To The Teeth
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the album that Up and Castles wanted to be, tried to be. Or maybe that I wanted them to be. This is the album that has been coming ever since the evolution began, since the queen of folk/punk started playing with jazz/funk arrangements, since she toned down the lyrics (in volume and tone, not in content. I'm learning nowadays that when Ani's being quiet, that's when to watch for flying objects.) This is the culmination, or maturation, of the (r)evolution.
Simply put, this album is excellent. From track one to I Know This Bar, there's hardly a forgettable track on the whole piece of plastic. That's freaking amazing. Personal favorites -- ones I play over and over and over again -- are Wish I May (perhaps the most despairing song ever), Freak Show, and Swing.
All of Ani's albums are good -- meaning better than the average folk/rock album -- but this is one of her best. And that's saying plenty.
Fans who discovered Ani with Little Plastic Castle or UPUPUP will like To the Teeth, especially if they liked UPUPUP. To the Teeth is almost a continuation of UPUPUP. You can tell the direction she is heading just by the way she is playing her guitar. That direction is not anywhere near her older style... thus, old school fans tend to get more and more teed off as the newer material is recorded. And then newer fans tend to complain that old school fans complain too much. But it's hard to even compare her CD's to one another, especially when you fell in love with Ani's music back in her NotaPrettyDilate days.
The thing is, old school fans would like this CD if there was any other name besides Ani Difranco on it. As much as I think I should wince at the rap solo on "Swing" . . . I actually LIKE it. It's fun. Pure and simple. It shows exactly how she does not take herself too seriously. And I wouldn't have even known that Prince sang on "Providence" if it wasn't in the liner notes. The voices all blend together so beautifully. She's doing some amazing things musically on this CD, like playing the electric guitar in a way she's never done before.
My biggest complaint would have to be the title song. Don't get me wrong, it is a great song on the same level as Tis of Thee and even Untouchable Face, but it is a very serious political song that is placed at the very beginning of a CD that is more FunBouncyExperimental than SeriousFolkyPolitcal.
Due to location I have yet to have the pleasure of seeing Ani play live; thus, without being in the position of often having heard the new album's material on stage months before release, my perspective differs to that of several of the other reviewers here. I buy the albums on release day. I jump straight to the lyric booklet. I absorb every written word on paper. Then, finally, without distractions and usually hours later, the CD goes in the player and I let it wash over me. Unfortunately with her last few, washing over me is exactly what they've done. The lyrics are always the reason I come back but with "Little Plastic Castles" & "Up Up..." I felt the music was lacking - maybe rushed, maybe hurried, maybe too convenient to throw together once the lyrics were finished - maybe she works the other way round, I dunno. Something wasn't right.
This jumped out at me the second I hit play. Emotion: regret, anger, reflection, sympathy. Great lyrics and for the first time in quite a while, the music rose to the same heights. With every twist and turn, it held my interest and pulled me further in. "Hello Birmingham" is so personal in its delivery, "Freakshow" is swathed in intrigue and perspective, "Providence" is vocally exquisite, and "The Arrivals Gate" and "I Know This Bar" paint two widely contrasting portraits of an artist who clearly sounds like she had immense fun putting this together.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ani DiFranco is prob. my all-time favorite musical artist. I just think she's a phenomenal song-writer, I love her unique, distinctly-styled vocals, and her songs contain such... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Lavender Grace
I would highly recommend this album to another Ani fan, although I wouldn't necessarily recommend buying it from Amazon. Read morePublished on November 18, 2009 by Little Plastic Castle
"To The Teeth" is another brilliant Ani album. "I Know This Bar" has to be one of the most beautiful songs ever! Read morePublished on January 5, 2006
A very eclectic mix of folk, funk and progressive. Much of it is very stripped down and most of the vocals are strangely mixed below both the acoustic or electric guitar. Read morePublished on November 10, 2004 by Stephen Cabral
Ani DiFranco showcases her anger through her album 'To the Teeth". She expresses her democratic pride and her deep, personal anger through every track. Read morePublished on November 4, 2003 by David Anderson
We have been a Ani aficionado since her first self-produced CD was released too many
years go. On this, her 13th CD, she tries. She really tries. Read more
While I loved Upx6, I felt like something was missing. It seemed like Ani wasn't singing with the energy and intimacy I was used to. But with this album she returned in full form. Read morePublished on January 12, 2003 by A. Andersen
Honestly, this is not one of her best. Only played 1x, then sat on a shelf for a year. I finally sold it on Half-dot-com. If you like funky jazz, get a disc from LIQUID SOUL. Read morePublished on October 19, 2002
Just reading these reviews gets me edgy.
A lot of you are saying that you "used to be Ani fans" until you heard this record. Why? Read more
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