Knuckle Down review by Ani DiFranco

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  • Released: Jan 25, 2005
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (11 votes)
Ani DiFranco: Knuckle Down

Sound — 8
When I was listening through every single track, I felt pretty disappointed - I'd expected mostly just Ani D with her acoustic guitar and maybe some backup here and there, but in this album she was collaborating with people like guitarist Tony Scherr, and violinist Andrew Bird. The album was coproduced wth Joe Henry - they made 'full band' songs. However, the more I listened to it, the more I fell in love with the album. Her songs still came through to me - just in a different style.

Lyrics — 10
As usual, Ani Difranco came up with wonderful lyrics in this album. But not like her other albums, she doesn't go on about how she's against America's political system. It's actually a more personal take on her life. Only one song 'Paradigm' was obviously made to be related to politics.

Overall Impression — 8
This may not be the best among all her albums (which are just too many to count), but it's still a great listen. My favourite songs include Studying Stones, Sunday Morning, and Recoil. It's pricey where I am, at more than 2 times the price of a normal album, but worth every single bit of it - if you're into her kind of music, that is.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Ani hit her stride in the mid 90's, and by the time she released the albums "Little Plastic Castle" and "To the Teeth" in the latter part of that decade, she became possibly my favorite living musician on the planet. What followed was one of the best albums I've ever heard, "Revelling/Reckoning", and I became convinced that she is the best lyricist in the history of modern music (the only other one in contention with her is Paul Simon, IMO). But, like so many others, Ani's music inevitably took a downward slide after that. That is, until the album "Knuckle Down", which represented a great return to her unique and creative musical style in combination with her lyrical mastery. If R/R and To the Teeth are perfect 10's, Knuckle Down is easily an 8 or a 9. Unfortunately, her work since then has been sub-par. Oh well, she still has put out more good stuff in the modern era than anybody else.