Thursday, 9 February 2017
February #7: Not Pretty, Not Self Pity
7. Ani DiFranco - Not A Pretty Girl
Another fine charity shop purchase, this 1995 album by Ani DiFranco, a name I've heard bandied about in the same circles as Alanis Morrissette, though she's got a little bit more punk-folk grit to her sound.
Ani started her own record company, to get control over her music and her career, back in 1989: long before everybody else started doing the same thing. She's been outspoken in her criticism of major record labels even longer than Prince was (and she worked with him on a number of occasions) and is well known as a political activist... which we obviously need a hell of a lot more of in the music world right now. And the ordinary world.
The title track from this album made me think of the Kasey Chambers track I featured in My Top Ten Self Pity Songs Volume 2: except that while Kasey encapsulates teenage insecurity in her fears about not being pretty enough, Ani takes on gender stereotyping and big business, effectively tackling both men and The Man... and winning this round, indisputably.