238. Ani DiFranco- “To The Teeth”

1999 (now eleven years or two decades ago!) was a very productive one for Ms.Di Franco.

She knocked out two albums.  This second one is the better of the two by a considerable margin.   

She has pretty much abandoned the folkie singer+guitar schtick for a much more sophisticated jazzy approach.

The songwriting is still very strong and direct, but the groove is funkier and more layered. She brings in some funk legends (Maceo Parker and Prince), and she clearly has a fast learning process as she gets the rhythms and syncopation working a treat (although it was not a huge leap for her standard style).

As a soundtrack to a hungover New Year’s Day this album has the contemplative, not-to-pushy vibe that I require.  The noodly guitars and horn blasts are all sufficiently subtle and measured so as to not cause too much grief.

The title track, a post-Columbine anti-gun rant has a great line about moving to Canada, while Freakshow is almost as good a circus-life tune as the one from Ani’s buddy Rory McLeod (look out for a review of that in early 2012!).

File under: As dental as anything

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