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Evolve

Ani Difranco Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 18.07 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details


1. Promised Land
2. In The Way
3. Icarus
4. Slide
5. O My My
6. Evolve
7. Shrug
8. Phase
9. Here For Now
10. Second Intermission
11. Serpentine
12. Welcome To:

Product Description

Amazon.ca

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

Product Description

Promised Land -+ In the Way -+ Icarus -+ Slide -+ O My My -+ Evolve -+ Shrug -+ Phase Here for Now -+ Second Intermission -+ Serpentine -+ Welcome To

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Evolving in the wrong direction Jan. 22 2004
Format:Audio CD
DiFranco's career is in its teen years right now. Ever since her 1990s debut Ani has gathered a myriad of loyal followers and redefined the definition of coffee shop folk into a culture by itself. She offered great escapism from the Lilith Fair crowd and penned lyrics so witty and timely they are etched on the tombstone of the riot-grrl era. However, ever since "To The Teeth" her music has been waning in lyrical pizzaz and edgy folkness.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I defy you to define DiFranco Dec 28 2003
Format:Audio CD
Ani DiFranco continues to appear in the "pop-rock" section of all music stores, yet there is no way to qualify just exactly what her music is. She is a Renaissance person, not just a songwriter, guitar player or singer, she is a modern day speechwriter, an artist and a voice in our minds long after the music has been turned off. "Evolve" captures so many different styles that at times one is reminded of Frank Zappa as he moved from chrysalis to full blown butterfly. DiFranco is young yet, certainly by the standards of a real musician, as she is, and her savy quick ability to use her voice as a percussion instrument has only improved. "Serpentine" is perhpas one of the most breathtaking pieces on this album, simply for it's affect on our culture today. We need to listen carefully to this remarkable woman, as she sees the future and wants us to help her to make it better. Her music is amazing; "Evolve" is amazing, but it's not enough. The work must be done by all of us. I think that Ms DiFranco would agree. Start by owning this disc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Same Old Ani--With a Twist Sept. 26 2003
Format:Audio CD
One of my favorite things about Ani has been that she refuses to just record 'the gems.' Instead, she releases albums often, choosing to put songs on that might not be considered 'supergenius.' It makes her seem so much more relatable. I consider this album to be another great album by Ani. Though I may not consider every song to be a relevation, this album is just as relevant as anything she has done since the beginning. Of course, Ani's sound has changed, that's the beauty of it. She's free to do whatever she wants and that's cause for celebration and some great fits of experimentation. I say it's the same old Ani because it is; there are just more instruments now. She's still fierce, funny, introspective and damn relevant.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars She's evolving all right! Sept. 13 2003
Format:Audio CD
On the first listen, I wasn't sure what to think of this CD. It took me several listens to start grasping it a little more. Sometimes, though, I'm still left in the dark in some respects.
"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.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Strong CD
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 more
Published on July 12 2004 by "mrbodacious"
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly Done
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 more
Published on June 1 2004 by Olivia B.
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely love Ani
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 more
Published on March 7 2004 by "yellowconverse86"
2.0 out of 5 stars don't believe the hype
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 more
Published on Feb. 4 2004 by Dance Dance Dance
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sound I've been looking for
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 more
Published on Nov. 30 2003 by Isabella Chen
5.0 out of 5 stars Evolving Ani
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 more
Published on Oct. 19 2003 by David Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Check out Steven Delopoulos too!
'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 more
Published on Oct. 7 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Evolving pleasure
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 more
Published on Sept. 29 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
Nothing special, nothing great, but it is a good listen.
Published on Sept. 23 2003 by Matthew Arrowood
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