Album Review: Ani DiFranco | “Reprieve”

Brianna Armstrong

The artist: Ani DiFranco

The album: “Reprieve”

Album Info.: Fans of Ani DiFranco will be happy to know that “Reprieve” contains the familiar exploration of love, politics, feminist rights and survival that can be heard in many of DiFranco’s past musical endeavors. Yet, the songs on “Reprieve” are softer than DiFranco’s former albums, and provide for enjoyable and easy listening while keeping DiFranco’s beliefs in tact. “Reprieve” is a collaboration between DiFranco and Todd Sickafoose, a touring bassist. Between the two artists, over nine instruments are played throughout the entirety of the album. During the 13-track album, listeners can choose the sound of political concern in songs such as “Millennium Theatre,” or instead they can unwind to “Hypnotize,” a gentle ballad found at the beginning of the record. The final mixing of “Reprieve” took place in DiFranco’s home town of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit, thus proving how much time, thought and energy went into the album.

Why it rocks: Although “Reprieve” is a more subtle version of DiFranco’s earlier work, she provides her listeners with a well-balanced mix of melodic song, mesmerizing instruments, and distinctive lyrics. DiFranco has proven herself to be a force within the music industry as she has produced 16 albums in the past 16 years, and with each record she has reinvented herself in one way or another. “Reprieve,” through its familiarity in topic and unique vocals, stays true to DiFranco’s musical style while the freshness in her sound proves that she is willing to push herself and her music to another level.

Song worth a second listen: “Subconscious”

Our rating (out of five): * * *