In 2005, DiFranco made CMJ's list of the 25 most influential artists of the last 25 years, alongside The Pixies, Nirvana, and Radiohead.
But DiFranco's very much a 'love her or hate her' kind of artist. I know of a lot of rock fans who are kind of snobby about female singer/songwriters - yes, even in the 21st century. Her voice swoops and weaves in and out of her powerful and impressively speedy acoustic guitar playing. And she hasn't just confined herself to being a folky singer-songwriter - over the years she's covered pop / rock / jazz / funk - you name it, she's probably done it.
Hardcore fans maintain that the ideal setting for appreciating Ani Difranco is live - I can't say, as I've yet to see her in concert. That's because I live in the United Kingdom, and she doesn't come to these shores very often, where her fanbase is much smaller than in the US. But she replaced Tori Amos as my all-time favourite female singer/songwriter some ten years ago. As far as I'm personally concerned, nobody else I've come across since comes close to Ani DiFranco - and when it comes to Ani, her best tunes just get right into my heart, and stay there.
is released via Difranco's own label Righteous Babe, which has been running since 1990, when she recorded and released her first album. It's a best-of selection hand-picked by DiFranco herself.
I won't pick out my own highlights, because fans and newcomers will always have their own different favourites. I like that - it's a sign of a quality artist. So if you haven't investigated Ani DiFranco before, try digging into the generous two-plus hours of music offered by Canon
- it's a great gateway into her catalogue proper.Rated:
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews