Ani Difranco To The Teeth

Hanging out with Prince might seem more than cool, but it’s obvious that one thing this uncommon (and platonic) couple share is that they both (mistakenly) believe that more is always more. This is Ani D’s second solo album this year, not to mention her collaboration with Utah Phillips, and it sounds like an awkward, out-of-focus snapshot rather than a cohesive document, which this past January’s worthy Up Up Up... definitely was. Her increasing dichotomy between genuine funk and melancholy folk was tackled much better on that record; here she seems to be flailing about. To the Teeth features collaborations with Prince, Toronto guitarist Kurt Swinghammer and tour mate Maceo Parker, but her songwriting isn’t up to the challenge. She even admits as much on the weary “Freakshow” or “Wish I May,” when she sings, “I don’t think I’m strong enough to do this much longer.” Whereas her last four albums wavered between greatness and redundancy, To the Teeth delivers even less reward. Isn’t it proven somewhere that four-day work weeks result in higher quality output? (Righteous Babe)