When I first got this cd, I tore it open and devoured it. And hated it. I thought it was grating, I thought it was pretentious, and I was mad at *my* Ani DiFranco for doing something different.
Now, 3+ years later, I see it differently. Watching Ani move from Upx6 to "To the Teeth" to "Revelling/Reckoning," I see the important place that Up... holds. It is part of an astounding evolution. After the first 5 albums, Ani has grown on each and every album, changing styles and directions. That said, I must say that Up Up Up is not my favorite. While I appreciate it more now than I did, there are still tracks I can't stomach (Come Away From It) and those I love (Angry Anymore).
I wouldn't recommend this album for someone who's new to Ani (try Out of Range or Little Plastic Castle instead) but it is worth your time, something I have ultimately realized. Up Up Up Up Up Up represents something different from what *my* favorite Ani stuff is, but it is still better than half the stuff out there, it is still powerful, and still worth your time. For every person like me who would choose Out of Range over this album any day of the week, there is someone who feels the exact opposite. What is great is that there are artists like DiFranco out there who are indeed *artists*, growing, experimenting, and as Michaelangelo once said, "still learning."