This album contains everything that I love about Ani diFranco. And everything that infuriates me about her.
Let's start with the bad news: the unadulteralted rinky-dink left-wing whining is in full force here. "Your Next Bold Move" is SO full of potential, but it alternates thoughtful writing with drivel about the plague of Reagan and Bush or the left wing being broken or... god, I don't know, just a lot of political ranting that diFranco doesn't even try to dress up as art. And much later comes "Subdivision," which starts out "White people are so afraid of Black people that..." Gee, thanks. Tell me something I don't know...
But then -- bam! Interspersed with this self-indulgent political nonsense are some of the greatest lyrics my ears have ever had the pleasure of hearing. "Garden of Simple" and "School Night" just blow me away; she must have sold her soul to come up with those metaphors. The "back" button on my car's CD player is now worn out because I repeat these two songs so frequently. And then there are so many other great images scattered throughout the rest of the album ("her Picasso face twisted..." is a favorite).
Ani, how could you sing a line like "you are a party and I am a school night," such a sweet, simple and PERFECT metaphor, and then give me drivel like white people are so cared of black people that white people have to live in subdivisions? AAARGH.
But still: you have to respect this woman. If I had nuts, I'd give my left one to be half the writer she is.
SO: GET THIS CD. Then master your own version, and treasure it forever. The really good stuff here should fit easily on one CD. And, oh, that one CD should have "School Night" and "Garden of Simple" twice each.