The Coolest F-Word Ever
Ani Difranco has to be the hardest working women in the music business. In addition to running her own label, Righteous Babe records, she’s managed to release at least one album every year for the span of her 15-year career. On Educated Guess she takes on even more responsibility with her first truly “solo” recording ever. That’s right, Ani does everything on Educated Guess – multiple tracks of acoustic guitar and her distinctive voice recorded and mixed herself on an analogue 8-track reel-to-reel in her home. This record demonstrates two things – that Ani more than knows her way around her 8-track and that she has no shortage of emotional angst to spill to her fans.Perhaps doing everything herself from the comfort of her own home gave Educated Guess the personal feel present in the production and lyrics. Ani’s words are, as always, cleverly introspective. On the opening track, Ani prepares for a journey inward with “I suited up for the long walk / back to myself.” Yet she doesn’t spend too much time on herself, as some of Ani’s best ranting is in the patriotic “Grand Canyon,” – “Coolest f-word ever deserves a fucking shout! / I mean why can’t all decent men and women call themselves feminists?”
Ani’s guitar rings bright and clear with every strum. The soft echo of the acoustic body, Ani’s fingers sliding over the strings – yes, Educated Guess has feeling of an intimate live recording. Her guitar work shines through beautifully on tracks like “Bodily” and “Animal,” building to a perfect climax with “Bubble,” a passionately strummed song that proves all you need to rock is a guitar and a voice.