Ani DiFranco | The Popjustice Forum

Ani DiFranco

Discussion in 'Comeback corner' started by xOJakeXo, Mar 28, 2022.

  1. Last edited: Mar 29, 2022
    Fuchsia, IEngineered and JonBcn like this.
  2. Thanks for posting! Totally agree with all that, she's a legend and it's a shame she doesn't get more props these days. I'd sell my granny's kidneys for a re-press of Dilate on vinyl.

    I've been meaning to check out the autobiography, you've sold it to me.
    IEngineered and xOJakeXo like this.
  3. If you even passively like her, I think you'll love the autobigoraphy. Her writing can't help but be poetic so the whole thing is really vivid, with tons of random cameos from other musicians. I hear the audiobook is really good too.

    Her latest album, Revolutionary Love, is a grower. There's something really warm about it coming from this artist we've been listening to for decades.

    At some point I want to do a ranking. I listened to her discography throughout reading the autobiography and found deep appreciation for songs I initially passed by.
    IEngineered likes this.
  4. I’ve no idea why I have never investigated her music as she’s from that era of 90s alt female singer songwriters which is a genre I generally embraced a lot. I’ll start with this recent Tiny Desk performance, I’ve enjoyed these from other artists.

    mcuk, xOJakeXo and IEngineered like this.
  5. Love her first few albums and kept meaning to return to her later works. But she’s such a prolific writer that it can feel daunting. I really should make a start.
    xOJakeXo likes this.
  6. Glad to see some interest in her! She is a living legend and I'm in awe of her career.

    RE: Her albums - I would say these are her most essential, fully admitting that there are albums I return to less. She's shifted styles and genres throughout her career, so some albums are worth checking out to see if it clicks. For example, she started playing with a full funk band in 2001 and those records add a completely different color to her music. Under each album, I wrote some key tracks that she tends to play live these days alongside some personal favorites I frequently revisit. This is the order I listened to them in:

    Not a Pretty Girl (1995)
    She was starting to get recognition, she began adding more of the full band to her songs, and it has some of her most ferocious statements. Quintessential and revered in the mid 90s.
    • Key Tracks: Shy, Not a Pretty Girl, 32 Flavors
    • Personal fav: Sorry I Am - devastating ballad.

    Dilate (1996)
    Definite fan favorite. When Liz Phair talked with Ani during a recent promo spot, the only song she could manage to name was Untouchable Face, her 6th most streamed song. Raw breakup songs.
    • Key Tracks: Untouchable Face, Dilate, Shameless
    • Personal fav: Superhero

    Little Plastic Castle (1998)
    I think this is fantastic introduction to Ani if you just want to jump in from one of her best. The first album she adds brass and it's such a joyful, eccentric, classic record. My favorite of hers and the one I'm desperate to own on vinyl.
    • Key Tracks: Little Plastic Castle, Gravel, Swan Dive
    • Personal fav: Independence Day

    Ani DiFranco (1990)
    Started it all! Incredible to hear what she was writing at this age and in this year. It's no wonder this record gained such quick underground acclaim, I can't imagine discovering this in 1990. She recently released a gorgeous remaster.
    • Key Tracks: Both Hands, Fire Door, Out of Habit
    • Personal fav - Work Your Way Out

    Living In Clip (1997)
    If you're still listening, this is the victory lap. By now, you've heard most of these songs on the studio albums but you'll hear other fan favorites, a version of Both Hands with a marching band, and get a sense of her live playing, an important part of her artistry. Her guitar playing is unlike anything I've heard. Just play it through and songs will leap out. It's one of my favorite live albums by anyone.

    Would love to hear thoughts from other fans. This was really fun to write up! She means so much to the evolution of my taste, and still hasn't fully gotten the respect she deserves.
    penghuwan, Fuchsia, JonBcn and 3 others like this.
  7. Love her. Both Hands is my current Ani moment and is just divine. I often think Little Plastic Castle is my favourite album of her's (it's so songful and full of moods that you can't help but slip into and chirp up to), but Up Up Up Up Up Up was my introduction and there are 3 huge peaks on it: Everest, so beautiful and almost excruciatingly so; the title track's middle 8 is everything teenage angst me needed so badly; and Angry Anymore, which is her Sophie B. Hawkins moment.

    Oh, and stop me won't you, but Shy is my very favourite.
  8. Dilate was my proper introduction to her work. It started with me hearing a remix of Joyful Girl. I remember going out of my way to hunt down the cd single (yes, I’m that ancient). The song’s Uber depressing, but also ridiculously cathartic. Both Hands remains a revelation after all these years.
    xOJakeXo and undisco_me like this.
  9. I've never heard any remixes (other than ones done by herself). Does she have any good ones?
    IEngineered likes this.
  10. Also, how fantastic is Jake's post? I've just re-read it and could easily have done the whole discography.
  11. I screamed. One of my holy grail vinyl wants.

    Living In Clip - 25th Anniversary Edition - Red/Black Smoke Vinyl
    out July 29!

  12. One of the greatest live records! Ever!

    IEngineered, 1986 and JonBcn like this.
  13. This thread has inspired me to get her book! I always loved her early records but never bothered with later ones so a relisten and discovery is on the cards.
    xOJakeXo likes this.
  14. Ahh let us know your thoughts! I still think about it, especially listening to Living In Clip based on how vividly she describes that time. Her rise is so impressive and inspiring.
    1986 likes this.
  15. Listening to Living In Clip, and simply grateful that she exists.
    1986 and xOJakeXo like this.
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