|This is from when I saw Ani at the House of Blues a couple years ago.|
Really, does it get much more badass than Ani D? After 20 years in the music biz and over 20 albums, she still knows how to tug at our heartstrings with each and every song she writes. And she just keeps going. Her most recent album, Which Side Are You On?, was just released in January. What I love most about Ani is that it’s so hard to put her into any one category. Is she blues? Soul? Jazz? Folk? Singer/songwriter? Rock? The answer is: yes, yes she is. She is all of the above and more! And her guitar prowess is simply mind-bottling. You know...when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle? (Come on…what’s that from?) Seriously, though. Whenever I try to learn an Ani song on the guitar, I’m like WTF is she doing? How many hands does this woman have?! And then I put my guitar down and go hover in the corner and cry. Okay, not really, but it’s pretty frustrating.
Since her style reaches across so many musical genres, her lyrics make you think “omg, she totally wrote that about my life,” her guitar-playing sends me into a tizzy, she writes songs that can speak anyone, anywhere, I’ve decided she will be our new “Essential Playlist.” With the help of my bff (Ani is one of her favorite singers) I’ve narrowed down the top ten Ani DiFranco songs for you to add to your playlist (if you don’t have them already).
1. Falling is Like This
Pretty much sums up what love feels like. “We can’t fight gravity on a planet that insists that love is like falling and falling is like this.”
2. Untouchable Face
The very first Ani song I had ever heard. Needless to say, I was hooked. Without a doubt, one of the best breakup songs of all time. EVERYONE has felt this at one time or another. “She’s not really my type, but I think you two are forever and I hate to say it, but you’re perfect together , so fuck you and your untouchable face.”
3. She Says
A hauntingly beautiful song that’s about a relationship not being able to work out simply due to the timing. She’s got a beautiful girl in her bed and knows that it just can’t work no matter how much she wants it to. “Like an idea, she came to me, but she came too late or maybe too soon. I said please try not to love me…you know I have no vacancy and it’s awfully cold outside tonight.” Gah! It gets me every single time.
4. Not a Pretty Girl
Female empowerment. The lyrics say it all.
5. Both Hands
We witness the deterioration of a relationship. Her words in this song are so deeply personal, it’s like peering into her life and the failed romance that she tried so hard to keep together. The imagery in this song makes it one of Ani’s best. You see every single moment as the breakup plays out. “You’re bones have been my bed frame and your flesh has been my pillow, I’ve been waiting for sleep to offer up the deep with both hands.”
6. Little Plastic Castle
This seems to be an Ani theme in a lot of her songs (and it’s a much welcomed theme!) Don’t judge people by their appearances or make assumptions based on what they look like or what they’re wearing. “Quick! Someone call the girl police and file a report.”
“I know there is strength in the differences between us and I know there is comfort where we overlap.” And she said when I write songs about her, it reminds her of this line: “I build each one of my songs out of glass so you can see me inside of them…”
8. 32 Flavors
A song basically telling everyone not to take Ani (or anyone else, for that matter) at face value. This song says so much in a matter of minutes. Every line is my favorite line, so just give it a listen and let the words speak to you. I promise there will be at least one line where you’ll think “Damn, now THAT’S a line.”
9. As IsSuch an amazing song about accepting someone for who they are and what they are, flaws and all. And don’t bother trying to lie or be someone you’re not, because you’re not fooling anyone. “Just give up and admit you’re an asshole, you would be in some good company.” I also love the line, “When I look down, I just miss all the good stuff and when I look up, I just trip over things.” That pretty much sums up my life. I’m so shy, I often look down when I walk and I know I’m missing out on so many great things and great people that I’m just too shy to experience. And when I look up, I end up becoming disillusioned with things…or literally just tripping over them because I’m a klutz.
10. Fire Door
Ever been cheated on? This is the song for you.
So...are you an Ani fan yet? Then get on over to iTunes or Amazon or her website at www.righteousbabe.com to get everything she has ever written...ever.