Ani DiFranco’s 20th studio album finds the folk-jazz iconoclast on strong footing. Whether it’s religion (“Alrighty”), nonviolence (“Pacifist’s Lament”), or the pitfalls of politics (“Deferred Gratification”), DiFranco tackles big subjects with a sense of play that makes them feel personal, even joyful. It’s an approach complemented by her polyglot New Orleans sound. “I was done at 16 showing up for class,” she sings on the funky “Play God.” “I was out there in the ring, learning how to kick some ass.”

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