User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 32
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 32
  3. Negative: 2 out of 32

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  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.
  2. JoeN
    Feb 4, 2005
    10
    An excellent, excellent album. Ignore the vote of '1' - If Educated Guess left you wonderinf if you could still be a fan of hers, let this album bring you back to full belief in her abilities.
  3. EdwardE
    Mar 2, 2005
    9
    Ms. DiFranco returns home from her wanderings through JamBandLand. This release is concise & one of her best.
  4. NaomiC
    Mar 5, 2005
    10
    It's her best album in years!!!!!!!!
  5. AaronD
    Apr 30, 2006
    10
    It's just exellent all the way through. It's as good as anything she's ever done.
  6. artw
    Jan 25, 2005
    1
    Gosh, it's been almost 10 years since Ani put out a good album. This is the same crap as the last handful of albums with different, but equally lame lyrics.
  7. cleve
    Jan 29, 2005
    10
    For all the critics who attempt to find something wrong, flawed, or disappointing about this album, I respectfully have this to say: re-evaluate your own standards of judgement. This album is a success on all fronts. Collaboration is no easy task, and it shines through beautifully on this work, as does Ani's evolving musicality. Many people are dissapointed every time Ani relaeses an For all the critics who attempt to find something wrong, flawed, or disappointing about this album, I respectfully have this to say: re-evaluate your own standards of judgement. This album is a success on all fronts. Collaboration is no easy task, and it shines through beautifully on this work, as does Ani's evolving musicality. Many people are dissapointed every time Ani relaeses an album that doesn't sound like one of her last ones, but I feel this disappontment is based in a stagnant view of art or perhaps the world. To judge anyone on their previous actions puts them on a pedestal or in a box and is ultimately unfair and more of a reflection of the judger than the judgee. So, having said that, go with the flow people, sink into it, and you'll love this album. Expand
  8. brittneys
    Feb 12, 2005
    10
    Makes my heart want to explode!
  9. MarcF
    Feb 21, 2005
    10
    As an Ani listener since the beginning, I think this is one of her best albums in both sound and concept; she turns phenomenal poetic phrases so smoothly that it takes a second listening to catch many of them. The production certainly outshines any previous album. I highly suggest purchasing this one.
  10. allisonb
    Feb 2, 2005
    10
    mellow music- but still stunning lyrics- give it a 10 - "Choose integerity over desire"
  11. VictorB
    Feb 5, 2005
    8
    I agree with the review cleve gave 100%! A solid record that grows on you more and more with every listen. I'm learning that's the way Ani makes records. There are songs from years ago that have just found their way into my soul.
  12. ColeF
    Feb 7, 2005
    9
    Joe Henry's co-production helps shape Difranco's gritty, realistic lyrics and wildly-tuned melodies into a near-perfect concept album. Difranco shows maturity and a growing amount of tasteful restraint. Several songs, including Callous and the title track, are some of the best Difranco has written in her insanely prolific career.
  13. BrandonS
    Jan 25, 2005
    7
    Her best since Little Plastic Castles, though it's a bit slanted toward slow songs. Just a couple more faster songs would really even this out. The closing song, "Recoil," is by far her best since "As Is" and a couple other from Little Plastic Castles, and this is arguably worth the price just for that song. I recommend this to anyone who was turned off by the awful "Up Up etc." and Her best since Little Plastic Castles, though it's a bit slanted toward slow songs. Just a couple more faster songs would really even this out. The closing song, "Recoil," is by far her best since "As Is" and a couple other from Little Plastic Castles, and this is arguably worth the price just for that song. I recommend this to anyone who was turned off by the awful "Up Up etc." and "To the Teeth" and miss the more focussed Difranco. Expand
  14. ChrisieE
    Jan 29, 2005
    8
    A mostly mellow endeavor, but what's wrong with that?
  15. DPero
    Jan 31, 2005
    7
    A turn away from her political roots, yet still captivating as always. This album is surely reflective of an older more mature Ani DiFranco. This album may lose the attention of older hardcore Ani fans as it's very remniscent of Revelling Reckoning.
  16. 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...
  17. SuzanneK
    Jan 25, 2005
    10
    ... awesome album...
  18. michael
    Jan 25, 2005
    10
    great cd!! i'm a very casual ani fan and this one floored me over.
  19. [Anonymous]
    Jan 26, 2005
    9
    typical ani at it's best.
  20. NathanielS
    Jan 28, 2005
    10
    This could be my second favorite studio album by the l'il folksinger!
  21. ShannonH
    Feb 12, 2005
    10
    Not since Little Plastic Castles have I felt that wonderful chest pain and when the hair on your arms stands on end because her voice just penetrates you like that. I am in love with the music once again and it brings me back to Not So Soft and Dilate when I thought all I would ever want to listen to again was Ani discs over and over. I think Knuckle Down is wonderful and emotional and Not since Little Plastic Castles have I felt that wonderful chest pain and when the hair on your arms stands on end because her voice just penetrates you like that. I am in love with the music once again and it brings me back to Not So Soft and Dilate when I thought all I would ever want to listen to again was Ani discs over and over. I think Knuckle Down is wonderful and emotional and teeth gritting. Thankyou Ani once again Expand
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. The results are a selection of high quality that veers between brightly spirited ("Manhole," "Lag Time") and somber ("Callous").
  2. While Knuckle Down doesn’t wow with new musical directions, the album undeniably satisfies by being familiar and stunning.
  3. Knuckle Down looms as both a pleasing musical achievement and a disappointing move.