A Wealth of Styles
Many of her fans-from-the-start have reluctantly turned away from her last couple of records, as her staunch political left-leaning and feminist ideals have taken a back seat to relationships in much of her songwriting. But if there's any spark of interest still hanging on in their hearts, they'll no doubt revel in the long-awaited return of their Righteous Babe.
Yes, There Are Love Songs ...
Reprieve still has a little of that, including the opening song, "Hypnotized," which is less defeated and more wistful. By the third song, Difranco has moved on to singing a love song to a bird of prey; and, two songs later, is fiercely ripping the institution of celebrity, and all things that agree with it.
... And There Are Politics
This is followed by a melodically up-beat number with more somber lyrics, indicating that she hasnt entirely left her introspective period: "Show me a moment that is mine, it's beauty blinding and unsurpassed / and I'll forget all those moments that ... left me so half-hearted."
Then, it's back to the sadness of today's world situation, and a re-invigorating poem/speech touting Difranco's stance on the vitality of feminism. If that's still not enough of Difranco's eloquently poignant political rants, "A Spade" comes in unapologetically toward the end of the record with the challenge: "Are you up to the task of changing the course of human history at long last?"
The Bottom Line
Sure, some of them are looking back on love gone wrong, and others are harping on the powers that be for making regretable decisions in the name of their fellow citizens. Whats most remarkable here, though, is that Difranco has shed the fluff and put out an album thats just replete with songs you can believe in.
Highlights from Ani Difranco - Reprieve:"Hypnotized"
"In the Margins"