|Ani DiFranco - Up Up Up Up Up Up|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Jason Karsh|
|Tuesday, 19 January 1999|
Righteous Babe Records
| Performance 8 | Sound 9 |
When the word came down from on high, it was both exciting and worrisome to learn that Ani DiFranco was releasing a new album. Her last albums being so remarkably superior to anything on the market a new work should excite even the most cold-blooded mammal, yet because it so closely comes on the heels of Little Plastic Castle one could easily find themselves worried. Could it be too soon to come up with the fully formed, soul-searching, almost revolutionary works of art she's become known for, or would this be a rushed follow-up to one of the best albums of 1998 pushed out there to keep her presence in the press? The answer is no . . . and a begrudging yes
When you're better than most you, unfortunately or not, find yourself subject to a stricter criteria than the rest. 'Up' includes the classic brilliance Ani has become known for, evidenced over and over in songs such as "Everest," "Come Away From It," and "'Tis Of Thee." Yet, other tracks, namely "Hat Shaped Hat," come off less raw and experimental than they do unfocused and unfinished, especially when looked at in the context of her most recent work. This album is certainly one that grows on you, and it is easily better than any album released this year (of course, anyone can make that claim in January, thankfully we qualify). Nevertheless, our forecast foresees this album weathering well, but in the end rating a second tier in the pantheon of Ani's best work.