Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Ani DiFranco: Dilate [Righteous Babe, 1996]
On an album loaded with quotable quotes, my favorite is the refrain (well, she says it twice) of the six-and-a-half-minute "Adam and Eve": "i am truly sorry about all this." I mean, she knows--knows what a pain in the ass she is, knows how much space her emotions take up, knows she once banged a power line with her stickball bat and blacked out the entire eastern seaboard. She boasts about her integrity, her vulnerability, her joy. She jokes about them too. She has a friend's mom phone in obscure verses of "Amazing Grace." She utters, I kid you not, the most vituperative "fuck you" in the history of the music. She is herself, and for once that's more than enough. A-