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DIFRANCO ANI - TO THE TEETH
|Price:||CDN$ 24.67 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details|
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|10. Cloud Blood|
|11. The Arrivals Gate|
|13. I Know This Bar|
The follow-up to the ambitious Up Up Up Up Up Up finds the prolific Ani DiFranco striving to expand the range of her brand of do-it-yourself folk. Here she incorporates organ, clarinet, megaphone, and even an ill-advised rap courtesy of Corey Parker, whose father, former James Brown sideman Maceo, contributes saxophone to a few tracks. DiFranco, meanwhile, handles her usual array of instruments, taking on bass, drums, guitar, and, of course, vocals. That voice has changed since her 1990 debut. A smoky quality adds a layer of expression and maturity to still-angry protestations such as the title track and its whispery counterpoint, "Back Back Back." There's even an appearance here from the Unpronounceable One, a.k.a. the Artist, who lends his distinctive voice to the alternately dense and quiet "Providence." Regardless of guest appearances and new vocal and instrumental colors, however, DiFranco's ace remains the quiet, confessional tone she brings to introspective songs such as "I Know This Bar." The sound of her fingers sliding from one warm chord to the next is DiFranco at her strongest. Matthew Cooke
Top Customer Reviews
She offers a wide musical variety. She combines rock, folk, pop, and funk. Her use of woodwind and brass instruments give a new, pleasing, and evolving touch to her tracks. Her guitar efforts more than accents her musical style, she also expresses her feelings through it. Few other guitarists have mastered this difficult task. She also plays the bass, the drums, and the keyboards on many tracks brilliantly. Despite such expressed anger, her voice remains beautiful, never losing its soul for a second. Such showcased talent proves that she is one of the best musicians of today.
Sadly, she's also one of the most underrated musicians in music history. "To the Teeth" proves that she continues to evolve as an artist through every album release. This is one of her most personal albums to date. All Ani DiFranco and soft rock fans will enjoy this album. Those that like her introduced woodwind and brass instrument sound will also enjoy her newest album "Evolve". That is the next step from such style...wonderful as always.
A lot of you are saying that you "used to be Ani fans" until you heard this record. Why? Because you want her to be writing songs like "Fire Door" throughout her entire career? Grow up! That's what she did. Her older stuff was fine and wonderful, and I love it to death, but as a musician, to keep it interesting for yourself and others... you have to start experimenting with different styles! Why do you think Sting and Eric Clapton are still around?
She's Ani. She does everything with a LOT of class and dignity. Anything she puts on a record is going to sound fantastic, because as a fan, I completely trust her judgement with what sounds good. Wanna know why? Because everything she's ever come out with has so much beauty and spirit. Some of it is obvious, and some of it you need to look for it. She wouldn't be such a fantastic songwriter and musician if every single one of her songs were so blatantly overwhelming in the same style every time. She needs diversity.
I absolutely love this album. There is an imminent beauty in the jazzy ensembles. "Providence" is an especially touching song. Not too many people comment on it... the duet she did with Prince (then known as the "Artist..."). Powerful, powerful song. So is "Wish I May". Also a lot of people tend to overlook "Cloud Blood" and "Carry You Around". Both of these are masterpieces. Cloud Blood is a massive lyrical vortex... with such incredible intensity. Carry You Around has got a MAD beat.
So... what do I say? As a TRUE "die hard" Ani fan... put a little more faith into her ability as a songwriter. You'd be surprised with how much you will appreciate what you notice.
This is the album that Up and Castles wanted to be, tried to be. Or maybe that I wanted them to be. This is the album that has been coming ever since the evolution began, since the queen of folk/punk started playing with jazz/funk arrangements, since she toned down the lyrics (in volume and tone, not in content. I'm learning nowadays that when Ani's being quiet, that's when to watch for flying objects.) This is the culmination, or maturation, of the (r)evolution.
Simply put, this album is excellent. From track one to I Know This Bar, there's hardly a forgettable track on the whole piece of plastic. That's freaking amazing. Personal favorites -- ones I play over and over and over again -- are Wish I May (perhaps the most despairing song ever), Freak Show, and Swing.
All of Ani's albums are good -- meaning better than the average folk/rock album -- but this is one of her best. And that's saying plenty.
This is a beautiful album from beginning to end. Highlights are the title track (nowadays, when Ani's being quiet, watch out.), Wish I May (perhaps the most despairing song I've ever heard. "This is not who I meant to be/This is not how I meant to feel.) Freak Show (scream it, girl.) and Swing (totally, totally fun. I love this new funk groove feel.)
But really, so much of it is good. I didn't even mention Providence or I Know this Bar or Arrivals Gate. Damn, what a good album. Buy this one.
In my opinion, there are three essential Ani albums: Out of Range, Dilate, and now this one. It's that good....
Most recent customer reviews
We have been a Ani aficionado since her first self-produced CD was released too many
years go. On this, her 13th CD, she tries. She really tries. Read more
While I loved Upx6, I felt like something was missing. It seemed like Ani wasn't singing with the energy and intimacy I was used to. But with this album she returned in full form. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2003 by A. Andersen
Honestly, this is not one of her best. Only played 1x, then sat on a shelf for a year. I finally sold it on Half-dot-com. If you like funky jazz, get a disc from LIQUID SOUL. Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2002
and the ones that say they do must start listening to some other artist, ANY other artist soon. kudos to ani for following her muse, but god knows it must be hers alone because... Read morePublished on April 15 2002 by Mark Bychowski
This was the first Ani cd I ever bought which is why I hold it special to me. This cd made me venture in and love Ani and her music. Read morePublished on April 9 2002 by L. Gebhardt
I'm a devout Ani fan, and compared to her previous albums, this one just isn't up to Ani code. She is a musical genius; an inspiration. Read morePublished on March 16 2002 by Ally
This album was quite a surprise. Ani DiFranco's lyrics were all there but the music that accompanied was quite different than the previous angry guitar parts that she is so known... Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2001 by Clew
One of my favourite DiFranco albums... a range of songs, from the slow and thought-provoking title track to the jazzy Back Back Back, it takes you to the screaming heights of... Read morePublished on Oct. 12 2001
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