Ani DiFranco embraces fun on new CD

She has settled into a life of motherhood and domestic bliss but that doesn't stop Ani DiFranco from opening her new album with a killer line. "New year's Eve we dropped mushrooms and danced round the house," she sings, creating a clever metaphor for the surreal horror of life under the Bush administration. A resident of New Orleans, DiFranco employs the Crescent City's famed Rebirth Brass Band to offer simmering horns that, along with a subtle string section, reinforce the song's pathos. Most of Red Letter Year follows the title track's richly orchestrated template, with the singer/songwriter covering topical and personal material.