With her third studio release, Imperfectly, Ani DiFranco had begun to perfect her craft. DiFranco added a healthy dose of humor to her oft-heady compositions and, with the addition of drummer Andy Stochansky on tracks like “Make Them Apologize,” the singer’s arrangements became even more fleshed out. Her lyrics were as political and witty as ever on songs like “Good, Bad, Ugly” and the mandolin-hued “Fixing Her Hair,” in which she compares a girlfriend to America, “suffering through slow reform.” She takes on sexual and social constructs on the song “In Or Out” and acknowledges her near-certifiable insolence on “What If No One’s Watching”: “I always feel I have to open my mouth/And every time I do I offend someone somewhere.” But, in the end, she dispels her ever-angsty image on the fan-favorite “I’m No Heroine”: “I just write about what I should have done/I sing what I wish I could say/And I hope somewhere/Some woman hears my music/And it helps her through her day.” Indeed, Imperfectly helped solidify DiFranco’s legion of female fans and, with the aid of tracks like the poignant “Served Faithfully,” exposed even more of the singer’s multifaceted public personality.
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