sorts of guitars and although it's not credited, African thumb piano. But despite the huge range of instruments, there's no clutter. Every piece is beautifully judged. Ani's guitar work is extraordinarily fresh and original - she makes her guitars sound like unique and exotic instruments. And then there's the singing. Ani's brilliant vocals defy description! Sometimes the strongest comparisons would have to be Patti Smith or Fiona Apple, and sometime I'm reminded of Cassandra Wilson, Diane Reeves and even Paul Simon. Standout tracks for me are Wish I May, Freakshow, Hello Birmingham, Back Back Back, Swing, The Arrivals Gate, Providence (on which Prince guests as a backing vocalist) and I Know This Bar but the entire album is consistently strong and fascinating. If you are new to Ani DiFranco but have adventurous tastes, and enjoy any kind of progressive music, especially jazz, then I urge you to buy this album. It's one of the best you'll ever hear, from a stunningly talented artist whose musical development recalls Joni Mitchell's i.e. a shift from intensely personal acoustic folk into a fusion of folk, jazz, avant-garde and world music. Can Ani ever top this album? It's very hard to imagine, but let's hope so!
on 2 May 2003
okay so your friends have told you about ani, she's this amazing fem rock woman, she set up her own record label, she sings about being a woman and how much it rocks... um... then they say 'she's sold out' like it's the only thing they can say because even though she's still amazing as an artist she has made some damn fine records and unlike some of her other albums she hasn't decided to just focus on her rage.... so she's sold out... i disagree... i think the people who say this just dont want to look into ani;s work, they dont want to read between lyrics and the sound of her voice....
to the teeth is in my opinion as political, soul searching and honest as 'not a pretty girl' or even 'not so soft'
starting off with a layer track about gun use and finishing on the daydream soulful journey of 'i know this bar'
i bought this album as my first ani album-i admit because it was at a bargin price, and i've since bought every album,
one of my favourite tracks is accopanied by prince-'providence' the way she can slam that guitar and the lyrics give me rare shivers, prince sounds like the angel to ani's devils inside
it's a mature album, layered in styles, lots of guitar of course, but also jazz, soul and gospel in places, i like to listen to it on a long bus ride...
so dont be one of the people who jugde musicans when they change perhaps a style, a meaning or what they eat... judge what you hear
on 27 January 2005
When i first happened upon this record, i was killing time at tower records at the listening post and slapped this on. The next thing i remember is realizing i had been standing still staring out the window for 3 quarters of an hour. This album is nothing short of mesmerizing. Her writing and delivery, free from those generic metaphors and 'brave' statements, drifts from the devastating Hello Birmingham to the dreamy nostalgia of I Know This Bar while always remaining honest and straightforward, inspiring a funny kind of trust and belief in her what she's singing about. For me anyway, Ani Difranco marked a new means to music listening, and really transcended all that image stuff that i admit i was really into.
I think that anyone that hears this can realize that she is truly in a class of her own, whether to their taste or not and her music is definetly something to be experienced. Be careful of building up a dependancy though!
on 21 February 2012
The first track will feel very familiar to anyone who has Ani's earlier albums; angry but eloquent, Ani makes her point about guns in the US, and the impact it has on women and family life.
It took me a while to get into the other tracks on the album, many of which have a jazz influence to them. As ever though, this talented lyricist and musician soon won me over, and To The Teeth is now one of my favourite albums by Ani, with just a couple of tracks that I usually skip.
If you like Ani, it's certainly worth a listen.
on 21 December 2000
Absolutely brilliant. 'To the Teeth' is by far the best Ani DiFranco album. As all Ani fans will know, each of her many albums are quite different and original, and once again this album is like none before, while still maintaining her distinct style. The album is more musically polished and technologicaly advanced than her previous releases. Experimental and provocative, it features various artists such as Prince (or whatever he calls himself these days). Every song on this album is brilliant, from the quirky Back Back Back, to the heartwrenching Providence, to the politically-themed title track To the Teeth. All in all, an excellent and special album which will have you hooked... buy it now! Your life is incomplete without it!