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Little Plastic Castle

4.7 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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As she's gone from the Young Woman Who Could to the Woman Who Has, Ani DiFranco has explored more than her share of musical styles, all the while remaining true to her core. Even during her most extreme departures, you could hear the sound of the early albums coming through. On Little Plastic Castle, an album on which people are credited for adding pontifications, incantations, and an "evil machine" to songs, you could--for the first time--hear an almost completely new artist. Call her Ani, version 3; she couldn't have existed without hearing all of Ani, version 1's albums, and she wouldn't be as funky and experimental without the influence of Ani, version 2. She still has a lot to say--about politics, about relationships, about herself--but the messages aren't thrown in your face here (well, not as often). Instead they're wrapped in funky hooks and lots of production--anything you learn from DiFranco on this album will come from pure repetition, and for the first time, the album is varied enough, catchy enough, and subtle enough that you'll push the repeat button while cleaning the house. --Randy Silver
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 17, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Righteous Babe
  • ASIN: B0000058MY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,142 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Calhoun on November 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Not a day goes by when I don't need a fix of Ani and this is the CD I reach for the most. Little Plastic Castle keeps me wanting more. Just when I think I should be getting tired of it I find myself putting it in my CD player again. It is addictive.
My favorite song is 'Two Little Girls' which is a touching love story which I can personally relate to. 'Gravel' and 'Glass House' are good hard folk songs that effectively offsets the beautiful 'As Is'. 'Pixie' is wonderful both for the music and for the simple fact that virtually everyone can relate to disgruntled workers behind the counter, "so just suck up and be nice". How perfect is that!?!? The CD ends with 'Pulse' and the expanded beat that puts you in a whole different world. I think the one weakness of this CD is 'Deep Dish' that doesn't flow with the other tracks.
Regardless of what other Ani fans say, I enjoy her recent work and believe there is much to gain from it. Give it a try, you may find yourself repeatedly reaching for it too!
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Format: Audio CD
Background info before writing this review will probly help Ani fans reading it. I'm not an Ani fan in the sense of agreeing with all her messages and supporting the things she does. I am a fan, however, who admires her outspoken honesty. She knows exactly what she feels, thinks, and believes and isn't one bit afraid to put it out there & in your face. That takes guts, more power to her. This world we live in (especially this country, USA) could greatly benefit from exercising her unapologetic frankness.

This was the first album I got by Ani, and I have to say my favorite to date. Personally, I'm an eclectic & enjoy ALL music (I tend to stay mainstream [not Britney Spears-type, though], but enjoy many types of music). When I first heard Miss DiFranco, I was really quite turned off by her sound. A friend of mine had been playing her music in the car on our trips & activities, and I almost couldn't stomach it. She played Revelling/Reckoning, To The Teeth, Evolve, and probably Dilate. I just remember thinking "What is this???" Ani has a musical style all her own, very raw and real. I suppose my ears were just so used to sugar-sweet candy pop that I was somewhat disgusted. But even 'alternative' rock like death metal & all that don't have anything on her; she's got something that so many other artists, whether or not I like them, don't have.

Anyway, back to the task at hand: reviewing "Little Plastic Castle." I'm pretty sure the reason I like it so much is it is probably one of the more musically melodic albums she has out. What I mean is someone who is used to pop and things like that would probably do well to buy this CD as their first Ani album because it's closest to what they know.
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Format: Audio CD
Ani is an incredible artist -- her lyrics are astounding, her sound unique -- truly a revolutionary artist in this day and age, especially when people succumb to the capitalistic industry and buy hanson, backstreet boys, and the like...Ani is just so unique, and refuses to be labeled and goes with whatever comes creatively in her life, which means it always changes...and I love the fact that she's got the ambition to have her own label.
For Ani fans, [shame on you if you haven't gotten it yet ;) ] this will be a very different experience from her earlier days. The sounds are more "modern" -- more than just her guitar and beautiful voice. For newcomers to her music; this is a great album, but not indicative of most of her earlier music. If you want to hear the folk, get "Puddle Dive" or the first album. All of her albums are amazing in their own ways.
Overall, a great album, although her sounds get a tad repetitive for the --very selective listener.-- I like it a lot -- and I was satisifed paying full price for it. Get it -- you won't be dissapointed -- Ani is truly a gem.
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Format: Audio CD
Last year in April, I was depressed. It was one of the lowest points of my life. Then I discovered this album. I still say that Ani is the person who dragged me out of my pool of self pity and self hatred back into being an active participant in my life. "Swan Dive" was my saving grace. "I don't care/if they eat me alive/I've got better things/to do than survive" and "that i can jump ship and swim/that the ocean will hold me/that there's got to be more than this boat i'm in" . Not to mention her other beautiful words in "As Is", "Gravel", "Two Little Girls" ("and love is a piano/dropped from a four story window/and you were in the wrong place/at the wrong time"), "Loom" and "Independence Day". Then this year, when life started looking dark again I kept Ani playing in the car for a week...and things weren't as bad as they had seemed anymore. BUY THIS RECORD. Its an alternative to prozac...;)
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Format: Audio CD
Like some others who've posted here, I'm not necessarily an Ani-holic, but I have huge respect for her honesty and integrity, and the way she ran her career from a completely outsider approach into what is now a time-honored creative dynasty. She's not someone I listen to constantly, but I return to her regularly for a fix of the kind of blunt and exhilarating earnestness she represents.

That being said, I've always felt that after a certain point she just made too damn many CDs, so that at times musically she covered the same ground again and again. Try making a compilation sometime of your favorite Ani songs and you'll realize quickly just how many have the same tempo, the same key, the same basic structure and feel but (and this is the difference that saves them) new thoughts in the lyrics.

But LITTLE PLASTIC CASTLE probably is the best combination of all of Ani's best instincts along with the greatest variety in style, tempo and overall musical creativity. She also achieved a kind of unusual level of spontanteous vocal excitement on this album where she sounds even more intense and exuberant than her usual standard (which is always pretty intense!).

For me, this album and IMPERFECTLY are her two finest efforts, although I love many things scattered throughout all the rest of the CDs. If you are not already an Ani fan, this CD may be the best way "in," since if you don't like this one, I can't imagine you could generate much affection for Ani, who is so exuberantly accessible here.
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