Not So Soft is both lullaby and wake up call. Ani's rhythmic acoustic guitar playing and politically dense lyricism make for a melodious journey of personal discovery. The Folksinger's sentiments are as witty and humorous as ever. Using her voice as musical accompaniment the effect is stunning.
This solo record is filled with honesty and the quiet plucking of heartstrings. "Anticipate" and "Not So Soft" sometimes sneak their way into the setlist and are undoubtedly crowd pleasers. Ten other tunes at large in the shadow of America's landscape range from bedroom scenes to bus stops. AIDS, corporate structure, gender dynamics, war and love are some heavy topics made light.
"Gratitude" and " The Next Big Thing" explore feminism through stories of expectation. "She Says", "Make Me Stay" , "Itch", "Rockabye" , and "The Whole Night" spin tales of love and desire.
Not So Soft is full of guitar grooves and philosophic musings from someone who's not afraid to talk to strangers. In a desert of recycled rhetoric this one is as original as the forest floor.
Before they were Poems: "Those Who Call The Shots Are Never In The Line of Fire" was first written on Ani's protest placard for an anti-war march.
Artwork: Cover art by the Folksinger
Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Conga, and Dust Broom
Touring Status: Can she play here?
RBR: Cassette tapes in heavy circulation and dubbing upon 1991 release.
Misc. You can pick up a guitar at a pawnshop for under a hundred bucks. You still have to learn how to play it, and Ani's been at it since age 8.
"Articulate reflections on a fully engaged young life."
- ROBERT CHRISTGAU, THE VILLAGE VOICE
Released: November 1991
Please Note: MP3 files will arrive as a zip file and will not work with iPhones or iPads.