Saturday, April 14, 2007

Righteous Bro

So I know this won't do much to counter the Breetards assertion that he listens to heavier music than I do, but today I want to talk about Ani DiFranco. I used to listen to her a good amount, and I still would put Living in Clip in my top live albums, but in the past couple years she's kind of dropped off of my radar. After listening to some Andrew Bird last night, I did a little reading up on him, and saw that after being signed to DiFranco's Righteous Babe label, he joined her in the studio for her 2006 album Knuckle Down. Since it's been a while since I've sat back and enjoyed some Ani, I took a bit of my afternoon today to catch up on her past two albums, Knuckle Down, and 2006's Reprieve. The two albums definitely have very different sounds, Knuckle Down being a lot more rich, while Reprieve is a little more experimental. The sound of the strings on Knuckle Down is a great compliment to DiFranco's unique guitar style, standing out the most on "Manhole", "Studying Stones" and the titular track. That rhythmic style that made me fall in love with her guitar playing comes out the most on "Knuckle Down".

Although I usually prefer the more experimental stuff, Reprieve wasn't as much up my alley. The album has a much more atmospheric feel, and features her experimentation with tape loops and electronics. I did enjoy the track "Decree" more than most of them, however. Even if the album as a whole has a sparse feel, this track has a ton going on, electronic beats and melodies just barely audible under the guitar, looped vocals on top of each other, and these ambient swells that all complement each other very well.

"Decree" by Ani DiFranco

If it wasn't for my interest in Andrew Bird, I never would've given these Ani tracks a listen. That means everyone should take some time out to give some Andrew Bird a listen. It never disappoints.


The As Blood Runs Black track from the Breetard's post was accidentally uploaded as an iTunes protected track, so if you downloaded it, you couldn't listen to it. The file's been changed in the original post, but you can download it right here too.

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