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Reprieve ()

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Ani DiFranco has proven prolific and eclectic within a genre that might be called punk-folk. Reprieve, for instance, is her second album of 2006, and the style is much closer to singer/songwriter folk than rocking early-'90s albums like Not a Pretty Girl. One might be tempted to say the "angry girl" has become a mellow woman, more personal than political. But making a blanket statement about DiFranco and her music usually proves careless. Politics, for instance, rears its head on "Millennium Theater," an ode to orange alerts, Halliburton, and the slow response in New Orleans. She also relates to politics in a broader sense on "Shroud," rejecting Middle America's values and aligning herself with bohemian culture. Lyrically, songs like "Hypnotized" and "Nicotine" relay DiFranco's individual sensibility; her point of view never reminds the listener of other songwriters. The downside of Reprieve is that it isn't as musically arresting as earlier albums like Out of Range, and DiFranco, on a song like "Millennium Theater," can be rather obvious. The mellow pacing combined with non-distinct melodies also causes many of these songs to run together. Fans, however, will embrace Reprieve as a fully realized project, glad that DiFranco has continued to keep in touch. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi Hide synopsis

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