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To The Teeth

4.3 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 16, 1999
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Product Description

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The follow-up to the ambitious Up Up Up Up Up Up finds the prolific Ani DiFranco striving to expand the range of her brand of do-it-yourself folk. Here she incorporates organ, clarinet, megaphone, and even an ill-advised rap courtesy of Corey Parker, whose father, former James Brown sideman Maceo, contributes saxophone to a few tracks. DiFranco, meanwhile, handles her usual array of instruments, taking on bass, drums, guitar, and, of course, vocals. That voice has changed since her 1990 debut. A smoky quality adds a layer of expression and maturity to still-angry protestations such as the title track and its whispery counterpoint, "Back Back Back." There's even an appearance here from the Unpronounceable One, a.k.a. the Artist, who lends his distinctive voice to the alternately dense and quiet "Providence." Regardless of guest appearances and new vocal and instrumental colors, however, DiFranco's ace remains the quiet, confessional tone she brings to introspective songs such as "I Know This Bar." The sound of her fingers sliding from one warm chord to the next is DiFranco at her strongest. Matthew Cooke
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 16, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Righteous Babe
  • ASIN: B00002DDNE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,606 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Abbigail Frelich on November 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
i've been a fan of ani's for a few years now, and i, like many "old school" fans, love her early work. it was gritty, controversial, and intimate. what i don't understand is the amount of flack she has been receiving for allowing herself to mature and grow... her voice, her lyrics, her music as a whole have long been a reflection of herself and the world as seen through ani's eyes. to the teeth is quite possibly my favorite ani production to date. from the scolding, honest tone of the title track to the funky sounds of maceo parker to the influence of "the artist" on providence, i was captivated by the album. i hate to point out the obvious, but times change, the world still turns, and life goes on. i'm honored to have the pleasure of hearing ani's music grow with it.
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By A Customer on December 1, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Ani D. never ceases to amaze with her talent. "to the teeth", the second album ani has released in 1999, once again demonstrates ani's ability to grow as an artist. This album is on the same track as "up up up up up up"; full of new style and amazing sounds. She does include some of her trademark styles: her political lyrics, percussionistic guitar, and her wide range of vocals, but "to the teeth" also introduces multiple instruments into the songs and a very special guest appearance by the artist formerly known as prince. This album is joy to listen to and definitely worth investing in. Ani has a unique and characteristic style that continues to get better and better as she explores new genres of her talent.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A lot of people complained when Ani Difranco released Little Plastic Castles. What is this? Where's teh fiery fast finger-picking and passionate political lyrics that we know and love? Admittedly, I was one of the ones complaining. Happily, I was not one of the ones who stopped listening. To The Teeth is the payoff for that perseverance.
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.
-wk...
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Format: Audio CD
I have a feeling that fans who are new to Ani will enjoy this much more than old school fans. Not exactly words of wisdom, I know.
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.
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By A Customer on September 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
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? Because you want her to be writing songs like "Fire Door" throughout her entire career? Grow up! That's what she did. Her older stuff was fine and wonderful, and I love it to death, but as a musician, to keep it interesting for yourself and others... you have to start experimenting with different styles! Why do you think Sting and Eric Clapton are still around?
She's Ani. She does everything with a LOT of class and dignity. Anything she puts on a record is going to sound fantastic, because as a fan, I completely trust her judgement with what sounds good. Wanna know why? Because everything she's ever come out with has so much beauty and spirit. Some of it is obvious, and some of it you need to look for it. She wouldn't be such a fantastic songwriter and musician if every single one of her songs were so blatantly overwhelming in the same style every time. She needs diversity.
I absolutely love this album. There is an imminent beauty in the jazzy ensembles. "Providence" is an especially touching song. Not too many people comment on it... the duet she did with Prince (then known as the "Artist..."). Powerful, powerful song. So is "Wish I May". Also a lot of people tend to overlook "Cloud Blood" and "Carry You Around". Both of these are masterpieces. Cloud Blood is a massive lyrical vortex... with such incredible intensity. Carry You Around has got a MAD beat.
So... what do I say? As a TRUE "die hard" Ani fan... put a little more faith into her ability as a songwriter. You'd be surprised with how much you will appreciate what you notice.
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