Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Red Letter Year :: Ani DiFranco

Red Letter Year - a title that plays on the phrase 'red letter day,' which means a day of special significance - is truly a great album. With Todd Sickafoose, Allison Miller and Mike Dillon (among some other pretty fabulous string players) in her newly formed band, DiFranco has really never sounded better. Her voice and her guitar sound clearer than ever before, while maintaining the rawness and attitude she is most known for. The general flow of the album takes you back and forth and around the bend - by the end of it, you feel as though you've been on a road trip with DiFranco and Friends!

What makes Red Letter Year so impressive, to me, is that this is the 35th officially released album that DiFranco has put out (not including collaborative work) in less than 20 years - and she manages to make each album not only unique, but musically/artistically sound. Regardless of whether or not you dig her musical stylings, all of DiFranco's albums are raw, true, and have the ability to pull you in (if you let them) and speak to the plethora of experiences we go through in our daily lives. Be it love, loss, frustration, anger, joy, heartache, despair, or hope - DiFranco can bend your heart strings just as well as she can her guitar.

(Can you tell I am a fan?)

So, back to the topic at hand - Red Letter Year. This album brings back all the sides of DiFranco that I love most - but with a touch of happy/hopefullness in all the songs! What a great album to go with the upcoming inauguration of President Obama in less than a month! I really love this album and all that it speaks to, so I hope that you have a decent chunk of uninterrupted time to devote to letting this music pour over/around/in you like a faucet on a sponge.
Here's a list of my top 5 favorite tracks (although I truly do love the ENTIRE album!):
  1. Red Letter Year
  2. Present Infant
  3. Smiling Underneath
  4. Way Tight
  5. Round a Pole
Here's to a Red Letter Year...

The end.

P.S. The portrait of DiFranco came from HERE.

Red Letter Year

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