Little Plastic Castleby Ani DiFranco
Little Plastic Castle posed an unusual challenge for Ani DiFranco. She released this record after spending a year promoting her first live CD (Living in Clip) by repeatedly admitting to reporters that her studio albums lack the vitality of her concert performances. Rock critics agreed en masse, and their praise for the live album helped to propel DiFranco to a new level of mainstream stardom -- but it also heightened the scrutiny on her next studio recording. Fortunately, she managed to dodge several of the pitfalls of her previous albums. Her excellent band had plenty of time to jell on the road, and their performances here are as tight, driven and intense as they've ever been. Vocally, DiFranco is somewhat less affected than on previous albums, where the unnatural isolation of the studio sometimes led her to unnatural mannerisms. Her songwriting, however, is not quite up to par. While her melodies have almost never been exactly catchy, they have usually been perfect vessels for her terrifically smart lyrics. This time, the lyrical tail seems to be wagging the melodic dog willy-nilly. That's especially damaging when her songs are wallowing too comfortably in angst ("Independence Day," "Glass House"). Nonetheless, this is the most creatively produced Ani DiFranco album to date, combining her distinctively frenetic acoustic fingerstyle with computer samples, dance rhythms, mariachi brass and full-band rock jams. The result is colorful -- almost cartoony -- but almost never overshadows the emotional content. When Jon Hassell contributes a gorgeous jazz trumpet solo on the album's final track (the 14-minute "Pulse"), it blends in so perfectly that one has to remind oneself that DiFranco is one of the biggest talents in folk music.
- Release Date:
- Righteous Babe
Performance CreditsAni DiFranco Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Concertina,Drums,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,bass pedals
Jon Hassell Trumpet
Jon Blondell Trombone
Jerry Marotta Drums
Andy Stochansky Drums,Vocals,talking drum
Jason Mercer Bass,Electric Bass,Vocals,Upright Bass
Sara Lee Bass
Andrew Gilchrist Pump Organ,Machines
Andrew G. Pump Organ
John M. Saxophone
Gary Slechta Trumpet
John Mills Baritone Saxophone
Technical CreditsAni DiFranco Producer,Artwork
Bob Doidge Engineer
Mark Hallman Engineer
Andy Stochansky Contributor
Andrew Gilchrist Engineer
Adam Sloan Artwork
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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it takes a lot to get the title but this is one of my two favorite CDs, the other being the Indigo Girls'
Once again Ani has put the daily occurrences of life under the relentless and honest scrutiny of her perception, which is everything but clouded by rose colored glasses. She strikes close to the bone and forces her fans to be truer and more faithful to themselves. But, what else is new?
This is an amazing album i would ask that everyone own
As a devout Ani fan, I personally consider this to be her best album yet - my personal favorite song is ''Fuel'' - listen to it, and just feel it; it's fabulous!
Ani has an amazing voice... its very unique. Her songs are great, and this cd is fabulous. I highly recommend this album.. all the songs rock
This cd by Ani DiFranco was very interesting and truthful she has expressed her feelings and thoughts about every thing she sings about! I think the music is great also!
Being a big-time fan of Ani's, this CD is a must for anyone who is a fan. The moving words and beat of ''Fuel'' will captivate you. ''As-Is'' is also another good tune. There is honestly not one track on this CD that I would skip through.
This is a great album. My personal favourite songs include Two little girls, Plastic little castle and As is. I recomend this album to any Ani fan!