DIFRANCO ANI - EVOLVE
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Promised Land|
|2. In The Way|
|5. O My My|
|9. Here For Now|
|10. Second Intermission|
|12. Welcome To:|
Promised Land -+ In the Way -+ Icarus -+ Slide -+ O My My -+ Evolve -+ Shrug -+ Phase Here for Now -+ Second Intermission -+ Serpentine -+ Welcome To
Some 15 years and nearly as many albums into her career, Ani DiFranco--the original girl-power prophet and folkie punk--is still as willful as ever. Her lyrics remain poetic, polemical, and yes, occasionally maudlin; her musical explorations sound more like refinement than radical revision, but it's clear that she's still, well, evolving. Always a strikingly gifted and expressive singer and guitarist who employs her voice and guitar as both rhythmic and melodic instruments, DiFranco builds this set of songs on those basics but draws generously from the wide range of styles she's sampled since her stripped-down early days. A slinky Latin guitar line snakes through "Promised Land," gutsy New Orleans brass adds swagger to "In the Way," and jazzy keys, cool clarinets, and mournful muted trumpets lend color and tone to nearly every cut. Hooks are scarce in the disc's mushy middle, but the lush, horn-laden groove of "Here for Now" recaptures the momentum, and DiFranco even drops a signature 10-minute epic in "Serpentine." Like Evolve itself, "Serpentine" is sprawling, funny, angry, compelling, and entirely unafraid. --Anders Smith Lindall
Top Customer Reviews
DiFranco has meandered into big-band jazziness and forgot about the feisty rock she does best. Her previous double album left the early DiFranco fan hungry for a better treat and considering Ani's impressive back catalogue, a mediocre album is forgiven. DiFranco, however, returns with the long-awaited "Evolve," but the wait is not worth it.
The album is packed with midtempo and smokey-bar tunes that meshed into one another for the lack of distinction. The exciting shrewd melodies of DiFranco are long gone and now it is merely a mixture of brown, kind of like when different colors seep into each other in a watercolor painting.
"Promised Land" is a bland and directionless ode, while "Icarus" is basically disappointing.
"In The Way" starts out promising and "Slide" is reminiscent of a less-inspired "Jukebox."
The title track has some Ani kitsch to it, while "Shrug" is a lazy song with extra distorted vocals.
"Here For Now" is the only complete song, with credible instrumentation, but toward the end it gets redundant. "Serpentine" is a 10-minute-plus trip continuing the Ani tradition of long numbers toward the end of recent albums, yet this song is more of a politically and socially aware record of current events.Read more ›
The songs that really shine on here, and are by themselves a reason to buy this cd are: Slide, Evolve, Here For Now and Serpentine. And although I don't consider many of the other songs to be true 'gems,' I certainly consider them good songs to listen to and better than almost anything out there in the mainstream. Slide is such a wonderful song, so full of music harmony and melody. It really raises the question: Is there anyone else out there that can compare their (...) to a tractor and get away with it? Evolve is such a powerfully fun song. I think it's one of Ani's best songs throughout her entire career. Everytime I hear the opening strums I get excited. Here For Now is fun, fast, fierce and thought-provoking. And Serpentine is undoubtedly the culmination of years and years of anger and a growing hopelessness for the state of things both political and personal and the inevitable combination of the two. It's heartwrenching, hopeless, but in scope, determined. For those of you who think Ani may have lost it, this song shows that she hasn't.Read more ›
"Promised Land" opens as a bit of a bluesy-sounding song. The line, "What's with this new version of who you are?", sounds very much like something many Ani "purists" have said since 'Revelling/Reckoning' came out two years ago--or even before then. Good way to open.
"In the Way" sounds like...I don't know...a break-up-cum-reconciliation song, perhaps? In any case, to my ears, it's almost too up-beat and perky to be either.
"Icarus" has some major blues/jazz sounds here. While I like its experimental sound, I don't understand what she's trying to say. Ditto for "Slide."
"O My My" features Ani on piano, as opposed to guitar. It's a definite love song; and it was a nice change to hear Ani try her hand at the piano. A favourite.
The title track mixes her political thoughts with musings on her own evolution. After all, politics has become a part of her and her music. Also of note is that it's one of two songs that features only Ani and her guitar. Thumbs up.
"Shrug" was originally featured on her live CD 'So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter'. It starts off almost the same; yet there are some embellishments throughout, plus it's played at a slightly faster tempo. Nothing wrong with that; but on the other hand, there was nothing wrong with how it sounded on SMS,SML, either.
"Phase" is mostly guitar, with some additions by the horns. Well-written.
"Here for Now" sounds like something you might hear in a spy movie, only with fewer instruments. A questioning of purpose in life.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Ani Difranco is a strong woman with an even stronger voice. This CD was my first Ani CD and I'm an Ani fan now. Read morePublished on July 12 2004
This album has really grown on me. The first time I listened to it, I wasn't tremendously impressed, but after I really focused on it, I realized just how incredible it is. Read morePublished on June 1 2004 by Olivia B.
I think that this album is wonderful. Although, I do think that To The Teeth is still my favorite. She adds a little bit of jazz and a little bit of funk. Read morePublished on March 7 2004
OK So I wanted to like Ani, but my first listen to this album made me want to give her a prozac and tell her life will be ok. She sounds to angry and can't sing. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2004 by Dance Dance Dance
It was my first Ani Album, and (to me) the sound I love the best among the rest. It's more jazz then the other albums, and that's the way I like it. Read morePublished on Nov. 30 2003 by Isabella Chen
Indeed, Ani DiFranco is evolving. But, she's not done yet. "Evolve" proves that she continues to strive further as an artist and as a poet. Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2003 by David Anderson
'Evolve' is an a propos title for this release. This finds Ani with various tempos and flavors, but her gorgeous simplicity and songwriting perfection are still there! Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2003
I initially wrote a tepid review. I take it back. This is not tepid, but mixed. It's like going back to an old lover and finding that their body doesn't fit you quite the same... Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2003
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