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By Ani Difranco
With over 20 albums, starting her own record company and opening for Bob Dylan under her belt, it is interesting to ponder what’s left for Ani DiFranco. Her latest release, however, What Side Are You On? proves DiFranco’s still got it.
With a mixture of her signature acoustic slow jams as well as some with a little more pep in their step the album is a solid comfort that DiFranco will continue to deliver. The album’s title track executes a pleasant surprise of serenading banjo into snarly electric guitar riffs and marching band-esque percussion. DiFranco’s passionate croon proves to not have lost a bit of edge in her 41 years.
Other notable tracks include “Promiscuity”, an acoustic jam, relying on nothing but DiFranco’s serenade, bare percussion and minimalist guitar, really letting DiFranco’s vocals take center stage. The haunting xylophone intro of “Hearse” complemented by a more subdued and somber sound by DiFranco highlight the singer-songwriter’s multidimensional talents with a softer sound.
A personal favorite being “If Yr Not”, a short but sweet display of her noted feminist-inspired edge. The track displays the growl that DiFranco has mastered with her edgier tunes, a slow but feisty electric guitar and very minimal drum accents. DiFranco delivers the F-Bomb with an endearing snarl that despite the song’s slow tempo really packs a punch.
What Side Are You On? is another successful addition to DiFranco’s repertoire. With all the snark of her early 90s alt-rocking beginnings, the Righteous Babe has continued to prove that things only get better with age.