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Which Side Are You On?

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Editors’ Notes

Ani's an independent-minded folk singer who's always stood for the individual, so it's not surprising to learn that her first studio album in more than three years features tales of people struggling through a tough economy. She's joined by Pete Seeger for a reworking of his legendary protest anthem (the album's title track), where she invokes many of the troubles facing America in 2012. DiFranco's living in New Orleans these days, and "Life Boat" sends her eyes and ears there to speak as a homeless woman for whom "this park bench is a lifeboat." "Amendment" demands laws that protect women's rights. It's not all protest and darkness, though; her touring band keeps the grooves up, while guests like Ivan and Cyril Neville and avant-saxophonist Skerik further color the sounds and her dreams. She's playful with the frank truths of "Promiscuity." "Hearse," a gentle folk tune, clings to love in the face of death. With a New Orleans funky blues for "If Yr Not," she lets us know that "if you're not getting happier as you get older, then you're f***in' up." Forever the free spirit, DiFranco keeps it honest and real.

Customer Reviews

Ani is back after 3 long years!

The little folksinger is back and armed with a great new album. I've been a huge fan of hers since I was in High School. Ani D. and her music has helped shape me into the person I am today. She is an important artist who takes political and social issues and intertwines them with the stummings of those guitar strings. Ani D. is my heart man!!! Her words are poetry that speaks to every cell of me.

Oh ani

Her best work is behind her. Enough of this drivel. Yeah it's better than all pop but I guess I'm too old to hear her complain about the rich and the poor, blah blah on and on again. I'll listen to dilate again. Thanks for trying.

DiFranco on Autopilot.

Ani DiFranco: an incredible guitarist, a nearly peerless lyricist and a beacon of social change in an otherwise ambivalent industry. That could be her problem.

Ani is not angry anymore. To the contrary: she sounds lazy and sullen here. Things haven't been the same since "Evolve," and she'll never capture the magic of "Dilate" or "Little Plastic Castle."

"Which Side Are You On?" finds Ani exploring the same themes as her last several albums, the same laid-back phrasing and relaxed approach to acoustic music as she's used during the last 20 years, and settling comfortably in her alt-rock goddess persona surrounded by topical songwriting and melancholic arrangements that try so hard to masquerade as depth, intelligence or insightfulness. None to be had, here.

We need a comeback, Ani. This ain't it.


Born: September 23, 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, abortion, and...
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