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Best of later-period Ani
on 4 February 2004
The gradual transition from Ani the politically-minded folk singer to Ani the more broad-ranging musician is captured best on _Little Plastic Castle_. _Not a Pretty Girl_ and _Dilate_ began the process, but LPC displays considerable more variety than either of them in terms of style, tone, and subject matter. Both vocals and power chords are a little more reined-in here than in the previous two albums. Instead, LPC showcases some of the best melding of folk writing and larger-scale musical arrangments in her back catalogue. Nor do jazz stylings dominate as they do later, although meandering (mostly) instrumental 'Pulse' may be too much for some listeners.
What you think of this will likely depend upon your Ani preferences, but for me this is by far the most consistent and compelling of her later albums. It isn't without its misfires - no Ani album is - but in tracks like 'Two Little Girls', it contains some of her most personal and captivating (and heartbreaking) writing to date.