It's been an unbelievable 4 years period since the previous real Ani DiFranco album was released, but I guess she's been kept busy with her kid and stuff. Unfortunately also too busy to tour old Europe.
Well, she is back with a new album here in 2012 and the good news is that it sounds exactly like Ani of old. More good news is that it has some pretty good tracks on it. As to be expected, a lot of the album is Ani with her acoustic guitar, but this album has also been spiced up with electric guitar and a full band on many songs. The songs are melodic and it sounds as something she has actually taken good time to work on (4 years is a very long time for Ani DiFranco.)
The title track "Which Side Are You On?" is an old song that Pete Seeger made popular and Ani's version features Pete on accompanying vocals and banjo.
"Promiscuity" is a slow but funky track - as funky as something out of "To the Teeth". "How far is too far? How much is enough? You gotta test this stuff."
"Albacore" is another great track. It's got a nice slow melody and this love song is perfectly accompanied by Ani's crispy slow guitar backed up by the rest of her band.
In "J", Ani smokes a joint and sings out an ode to "the deepest Louisiane" at the mouth of the Mississippi, "Round here if there is one thing people know It's that government ain't there for you. It's all for the show."
I doubt I really share that many political views with Ani DiFranco, it's all a bit too much love, peace, harmony, feminism and ecology for my taste. But she is honest, with a good heart and some of her lyrics make sense even for a cold blooded cynical bastard like me. She is a great singer/songwriter and live on stage she is even better with lots of witty comments and charm and she is a fantastic guitar player too.
Good to have you back Ani. We've missed you!