Up close and personally political, if Not A Pretty Girl's album artwork is any indication - this record is hot and there is no need to be "Shy" about it. Ani's thumping bass under her percussive guitar grooves are in themselves undeniable but pair that scene up with Andy Stochansky's drums/backing vocals and you have a killer record (the kind where at least one song makes it onto every mix you will make from now on). Yes, these are the songs that the audience goes into seizures to witness.
Memoir and melody are just two of the ingredients in Not A Pretty Girl's potent spell. Ani's voice soars around the sonic skyline she paints with her guitar, percussion and studio production. Fourteen lyrical stories rise up like a Phoenix, a New York City bus ride, on the gallows facing execution, the edge of a dock at sunset, a gas station rest room – songs about living and loving in a country that's being sold off from underneath her feet (well not if she can help it…) Her deftly delivered poem "Coming Up" clarifies: "and whoever's in charge up there had better take the elevator down and put more than change in our cup or else we are coming up".
Performed with the ferocity of her live shows this song collection is both guttural and buoyant: "Shy", "Not A Pretty Girl" and "Million You Never Made" are just a few packing punches. "Sorry I Am" is heavy on the heart stings as is "32 Flavors", a song that ends in a show stoppin' percussive jam.
"On Not A Pretty Girl, I wanted to really scale down sound to its essence," Ani Says. The result is not only essence but essential as well. Don't lend it to a friend cause you won't get it back.