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Swing Set

Ani DiFranco

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Album Review

This EP gathers together various odds and ends: a radio edit of "Swing" from the To the Teeth album, shortened by eliminating Corey Parker's rap but with the funky rhythmic elements pushed up in the mix; a recasting of "To the Teeth" that, unfortunately, de-emphasizes the angry lyrics; and covers of Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, and Bob Dylan songs, each recast in characteristic DiFranco style. Of the last three, the one that works best is a version of "Hurricane" recorded for but not used in the film The Hurricane; Dylan's righteous anger works well in DiFranco's cutting interpretation. Her "Do Re Me" (sic) loses the irony Guthrie got out of it by matching the lyric to a jocular performance, and her "When I'm Gone" (different from the version used in the film Steal This Movie) loses Ochs' graceful, elegiac tone. But it's good to have such songs renewed through reinterpretation.

Biography

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 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, abortion,...
Full bio

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