If you don't know Ani DiFranco yet, she's the straight-talking, "Why don't more singers say it this plainly?" independent singer/songwriter who's built up such a following that it proves -- yes, there IS room for smarter music in this world.
She's got a killer voice. (How does she sing like that?) And she plays guitar so well that even if you don't know much about the instrument ... you can tell she's good.
NOT A PRETTY GIRL is the perfect album to buy first. And don't worry, once you get hooked -- there are gazillions more from which to choose. That's the great thing about discovering an artist like Ani -- if you find you love her, you can just keep buying more and more!
Is she folk? Is she 'women's music'? Is she punk? Who knows. She's just a very forthright singer/songwriter who writes lyrics no one else dares to produce. (The advantage of having founded her own music company, as I understand it!)
Some of the highlights on this "Absolutely must have" album include THE MILLION YOU NEVER MADE -- a hardore tell-off to the music industry, LIGHT OF SOME KIND -- repenting for being unfaithful, sung with heartfelt, bang-it-up umph, and CRADLE AND ALL -- a beautiful, gut-wrenching ballod that just goes on and on about a rough day in the life of a city girl. Then of course, NOT A PRETTY GIRL is a great feminist song.
NOT A PRETTY GIRL is where it's at -- make it your first Ani album, but don't make it your last.