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.
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
'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.
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!