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Carnegie Hall 4.6.02

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Album Review

Listening to Ani DiFranco live has always been an intimate experience, a chance for her to mingle and share with the faithful, and when she's solo, as she is on Carnegie Hall, this is even more the case. Just a righteous babe, her guitar, and a handful of songs in a sea of DiFranco fanatics. This makes Carnegie Hall a noted and welcome departure from other live efforts (there's no driving rhythm section or rock intensity), and if the overall results are less intense, the intimacy more than makes up for it. There's also time for in-between song chatter and poems ("Not So Soft"), and a chance to revisit, and offer a new sheen to, old work. Certain songs, like the mellow "Angry Any," actually work better in this format, while the acoustic guitar work on "Out of Range" reminds one of the original's concentrated passion. It probably means a lot to fans that as DiFranco's music continues to evolve, she can still happily immerse herself in older songs like the powerful "2 Lil Girls." For non-fans, the DiFranco experience, whether her recordings are live or from the studio, can be insular and off-putting at times. The intimacy of the connection between DiFranco and her fans, along with the singularity of her vision precludes a certain exclusiveness. Carnegie Hall is nonetheless a very accessible album that presents the DiFranco experience in a softer light without sacrificing any of the fundamentals. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Born: 23 September 1970 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A folkie in punk's clothing, Ani DiFranco battled successfully against the Goliath of corporate rock to emerge as one of the most influential and inspirational cult heroines of the 1990s. A resolute follower of the D.I.Y. ethos, DiFranco released her records through her own indie label, Righteous Babe, slowly but steadily building a devout grassroots following on the strength of a relentless tour schedule. An ardent feminist and an open bisexual, her songs tackled issues like rape,...
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