Ani Difranco – To The Teeth

To The Teeth has been slaughtered in critics reviews and fans alike for it’s huge departure from Difranco’s trademark acoustic singer-songwriter mould that she’d dug herself into early in her career – and to be honest i don’t really understand why. Ani hinted at thsi newfound direction in her previous album Little Plastic Castle which incorporated the use of jazzy horns and playful cancions that only enhanced her back catalogue – this album, i believe, took her sound to a whole other level of maturity.

Title track opener is classic Difranco, a plucked guitar and her unique voice acocmpany each other beautifully as she sings about America’s gun ownership laws, with some very witty lyricism if i may add,

“And if i have to hear one more time, about a fools rigths, to his tools of rage…i’m gonna take all my friends and move to Canada…and die of old age”

Her obvious prowress for lyrical ability holds it’s own throughout the album, which from this point on drastically shifts from a folk wonderland to something akin to a smokey jazz and swing bar, old men playing poker in the corner smoking cigars while Ani jams out her tunes to precision. From the get go you can tell that Ani is full of angst, pain and suffering – the album is considerably dark and this is evident in both her songwriting and lyrics,

“I dont know if im strong enough, to do this much longer…god i wish…god i wish i was stronger”

Going Once makes use of a saxaphone to perfection anchoring the song all the way through till it fades into Hello Birmingham, an extremely evocative piece surrounding the bombings of abortion clinics in the US. Difranco trades off the sombre for the catchy in the next ‘fun’ section of the record. Back Back Back contains an infectious sing along chorus while Swing employs the talents of a rap artist, done considerably well with complete with hip hop beats blended conspicuously with folk undertones.

All in all this is a very strong record from one of th emost reveered and prolific female song writers of the last 20 years, and only highlights the depth and broad focus of such a talented artist.

One Response to “Ani Difranco – To The Teeth”
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