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DiFranco's new music sounds familiar

August 22, 2006|by NELL BARBER

Review

Ripping the plastic off of the cardboard that encased Ani DiFranco's new CD, "Reprieve," was just as satisfying as unwrapping any other.

My first thought after hitting play was that this album is folksy, edgy, not unlike her other work, something you would hear in the background at a dinner party or in the soundtrack of an indie film.

Moving on to the next song, I had a sudden thought. Hadn't I heard this song before? Not 30 seconds ago, in fact? The next few tracks are much the same. These songs have a nice mix of instruments, including acoustic bass, piano, acoustic guitar and pump organ, an easy-to-listen-to tune, pleasant lyrics and vocals. The only setback - many of them sound like nearly the same song in the beginning of the album. They are good songs, though.

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Things change a bit around track No. 5, "Decree," when the lyrics and music become more dramatic, and begin to reach more pronounced crescendos and choruses. The vocals become stronger, as though sung angrily. The next songs progress similarly. This is where the album really starts gaining some substance. It progresses from the first few songs, very soft and easy, to a more powerful sound. DiFranco seems to put more into these tracks.

Overall, the CD covers a lot of ground, music-wise, and is a good listen.

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