Bitch and Animal Sour Juice and Rhyme

Ani Difranco's rowdy, wayward students get their croquet on with their second release, recorded in semi-seclusion at a friend's Massachusetts farm. Yes, the hip-hopping ode to croquet is imaginative and temporarily amusing. And "Feminist Housewives," a quasi-love song to Gloria Steinem from the perspective of a couple of Thelma and Louise-style little women named Betty and Sue will elicit some laughter with lines like "Now I am cooking the veggies and valuing myself!" But the Righteous Babe's influence is still a little too obvious, with Bitch's very similar spoken word flow laid out over a hand drum beat on a few tracks. Of interest on the controversy front is the lyrical discrepancy on the Eminem-queering "Secret Candy," where Bitch sings "I'll get protested for singing for naked women," but replaces "naked" with "Michigan" in the liner notes in an avoidant jab at the Michigan Women’s Musical Festival drama. A very unrestrained and personal record is somewhat inspiring to take in, but the hyper-feminism thing can actually grow tiring, simply because of how much of it has, although unpopular, been done before. These super-queers are best off riding the dyke-y country-punk thing that's developing on tracks like "Betty Ford" and the sweetly rendered "You Left Out." (Righteous Babe)