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Knuckle Down

Ani Difranco Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 20.35 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Knuckle Down + Living In Clip Live
Price For Both: CDN$ 47.34

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Product Details


1. knuckle down
2. studying stones
3. manhole
4. sunday morning
5. modulation
6. seeing eye dog
7. lag time
8. parameters
9. callous
10. paradigm
11. minerva
12. recoil

Product Description

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Even after 15 years of releasing albums on her own Righteous Babe imprint, it's hard to know what to make of Ani DiFranco. Some see her as a folkie-punk-bisexual-feminist-radical-crap-kicker, while others reckon she's merely Alanis Morissette with better lyrics. On her 15th studio album the truth just might be somewhere in between. She does dysfunctional family portraits ("Studying Stones") and broken affairs ("Lag Time") just fine, but she also manages to leave room for rambling, autobiographical beat poetry ("Parameters"). And then there is the music. Matching acoustic guitars with earthy funk rhythms and soft moonlight moods with out-of-leftfield song arrangements, it reconfirms the one label everyone can agree upon: fiercely original. --Aidin Vaziri

Recommended Ani DiFranco Discography


Out of Range

Not a Pretty Girl

So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter

Little Plastic Castle

Revelling/Reckoning

Living in Clip


Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars She's an original! April 19 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This CD is very good. First she has an amazing voice. She is an excellent musician and lyricist......but the most noticeable thing about this CD was my recognition that Ani DiFranco is an ORIGINAL. I know this is a CD I will still be putting on in 10 years and still enjoying....while some artists and our tastes change over time she is in a league with Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow etc. I will ALWAYS be playing her music!

Check out the song "Knuckle Down"...I still have it on my favorite playlist today (2012) and it won't be getting removed anytime soon. The packaging for this CD was absolutely gorgeous; I felt like I was opening a Xmas present!

You won't be disappointed by this CD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless! Dec 1 2005
By Robert
Format:Audio CD
Ani DiFranco's Knuckle Down is some of her best works i have heard for a LONG time :D She seems to have taken the role of the urban poet once again, but with a twist. She seems more tame in life- more content. This C.D isn't about rebelling against life or the media (or anything else, really) -it's about her amazing tones, beautiful riffs, and dark lyrics (Not as dark as other works, I must add- it's only flaw). It's a classy collection of immaculate works to be envied and loved by many.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Knuckle Down is a must-have.. March 27 2005
Format:Audio CD
'Knuckle Down' was my first foray into the musical world of Ani DiFranco, and has quickly become one of my favourite albums of all-time. If you're tired of the generic, manufactured music so common to modern network air waves, this disc is for you. The songwriting is developed and well-thought out, and the tonality of the album is warm and inviting. Do yourself a favour, buy this album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant Jan. 29 2005
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is the best Ani album to come out for a long time. The first song echoes the early fast guitar playing of Like I Said. "Parameters" is, perhaps, the best exploration of fear I have ever heard or read. It is well worth the money.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  49 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transitional Record For Ever-Evolving Legend Sept. 4 2005
By Rudy Palma - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Although Ani Difranco has been directed away from her usual extensive touring - doctor's orders - and has thus been unable to promote her umpteenth studio album, "Knuckle Down" as heavily as previous releases, that in no way prevents it from being an outstanding achievement, much like the majority of her LPs. Though it does not quite match the sheer, uniform brilliance of its predecessor, 2004's lo-fi "Educated Guess," a triumphant collection of songs that fused the melancholy embers of her recent divorce and current political state of the US, it nevertheless is home to a new host of essential Difranco tunes.

The disc is initiated by the frantic, frothily produced self-exploration of the title track, which Difranco ends by observing, "still that star-struck girl is someone I miss." Then comes lead single "Studying Stones," where she delves as deeply into her personal life, outside of her divorce, as she ever has on record. The song is, simply put, amazing.

"'Course numb is an old hat/Old as my oldest memories/See that one's my mother/And that one's my father/And that one in the hat, that's me/It's a skill I'd hoped to abandon/When I got out on the open road/But any more pent up emotion/And I think I'm gonna explode."

To be sure, she has not finished immersing the subject of her divorce in her music, as the likes of "Seeing Eye Dog," Modulation" and "Manhole" are the furthest thing from subtle, revealing Difranco as the epitome of bitter. All are on the sarcastic side, clearly evident of her newfound sense of freedom and sensible approach to remedying her life's tribulations, while the former tells a story all too accessible to many who have been through similar circumstances.

"I threw myself a little role reversal and followed you home/Just dying to be chewed/The dog was chosen by the bone/Be my seeing eye dog/'Cause I am blind."

She is rather hard on herself in the anthemic "Lag Time," proclaiming with her confidant delivery above hooky guitar chords that she wishes to become far more capable of making sound judgments concerning her relationships with others in her life, and thus "tighten down on the lag time." Further on, in "Parameters" she narrowly talks her way out of getting raped by coaxing an intruder and would-be rapist "off the ledge of a very bad idea."

"New as you are, really, to the idea that/Even after you've long since gotten used to the parameters/They can all change/While you're out one night having a drink with a friend/Some big hand may be turning a big dial/Switching channels on your dreams/Until you find yourself lost in them/And watching your daily life with the sound off."

She also reminisces specifically of the high-maintenance side of her ex-husband in "Callous" and "Minerva," the latter in which she likens herself to the wise, stalwart Roman goddess. The ultimate highlight of the album, however, is "Paradigm," the only track on the disc which finds Difranco dishing up more of her political psyche.

"(I had to) teach myself to see each of us/Through the lens of forgiveness/Like we're stuck with each other (God forbid!)/Teach myself to smile and stop and talk/To a whole other color kid/Teach myself to be new in an instant/Like the truth is accessible at any time/Teach myself it's never really one or the other/There's a paradox in every paradigm."

The album concludes on a high note with "Recoil," where she realizes she has not been held "since I've been his" and that that's "probably all it is" that's made her recoil from her friends in her solitude. She also fondly recalls her father "who time travels mostly now," and ends the song with an invitation.

"To all the people out there tonight/Who are comforting themselves/If you should happen to see my light/You can stop and ring my bell/I'm just sittin' here in this sty/Strewn with half written songs/Taking one breath at a time/Nothin' much going on/Nothin' much going on."

Overall, "Knuckle Down" is a transitional record for Difranco, finding her surfacing between two different phases of her life. Listening to her contemplate her situation and those that surround her is thus all the more absorbing.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than an Educated Guess... Jan. 31 2005
By Joseph A. Novak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm sure plenty of Ani fans will disagree, but I, for one, absolutely hated Educated Guess. I was almost disgusted with how she destroyed the song "Educated Guess" with those horiffic background vocals (not to mention every other song as well!) I was definitely unsure if I would buy another of her albums.

I took a chance, put my faith in her abilities, and pre-ordered Knuckle Down. The streams in my digital library seemed good enough that I would end up liking this album more than EG, at least.

After listening to this album for the past few days, I can definitely conclude that it is one of her best. The first five tracks are flawless (from there its a little hit or miss) and about half of the remaining eight are excellent. There are only a couple of songs that I'm "not feeling" yet.

At any rate, if you had lost faith in Ani after Educated Guess, definitely give her a second chance w/ this album - you won't regret it! :)

If you're new to Ani, I'd suggest a handful of other albums before this one, but definitely make sure to purchase this one at some point!
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back To the Fold March 21 2005
By T. Short - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I've read several of the reviews below, and some are very good. My review of this album won't be quite as technical and thorough as those I've read, but I'll give you my honest opinion. This is a great cd. I've been listening to Ani for about 11 years now....I came in around the "Out of Range" and "Not a Pretty Girl" days. I was a very "devoted" fan (read crazed) for much of my late teens and into my early twenties...sometimes driving as long as 10 hours for a concert. I've loved several of her cd's along the way....Dilate, Little Plastic Castle, To the Teeth, Revelling/Reckoning, Evolve. But as life kept on going, and I got older, I became less and less crazed. Not because of her music, but because I had more going on.....more important things to worry about. I didn't even buy Educated Guess (I didn't even *gasp* realize that she had released it!) But after seeing her perform "Studying Stones" on, of all places, the CBS Saturday Early Show, I was intrigued about "Knuckle Down." So I got the cd, and expected to go through my usual Ani routine. Listen to it, think "hmmmm this isn't anything like Little Plastic Castle or To the Teeth or Evolve....I'm not sure I like it," and then a few weeks or months later listen to it and think "OH! I get it, this is awesome!" But I haven't been able to stop listening to it since it arrived in the mail. This cd has snapped me back to that old place. I'm not sure how, and I'm not sure why....but that's what's happened. I absolutely love this disc. It's really hard pick a favorite song (okay, maybe I like "Studying Stones", "Paradigm", and "Sunday Morning" a little more than the rest.) I'm not saying everyone will love this as much as I do. But if you've kept listening to Ani through the years, through all the different bands and styles and personal experiences, I think you'll dig this cd.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for This ONE March 3 2005
By N. Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This cd is perfect. I own all of Ani cd but this one is by far my favorite. It is just simply put beautiful and the songs are sonic and lush. The strings add an element that is surreal and incredible, plus the song are just like little stories. Most of her cd take a little getting use to but with this one just let it play and you will be hypnotized! Studying Stones, Sunday Morning, Manhole and Callous are little master pieces and they alone will take your breath away.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instantly palatable March 2 2005
By Stephanie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I saw Ani two nights in a row in SF and both sets were pretty mellow. I've since had "Knuckle Down" in a constant loop in the home and in our car. (i have a very tolerant husband and a 3 year old who adores ani's music) A huge difference for me with this record is that it was instantly palatable. I have nearly all of her records and when a new one is released I spend much time hating it since one is always so different from the last, with which, I am usually having an intense love affair. Andrew Bird and Noe Venable lend and ethereal, dreamy sound to her songs and I tend to be somewhat transported yon when listen to "Studying Stones," "Sunday Morning," and "Lag Time." Paradigm is a wonderful song that resonates deeply with me in the first few lines being that I drag my daughter to letter writing campaigns, me writing letters while she vacuums up all the brownies (good mind-altering substance for a 3 year old), and peace rallies.

Todd Sickafoose, while really annoying with that giant bass at Luther Burbank in Santa Rosa was incredible at The Warfield, And, on the album, the upright base is just right. Julie Wolf makes a guest appearance as melodica which I always find refreshing - the two of them have some incredible chemistry and it's always a joy to see/hear them making noise together.

The biggest sign of success for Ani, in my mind, became clear upon seeing the *very* VERY eclectic group of folk who had gathered to see her those two nights. it's clear she has reached far into the corners of musicfanworld and has drawn out some folks who one wouldn't necessarily expect to see at her shows. There was a guy in a 3 piece suit dancing, rather stiffly to her tunes, to the right of me in the pit and to the left a pot smoking 20 something cowgirl-ish punk who jabbed me in the ribs more than I would have liked. Get the album, you'll enjoy it and so will about everyone around you. My husband, while he respects her as an artist, a political voice etc etc is really annoyed by her sound. Funny thing is that he's been walking around the house whistling her tunes...really, get it, you'll not regret it.
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