Knuckle Down - Ani DiFranco
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 91
    She's become masterful at painting in the blues and grays of everyday emotion. [Feb 2005, p.92]
  2. 84
    In both theme and effect, DiFranco's latest is about the reassurance in chronicling minutiae. [#14, p.100]
  3. The results are a selection of high quality that veers between brightly spirited ("Manhole," "Lag Time") and somber ("Callous").
  4. 80
    This loosening of the reins, ironically, has yielded her most intimate and cohesive album. [#67, p.92]
  5. While Knuckle Down doesn’t wow with new musical directions, the album undeniably satisfies by being familiar and stunning.
  6. All of these songs sound like her -- from any era or any album of her career. Her presence is too recognizable to be disguised by production or gimmickry.
  7. It's a beautifully produced album, textured and performed with such energy that her least satisfying lyrics (and the lyrics are usually the main problem on a DiFranco album) are muted.
  8. Knuckle Down holds together quite well, revealing an artist still developing a powerful and engaging self-analytical aesthetic.
  9. Laid-back musings even casual fans will love. [28 Jan 2005, p.85]
  10. 70
    More honed and richly-textured than former offerings. [Apr 2005, p.101]
  11. 70
    DiFranco remains an utterly singular performer. [Mar 2005, p.91]
  12. 70
    DiFranco seems less the compulsive confessor here, more the storyteller. [Mar 2005, p.139]
  13. It ranks as the artist's most concise and accessible release to date.
  14. Ms. DiFranco is still self-sufficient, but an extra pair of producer's ears gives her some new dimensions. [31 Jan 2005]
  15. Sounds underproduced. [10 Feb 2005, p.80]
  16. DiFranco always throws her heart into her songs, and Knuckledown gives her a chance to reflect on it.
  17. Knuckle Down looms as both a pleasing musical achievement and a disappointing move.
  18. Deliberately sparse and bare. [Mar 2005, p.99]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Nov 21, 2010
    9
    A very good album from one of our most innovative modern musicians and poets. While her strongest work was from 1995-2001, this album represents a powerful return to form. The songs Studying Stones, Sunday Morning, Manhole, and Paradigm are all absolutely perfect works of art, lyrically AND musically, and they make this album a must have. Full Review »
  2. AaronD
    Apr 30, 2006
    10
    It's just exellent all the way through. It's as good as anything she's ever done.
  3. Claudia
    Dec 4, 2005
    10
    Great album - nice to hear her playing with people again, although i loved educated guess. thanks, ani, for showing your emotions again...