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Grows on you like fungus!!!
Gerimaya Whyte | three rivers, ca usa | 01/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let's face it Ani Difranco is definetly an aquired taste musically. Most people are put off by her "women lib rants", her "quirky cartoon vocalizations", or her "hyper-caffeinated guitar strumming". If your a fan of folk or even singer songwriter fare you owe yourself a deep listen into her prolific body of work. Being somewhat familiar with her body of work I was immediately put back by the somberness of this album but after repeated listens this album really grew on me. This album is really reflective and really can't be appreciated in a more upbeat state of mind. This album is like a warm cup of coffee being cradled and sipped by someone living in cold dreary storm-drenched cabin in the pacific northwest. Given that example you should listen in the right atmosphere:perhaps a long lonely drive somewhere or a housecleaning session in solitude. I think you get the vibe now...
Anyways the album sounds like what an Ani Difranco trip-hop album might sound like but with the emphasis on more live instrumentation. The atmosphere is heavy and very visual. The lyrics and the ambient textures jump out at you at the cue of her voice. It's really not your standard album as much as it is more like a soundtrack for poems.
"Inside the margins" is probably one the most touching songs she's done maybe since "joyful girl" as it celebrates the splendor of life and the bewilderment of forgetting it. "Hypnotize" is probably one of the more clever songs about relationships that I've heard in a while; where she questions how her and someone else manage to stay together saying"maybe I had just enough pathos to keep you hypnotized..."
All in all I think this is great album sonically and lyrically and deserves several listens. This nothing like other Ani records and isn't really trying to throw bunch a hooks at you. Also the fact that it is somber makes it work because Ani's reserved delivery really lets the material shine musically and lyrically. I don't think Ani is mellowing out or loosing her bite because subtlety wasn't really ever her strong suit but on this album she is definetly developing it. I think she's on her way to making a really interesting album if she could fuse both of these elements....!!!!!!!!"