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41 Reviews
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and beautiful
I was cautious about getting this album because I was pretty new to Ani's stuff, just having Dilate and Little Plastic Castle before it. I loved those two albums, but had heard that this one is very different, and since it was her first album, I wondered if it would be as polished as her later ones.
I had no reason to worry. This is an absolutely gorgeous album,...
Published on May 26, 2000 by Christine

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistency with some brilliance at her beginning
(Actually **1/2 but Amazon doesn't allow half stars.)

This is a promising debut that includes the beautiful "Work Your Way Out," a song that makes me wonder wistfully why Ani doesn't spend more songs singing over a low rumbling piano. If you like Ani, I think the album is worth tracking down for that song alone because the version on Like I Said is done with a...
Published on June 1, 2008 by Andrew Jensen


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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and beautiful, May 26, 2000
This review is from: Ani Difranco (Audio CD)
I was cautious about getting this album because I was pretty new to Ani's stuff, just having Dilate and Little Plastic Castle before it. I loved those two albums, but had heard that this one is very different, and since it was her first album, I wondered if it would be as polished as her later ones.
I had no reason to worry. This is an absolutely gorgeous album, worth it for anyone who likes Ani or anyone who is genuinely interested in the music of a young woman whose perfectly structured lyrics just about any female who is at least 16 can identify with. The entire album features only Ani and her guitar. The melodies are addictive and Ani's voice is pure and does not yet have the gruff and often sarcastic quality that it does now, and she sings very clearly, so the lyrics are easy to understand.
The lyrics.. Ani writes some of the best lyrics I have ever seen. This album is no exception, and has some of my very favorites. It has songs about love and its disappointments ("Both Hands", "Letting the Telephone Ring", "Fire Door", "Every Angle", "Work Your Way Out", "Rush Hour"), women in society ("The Story", "Dog Coffee", "Pale Purple", "Talk to Me Now"), abortion ("Lost Woman Song"), exhaustion ("Out of Habit"). Every song on the album is a gem, even though I don't identify with all of them.
So, now I have this along with Dilate, Little Plastic Castle, Puddle Dive, Living in Clip, Not a Pretty Girl, and To the Teeth. This album is my favorite of those.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Ani's very best, March 29, 2000
By 
Nicole (Ashland, OR) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ani Difranco (Audio CD)
'Not a pretty girl' was my first Ani album, and it took awhile to grow on me, but not I own 10 of Ani's albums and I love every one. This album (her first) is definitely one of my favorites (along with '...Pretty girl', 'Dilate', and 'Imperfectly'). If you're looking to buy your first Ani album, I highly reccommend either this one or 'not a pretty girl'. "Rush hour", "fire door", and "out of habit" are my favorite tracks. No other contemporary songwriter comes close to matching Ani's amazing lyrics and melodies. She sings everything that you've ever wanted to say, but couldn't find the right words. I love Ani, she's amazing, I don't know where I'd be if I'd never stumbled across her music. Essential listening for any feminist, beautiful music that anyone can appreciate. She's awesome! If you like Ani, make sure you check out Sleater-Kinney, The Smiths, Tori Amos, and Elliot Smith.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i'm listening to this cd right now, July 31, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Ani Difranco (Audio CD)
i try to listen to it at least once a day, if not more... because each time i hear this cd, i hear something new. every one of her songs speaks to me- i bought this cd after being an ani fan for quite a while, and when i put this in my stereo, i nearly started to cry. this album is the reason why we ani fans are so loyal- because she is real. her reality isn't censored or compromised... it's straight up, and it speaks the truth. this album is personal... like your best friend came over with her guitar, sat down, and decided to tell you exactly who she is. an amazing beginning....
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The journey of a thousand steps, and albums, at her pace, November 23, 2004
This review is from: Ani Difranco (Audio CD)
This is the step that started her journey, at least on record. This is one of those types of debut albums where, had Ani been run over by a bus a week after this album was released, just this one audio snapshot of her songs should have been enough to cement her place as one of the greatest minds of her (and my) generation. A young woman and an acoustic guitar = Magic, when that young woman is Ani.

Both Hands: A miracle? This song will never get old. It's pretty incredible to think that this song, these lyrics and this performance, are the first song on the first album by someone who was only 19-years-old at the time.

Over the years, one of the many things that anti-Ani people have given as reasons for not liking her is the affected vocals with which she sometimes sings. She seems to go through stages where it is more and less apparent. If the affected vocals are not for you, then this album is for you. If some of the ways she sings things on Puddle Dive (for instance) drive you nuts, then you should check this album out. I love Puddle Dive, but I realize that is a vocal phase that some people do not like. Here, on the self-title debut, you get what could probably be considered Ani's best album of just purely singing. I mean, if you can't be moved by The Story then you're probably just not an Ani person. =)

Lost Woman Song, Rush Hour, Work Your Way Out, etc... I didn't know of her when this album first came out, but had I been a New Yorker walking out of the late-night Club Fleabag smoke and greeting the chilly nighttime air after just catching this Ani Difranco girl for the first time, I'd have had her name written down on my arm so I could remember it by the time I got home, knowing full well I need to keep my ears and eyes out for more from her. Then again, I was only 14 when she was 19 and she was way beyond me, in every way. Maybe it's better that it happened as it did. =)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure songwriting genius, January 5, 2001
This review is from: Ani Difranco (Audio CD)
Ani DiFranco has in large part lost me over the years as she's continued to overlayer her songs with whatever styles and instruments she happens to be interested in the moment. I do admire her ability to change and progress, but I'm just not particularly interested by it.
What I'd like to see from Ani Difranco is what she gave the world on her self-titled debut CD, which is her showing off her considerable talents as a songwriter. These are beautiful, wonderful songs, showcased by just her and her guitar. "Fire Door", "Work Your Way Out", "Rush Hour"--lots of gems here. It's open, elegant, and searingly honest, and it's free of the clutter of her most recent recordings.
An absolutely essential acoustic classic.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ani DiFranco's most soulful work, July 5, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Ani Difranco (Audio CD)
Ever since I heard a copy of my friend's "Not a Pretty Girl" CD a few years back I have had a love-hate relationship with Ani's music. I really loved her lyrical poetry but found some of the songs very hard-core compared to the words. I have since held off buying other CDs wondering if I would have the same feeling. I just bought this CD and listened to it across the Golden Gate Bridge on a recent trip to SF. I was very impressed with the acustic style and wonderful words. Ani has a very soulful style on this album that I felt opened up to me a lot more than Not a Pretty Girl. I listen to this CD a lot now and each time I hear something new in the songs. This is definitely not background music, folks. Ani speaks for herself and now I just can't wait to hear the rest of what she has to say!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best CD a Girl Could Want, December 14, 1999
By 
This review is from: Ani Difranco (Audio CD)
I think that she combines just the right amount of feminism and toughness in this CD. I believe that her lyrics mean something. They tell a story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ani's Roots, June 17, 2004
By 
bethtexas (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ani Difranco (Audio CD)
This was Ani DiFranco's debut album, and it shows exactly what later turned her into a cult-followed superstar.
This is Ani at her most basic. Very simple acoustic guitar. Very simple melodies. Only the lyrics are great.
This album happened before she became a passionate, in-your-face folk/rock artist. And long before she became a master in musical experimentation.
This album gives us a chance to see Ani in her simplest form. Singing the lyrics she loves in her most gentle voice.
Even back then, she wasn't afraid to mention her body parts, her political beliefs or her feelings, even when they're not picture-pretty. She was honest right from the start.
And though most fans will say "She gets better later" -- I think most of them still wouldn't want to part with this album.
It has a poetic, plain, urban quality that makes you remember that purple sunset in a crowded city, when you were holding hands with a guy you haven't seen in years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Starting Place,, March 10, 2000
By 
This review is from: Ani Difranco (Audio CD)
The first thing that got me hooked on DiFranco was "Both Hands" (surprise, surprise) heard in a dressing room my first year of college. Actually, this *is* the soundtrack to my first year of college. While "Both Hands" is by far the best song on this album, "Talk to Me Now" and "The Story" are also commendable. This is probably one of Ms. DiFranco's most accessible albums, especially from a folk perspective. By the way, Alanis Morrisette has a career only because the big boys at the record companies couldn't buy Ani DiFranco.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most profound and intriguing album, July 2, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Ani Difranco (Audio CD)
this album has touched my heart in such a way that i did not dream was possible. it is so incredibly provocative, sparking emotions that are buried deep within the human sole but at the same time the cd tends to be beautifully candid. i dont quite know how ani has managed to project her thoughts and opinions in such a perfect manner. the realness of each and every song often astounds me and i find that i continously put this into the cd player gladly, rather than any other. after listening to her first album, there is no turning back.
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Ani Difranco
Ani Difranco by Ani DiFranco (Audio CD - 1994)
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