Ani DiFranco

Knuckle Down (Righteous Babe)

Queensrÿche House of Blues, 308 Euclid Avenue 8 p.m. Sunday, January 30, the show is sold out
As the object of a growing post-feminist/ humanist cult, singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco has been good for at least one album every year since 1990 -- though she hasn't been good for a good album since 1997's double-live Living in Clip. Her 15th LP, Knuckle Down, is nearly identical to last year's Educated Guess, an unplugged one-woman disc that's better than the five albums that preceded it, but still nowhere close to 1993's ecstatic Puddle Dive, 1995's naked Not a Pretty Girl, or 1996's electric Dilate.

Since those classics, the sprite has been around the world a few times, ended a marriage, and moved on with her life. "Thirty-three years go by, and you loosen the momentum of teenage nightmares," she exhales in the spoken-word "Parameters," lamenting the predictability that comes with age. For the first time, she brings a co-producer to the affair, but songwriter Joe Henry's contributions are unclear. Strings, piano, and beats flesh out DiFranco's acoustic drone, but the subliminal embellishment isn't enough to give the disc a pulse.

About The Author

Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.