September 18, 2008

Review: Red Letter Year

Ani DiFranco is an artist that I've recently covered with the release of her latest single, Emancipated Minor, which I really enjoyed as a teaser for her latest album, Red Letter Year. Giving the entire album a full listen, I found it to be a mixed album, with some fairly good songs, and some that I was indifferent to.

There are a handful of tracks here that really shine from this album - Emancipated Minor, Landing Gear, Smiling Underneath and the title track, Red Letter Year. The rest of the album, while it sounds fair, just doesn't stand out to the level of these songs. While this doesn't make this a bad album, it's not up to the level of some of her earlier works.

This album should be a good listen to those who are more familiar and receptive to DiFranco's other works. This album seems to share a lot in common soundwise with the songs that I do have, and have listened to, while adding a bit more flair and texture. This is especially noticeable in the opening and closing tracks, Red Letter Year and the reprise of that, which uses a horn section that really sounds pretty good. Emancipated Minor, the big track from this album, is by far the most mainstream sounding song on the album, but still maintaining a folk-funk type of sound that she is known for.

Emancipated Minor - Ani DiFranco