Review of AniDifranco's "Educated Guess"
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Ani DiFranco's "Educated Guess": Righteous Babe Records
Beginning with the personal, to the political, to the spiritual, Ani Difranco’s Educated Guess could be the culmination of any person’s life, but hardly anyone can put it quite to the relaxing, at times uplifting, folk beats as Difranco can. It’s as if she is taking to us through a journey of her life, but hardly with the anger and frustrations granted in her lyrics.
Educated Guess begins with the hardships of dealing with personal relationships we all experience; including remaining independent and strong so that the rising tides don’t carry us off into the ocean. This idea of standing on our own two feet and not be swept away from our self seems to be an ongoing theme in Educated Guess.
In a couple songs, namely Animal, Literal, and Grand Canyon she takes up the idea of religion and politics interfering with our ideas of “self”. Her lyrics in Animal...
“and there’s this brutal imperial
power that my passport says I
represent but it will never repre-
sent where my heart lives only
vaguely where it went...”
...perfectly represent something within ourselves that has felt destructive perhaps at one time but that we grow beyond eventually as individuals, and yet part of our identity comes through this governmental entity we no longer identify in part or whole with. The same goes for religion as Difranco expresses in “Literal”.
“When they said he could walk
on water what it sounds like to
me is he could float like a butter-
fly and sting like a bee...” she
says. “...literal people scare me.”
Which is true, symbols are meant to be personal and to identify with the individual, and by taking them literally we are in a sense taking away the personal experience and the personal message.
Ani Difranco’s CD is great for the individual that wishes to remain independent, to define the world through personal experience, and to make their own ‘educated guess’ about their life and the path that is best for them to live.
Robin Coe is a journalist and author. She wrote the fantasy novel "Fly on the Wall" and graphic novel "Illustrated Book of Wrath".