Imagine my delight at finding a 'which Ani Difranco album are you' kind of thingy, and finding out the DiFranco album I actually am is exactly the same as the one I've given my highest rating to ...
One thing about DiFranco, she's always herself, and always expresses herself through her music. This particular album is no different in that respect. What does change is that she does absolutely everything - plays everything, records everything - the entire process is Ani DiFranco, right down to the production, mixing, the whole shebang.
So not only is this a return to solo DiFranco without supporting musicians in tow, but also a step beyond - DiFranco alone in every respect. It's a feeling I got whilst listening to the album actually.
This isn't a happy album - it's a brutually honest and stark album. I skimmed through some of the reviews in the American press - some of the critiscms were quite clearly critiscms of her, rather than of Educated Guess
, or any of the music it contains. This kind of thing happens a lot - for a while there, DiFranco looked like becoming a mainstream artist! ... you know, one that sells tons of records. Those critics are just bitter she never sold out, that she remained true to herself. But for me, the most interesting and enjoyable Ani Difranco albums aren't generally the ones that charted the highest on Billboard
. Chart positions aren't and never were a barometer of quality.
I don't quite know what to say, as this album arrived during a happy period of my life, and judging by this DiFranco isn't happy. It kind of pains me. I want to feel that Ani DiFranco fans the world over are feeling that they want to hold her, comfort her, hug her - to give something back. There are lapsed fans that may just be brought back by Educated Guess
, provided they ignore reviews of DiFranco masquerading as reviews of Educated Guess
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews