Ani DiFranco “¿Which Side Are You On?”

I can’t stand Ani DiFranco, but I have a ton of respect for her. And when no one was reviewing this, I figured I could suck it up and show a little objectivity. But honestly an Ani DiFranco record is the last thing you need a review for anyway.
DiFranco is more of a storyteller than an angry woman these days, but I imagine her fans have equally matured as well. “Life Boat” is the first track and supports this concept. We’re told a story about a loss of innocence, but it’s not angry. Instead, you get a pretty good story for only 4 minutes, and the distorted guitar is better than what we usually get with most of her efforts. There are small hints of Johnny Marr and Santana there. It turns out to be Adam Levy on guitar. He’s good.
The title track is really long and has banjo at the beginning. When I was in high school I used to start English questions with an upside-down question mark as well. I guess this is just a coincidence. In any case, it’s an election year, and DiFranco is political, so this song sort of writes itself. And if everyone in DC is going to be polarizing, then she can be, too, right?
“Amendment” has a strong feminist bent, even for a DiFranco song, but even for her the lyrics are more poignant. You can’t get anything done while listening to this record because it’s too engaging.
Other tracks that stand out are “Promiscuity,” “J,” and “Hearse.” I want to punch holes in these songs’ premises, but I can’t in good faith. Honestly, at this point I am just disliking DiFranco out of consistency. All the annoying things she used to do she doesn’t do anymore, but I am a man, so therefore I am stubborn. The rhetoric that makes her famous is the same rhetoric that lets me continue to say I can’t stand her.

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