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Knuckle Down


Price: CDN$ 19.41 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Dec 12 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Festival Distribution Inc.
  • ASIN: B0006SSQGG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,759 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

By C. Preston TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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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By Robert on Dec 2 2005
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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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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By A Customer on Jan. 29 2005
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: 48 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
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
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
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
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.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A Truly Stunning Album!!! Jan. 28 2005
By David Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I was highly anticipating this release from Ani, because it's just been within this last year that I've become a fan, and I have all of her albums and the EP's too...so I was ready to see where she was headed next.

I am just so blown away by this CD! The fact that she invited other artists to co-produce & play is NOT one you should fear, she (of course) managed to maintain the qualities we all know and love that make her Ani.

The strings and the stand up bass are just gorgeous. The only way I can describe it is like a delicious wine! It's so smooth and sensual, so rich & so relaxing! I know it was dumb to compare it to a beverage...lol, but I couldn't think of another way to say it. The strings and bass are especially beautiful on "Studying Stones," "Sunday Morning," and "Recoil."

The poem "Parameters" is so chilling! I read the lyrics on her site before it was released, and I thought it would prepare me for it. Nope! When I listened to it the first time at home, it was just fine. But then I was listening in my car at night on the back way home and it was just CREEPY! She is such a wonderful story teller, such an effective poet.

As far as the content goes...I know there's gonna be some people who are angry that this isn't an overtly political project. Well, I absolutely love it despite whatever messages it has in it! Besides, Ani says she's writing political songs for her upcoming tours. But personally, I think that some of Ani's best stuff is when she's dealing with relationships; she knows how to say it like it is, without any qualms whatsoever, in a way that, while sometimes shocking, is never arrogant or rude. She just lays it out like she sees it, honestly. But if you think about it, such a big part of who Ani is is politics, that there will never be an absence of those type of subjects in her songs. Some you just have to look harder to find.

I would without a doubt say that this album is one of her best (although EVERY CD is awesome). This one stands out to me as one that I'd use to get my friends into Ani.

If you're hesitating to buy this because you weren't into Evolve or Educated Guess, DON'T HESITATE! It's nothing like them (well, the first song kind of picks up where Educated Guess left off if you ask me). It is a whole new sound for Ani, one that suits her very well. The added instrumentation only complements her already stunning style and sound! BUY IT!
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