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Which Side Are You on


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Audio CD, January 17, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ani DiFranco's release, ¿Which Side Are You On?, features 11
new songs alongside a radically reworked rendition of the
classic title song, famously popularized by Pete Seeger nearly five decades ago, but no less relevant
today. Backing DiFranco on this collection is a remarkably diverse line-up
of stellar musicians, including members of her own touring band as well as guest players Ivan and Cyril
Neville (of New Orleans' first family of funk and R&B, The
Neville Brothers), avant-saxophonist Skerik (Pearl Jam,
R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, The Meters), acclaimed singer/songwriter
Anaïs Mitchell, guitarist Adam Levy (Norah Jones,
Tracy Chapman, Amos Lee), and a host of New Orleans-based
horn players known for their work in such outfits as Galactic,
Bonerama, and The Rebirth Brass Band.

The newly recorded version of ¿Which Side Are You
On? is a funk-fueled epic, incorporating not just Ani's band,
but Pete Seeger himself on banjo and vocals alongside The
Rivertown Kids, a Hudson Valley-based children's chorus,
and The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders, a brass band
consisting of students from The Roots of Music, a music
education program for at-risk middle-school students in New
Orleans. DiFranco contributed her own straight-from-the
headlines verses to the song and has used it to close her own
live shows ever since. The album represents an extraordinary
snapshot of DiFranco's own life as well her sense of where the
country stands at this particular moment in time.

Review

Florence Reece, the wife of Harlan County, Kentucky union organizer Sam Reece, penned the classic protest tune Which Side Are You On? back in 1931 and it's never lost a touch of relevance in all the ensuing years and likely never will given the state of human nature. Pete Seeger recorded the most famous version, which you can sample on his greatest hits album from 1967, and now contemporary folkie Ani DiFranco updates the tune in a bit of perfect timing to coalesce with the Occupy Movement. It's a rousing version with marchlike beats, punchy horns and DiFranco s pleading vocals for people to join the fight for justice. It's also an inclusive call to arms, reaching out to everyone as DiFranco chants, ''come on people of privilege... it's time to join the fight.'' --PopMatters.com, December 6, 2011

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Life Boat 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Unworry 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Which Side Are You On? (Feat. Pete Seeger) 6:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Splinter 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Promiscuity 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Albacore 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. J 5:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. If Yr Not 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Hearse 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Mariachi 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Amendment 6:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Zoo 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 17, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Righteous Babe
  • ASIN: B0060GVI2C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,092 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Chris Challans on January 17, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Without a doubt, Ani DiFranco is among my favorite songwriters. At her best, she can express complex ideas with a powerfully simple, understated wit that can make you want to laugh and cry at the same time. Relentlessly self-aware, her sense of humor lets her mock herself in a way that's instantly relatable, totally endearing, and without the slightest hint of self-pity. ¿Which Side Are You On? features precious little of any of the above. The cynical assertion would be to say that she doesn't know how to write anymore. Another thought, which I've seen her seem to express in some interviews, is that this is just a conscious stylistic shift toward more simplistic writing. I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume it's the latter, and that's fine, but I don't think that makes it unfair to point out that a lot of the lyrics on this album are straight up cringeworthy.

Merely stating things your fanbase is likely to applaud does not good songwriting make. "If Yr Not" is the perfect example of this. The first line of the song is, "if you're not getting happier as you get older... you're f***in' up." Okay, I get it; yes, I agree with you... but when you just say it flat out like that, it's not interesting songwriting. The "old" Ani would have taken that as the root idea, then found novel and clever ways to express it. A successful song that expresses the same idea as "If Yr Not" is "Back Back Back" from To the Teeth. The song "Amendment," in which Ani makes the tongue-in-cheek case for a constitutional amendment "to give civil rights to women," is one of my favorites from the album, though the humor and delivery of the lyrics are best when they're getting a reaction from a live audience. A performance element also makes the clumsy ending a little more tolerable.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By ALA on January 17, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I read the first review on here and was a bit skeptical of the album before I listened to it.
Then I listened to it and loved it. This is Ani making political statements along side a few songs of her marraige/parental bliss.
She had me from the beginning and kept me interested throughout. I don't believe she's lost her fire, it's just changed from fire to a different type of energy.
Great album and not like anything else out there!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B-Goody on January 17, 2012
Format: Audio CD
As a lackluster male fan of Ani, Iv'e been bombarded by many, many Ani albums that my girlfriend has put me through. That sounds like a bad thing but it's not. She is a great guitarist, a lyrical poet and has a unique voice that is gorgeous.
When my girlfriend received her copy on her site, she put in on right away, and honestly I was blown away, she thought I was kidding when I said play it again and joking when I asked for a copy. This is music the way it started, it makes you think, makes you feel and teaches along the way. Now I know most Ani fans are female and my girlfriend is a outspoken feminist. So do I feel less of a man for loving this album?. No. It's taught me a lot of things;civil liberties and rights for women and their mind and body's.
In my opinion this album may be her greatest in terms of beauty and lyrics, my favorite song 'Unworry' has a pretty acoustic rhythm that makes the spine tingle. On this track she sings,"You know I have enjoyed my life/It's been exciting/and Iv'e become more peaceful/no more fighting".
Her lyrics are smart and truthful in these times we live in, which is something that lacks in today's industry(which is why she is underground).
There is so much meaning in this music and I hear new things every listen.
On the title track she sings:"They stole a few elections/but still we the people won/voted out corruption and big corporations/we voted for an end to war and a new direction/and we aint gonna stop now until the job is done/So tell me which side are you on?"
I cannot say for sure if this is her best effort, but I can't stop listening to this wonderful album. So you decide, which side are you on?. I'm on Ani's side.

Key Tracks
- Unworry
- Splinter
- Mariachi
- J
- Amendment
- If Yr Not
- Which Side Are You On?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ginger Wright on March 21, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I discovered Ani as an 18 yr old, when both of us were full of angst, rock, and powerful revelations about life and the world around us that we were growing up and into. I immediately fell in love with her sound and her lyrical honesty that somehow managed to say exactly what I was feeling but unable to put into words at that point in my life. Since then have grown into a 30-something adult right alongside her and her music. I have always found it astounding that every time she has released a new album, it has perfectly mirrored my life emotionally, mentally, and physically. Ani has grown up, and her music has grown up right along with her into a mature, thoughtful, mellow, and dare I say happy reflection on her life and how she wants to live. I adore this new album, the full range of musical sounds, deeply personal reflections that are ever present in her music and lyrically genius twists, and the incredible instrumental mastery shown in the music behind the lyrics. This is an album that I haven't been able to stop myself from playing over and over again for weeks since it came out.
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