Home Read Classic Album Review: Ani DiFranco | Revelling / Reckoning

Classic Album Review: Ani DiFranco | Revelling / Reckoning

Ani indulges both sides of her personality on the captivating, inspired double-CD.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Ani DiFranco has developed a bit of a split personality lately. On the one hand, she’s a DIY folkie for the counterculture coffeehouse crowd — a woman with dreadlocks who records with U. Utah Phillips. On the other, she’s a music-biz entrepreneur and It Girl for the alt-rockers — a women who graces the cover of Spin and jams with Prince. So it’s only natural that Ani indulges both sides of her personality on the captivating, inspired double-CD Revelling / Reckoning.

From its elaborate fold-out package and twin lyric books to its track list, R/R is an exercise in yin/yang symmetry. Revelling has the jazzy funk and studio experimentation that has captured DiFranco’s attention lately. Cuts like the slow-rolling P-Funky jam Ain’t That the Way (with sax god Maceo Parker) and the bouncy stutter-poetry of What How When Where (Why Who) will grab yours just as surely. Of course, to be fair, Ani’s idea of Revelling isn’t the same as, say, No Doubt’s. And no doubt fans of old-school DiFranco will prefer the quieter Reckoning, which is as introspective and sombre as you’d expect. But it’s not weepy by any means — from the anti-corporate invective of Your Next Bold Move to the local geo-politics of Subdivision, Ani always has something to say and a thought-provoking way to say it. With Revelling / Reckoning, there’s just twice as much of her to love.