Evolve

( 7 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The name of this Buffalo-bred singer-songwriter/one-woman-industry's 15th album is as much a statement of purpose as a mere title. Over the years, Ani DiFranco has moved from straight-ahead folk to funkified politco -- with plenty of stops in between. She splits the difference on Evolve, assiduously deploying horns and keyboards, even pushing the edges of the musical envelope she'd previously left unexplored, like the Crescent City swing of "Oh My My," on which she shelves her guitar in favor of a seat behind the ivories. "Second Intermission," on the other hand, drifts in more stealthily, substituting ethereal woodwinds for the funky horns she's been known to use in ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The name of this Buffalo-bred singer-songwriter/one-woman-industry's 15th album is as much a statement of purpose as a mere title. Over the years, Ani DiFranco has moved from straight-ahead folk to funkified politco -- with plenty of stops in between. She splits the difference on Evolve, assiduously deploying horns and keyboards, even pushing the edges of the musical envelope she'd previously left unexplored, like the Crescent City swing of "Oh My My," on which she shelves her guitar in favor of a seat behind the ivories. "Second Intermission," on the other hand, drifts in more stealthily, substituting ethereal woodwinds for the funky horns she's been known to use in recent years. The brass kicks in, however, on a passel of tunes, most notably the chugging "In the Way," one of DiFranco's patented blends of lashing emotion and soothing melody. Evolve also has its share of intimate, acoustic-rooted interludes, highlighted by the wistful "Phase" and the appropriately titled ten-minute "Serpentine." Ani DiFranco's still got a lot to say, and that's not so unusual; she's still finding new ways to say it, which, after nearly a decade and a half, most assuredly is.
All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Ani DiFranco has earned her rep as the most independent of artists. She records for her own label, and as a result says and does pretty much as she pleases. DiFranco has also shown a willingness to experiment, mixing genres and styles, and Evolve is clearly an important link in her continued evolution. Piano, horns, and guitar mix and merge on "Promised Land," offering a bluesy blend of progressive folk, while a heavy backbeat informs the funky "In My Way." The arrangements are much busier than the "girl with an acoustic guitar" sound of her earliest efforts, but they're never crowded. In fact, DiFranco's such a dynamic singer, at turns soulful and, when angry, in the listener's face, that the heavier arrangements serve her well. The arrangements and solid production, however, aren't enough to save the material. As with 2001's Revelling: Reckoning, Evolve lacks consistency and finally seems meandering. "Icarus"' foreboding melody line drags at a dawdling pace, stopping and starting again, and finally, going nowhere. The worst excess is "Serpentine." It takes three minutes for the vocal to start, and seven more for DiFranco to catalog everything that isn't right in the Promised Land. It's as though she were trying to write her version of Dylan's "Desolation Row," but failed to match her lyrical vision with a compelling musical one. DiFranco's fans will forgive her these excesses because they've grown used to them; everyone else will probably want to reach back to earlier albums like Not a Pretty Girl to hear the DiFranco at her best.
Entertainment Weekly - Marc Weingarten
She is to Norah Jones what Ornette Coleman is to Kenny G. (B+)

She is to Norah Jones what Ornette Coleman is to Kenny G. (B+)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/11/2003
  • Label: Righteous Babe
  • UPC: 748731703028
  • Catalog Number: 30
  • Sales rank: 315,233

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Promised Land (4:30)
  2. 2 In the Way (5:17)
  3. 3 Icarus (4:51)
  4. 4 Slide (3:50)
  5. 5 O My My (3:59)
  6. 6 Evolve (4:15)
  7. 7 Shrug (4:42)
  8. 8 Phase (3:42)
  9. 9 Here for Now (3:09)
  10. 10 Second Intermission (3:51)
  11. 11 Serpentine (10:26)
  12. 12 Welcome To: (4:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ani DiFranco Primary Artist, Guitar, Piano, Voices
Hans Teuber Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Voices
Julie Wolf Organ, Piano, Voices, Clavinet, Melodica, fender rhodes
Jason Mercer Bass
Daren Hahn Percussion, Drums
Todd Horton Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Shane Endsley Trumpet
Ravi Best Trumpet, Voices
Technical Credits
Ani DiFranco Producer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Mark Hallman Engineer
Marty Lester Engineer
Andrew Gilchrist Engineer
Brian Grunert Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    the title says it all.

    honestly, i don't see how ani lost so many fans here. the title of the record says it all. this album is much like revelling/reckoning, but really, it has a much cleaner, more mature approach to this type of songwriting. okay, so it's not my favorite, but the fact is that she is... *gasp* EVOLVING! she still writes personal songs that are honest. yes, you've heard that before because it's true. and honestly, some of her best work has come from this disk, just listen to "slide" or "here for now." god forbid you should open your mind and stop expecting another not a pretty girl, 'cause i've got news for you: she's a woman now, and this is concrete evidence.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is the latest, greatest work from Ani!

    This most recent album discusses some political views and her view on modern sociey. She recognizes the importance of nature and explores honesty aswell as scarcasm! How much more real can you get than that!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great new album

    As usual, this Ani album is a little different from most of the others. This one has a little bit of a jazzy feel on some of the songs ("in the way", for example). "Serpentine" is one of her best political commentaries in a while. Great album!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not too good

    I used to think Ani was something. Now I know she is, unfortunately the rules prohibit me from going into detail. Needless to say, Ani is no more an artist than i am. Anyone can yell, throw in some discordant music and you've got an album. Repeat endlessly and you have several and she does. Ani please stop and and save our oil supply.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Need to hear more!

    A few years ago a San Fran friend gave me Living in a Cup and Dilate. I throw them every once in awhile. Difranco is an incredible lyricist and crazy-good guitar player. But sometimes I was just not in the mood for her male bashing. I like a little softer, more ballad sound and recently heard Evolve and it is BY FAR, her best yet!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Check it!

    This one is her best, by far! Collaborating with such guest stars as Jay-Z, Rob Thomas, John Mayer and Busta Rhymes was a great idea to move her music into a broader spotlight. Some of the tracks on this cd are delightfully danceable, such as "Turd Pattie in my Drawls", "I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, but apparently you have brought me a cup of french onion soup", and the rave-tastic "Pink Boots with an Orange Dress." The one song that I don't like is with the guest appearance by Kylie Minogue, "If I could grow a beard like Redd Foxx, I'd quit my job and do the hustle all the way to Frisco." Some of Ani's hardcore fans from the older years might be a little disappointed in this release, but I think it will be quite successful on AM radio this summer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews