Ani Difranco Which Side Are You On?
Published Jan 29, 2012Indie folk icon Ani DiFranco deserves serious credit for not resting on her laurels. She isn't afraid to explore different musical territory and she comes up with a winning, musically expansive album. The legendary Pete Seeger makes a guest appearance on DiFranco's stirring version of his classic anthem, "Which Side Are You On?," joined by children's chorus the Rivertown Kids and New Orleans youth brass band the Roots of Music Marching Crusaders. Ivan and Cyril Neville, and other Big Easy notables also have cameos on other songs, and the subtly funky touches keep things interesting on this Louisiana-based recording. DiFranco has rarely sung better and her jazzy staccato delivery on "Unworry" is a delight. Lyrically, she moves from the poetic to the provocative with ease. "If yr not getting happier as you get older then yr fuckin up," she declares in "If Yr Not," while "Promiscuity" makes a good case for that behaviour. Canada gets approving mention in her pro-choice polemic, "Amendment," a song that shows her sound and message are as relevant and powerful now as ever. (Righteous Babe)