Rolling Stone (10/30/97, p.68) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...the times again have come around to her...carefully observed portraits of people pressed hard by personal and social struggles..."
Entertainment Weekly (9/19/97, p.84) - "...Ian...fills this comeback with tunes about social ills and romantic travails. Nothing new in that, but this out-and-proud sister strums and sings with enough been-there-suffered-that authority to win some Lilith-era converts." - Rating: B-
Personnel: Janis Ian (vocals, acoustic guitar); Kevin Breit (electric & National steel guitars, bazouki); Andrew Gilchrist, Dan Huff (electric guitar); Randy Leago (accordion); Glenn Worf, David Piltch (upright bass); Ani DiFranco (bass, samples, background vocals); Andy Stochansky (drums, percussion); Steve Brewster (drums); Terry McMillan, Cyro Baptista (percussion).
Producers: Jeff Balding, Janis Ian, Ani DiFranco.
Engineers: Andrew Gilchrist, Jeff Balding, Jim DeMain, Dan Koppelson, Philip Clark.
Ian's third album of her '90s comeback has something of the minimalist feel of BREAKING SILENCE, but like REVENGE, it's fleshed out a bit with splashes of instrumental color--electric guitar, a string section, accordion--not found on that earlier album. The songs continue in Ian's confessional story vein with the occasional detour into the political; the strongest track in that regard is "Searching for America," an utterly despairing look at the failure of democracy (it's subtler than that might sound) produced by obviously sympathetic righteous babe Ani DiFranco. There are also a couple of amusing ringers--the live, solo "Welcome to Acousticville" is a fun tribute to Ian's folkie roots, while "House Without a Heart" is a sort of '90s version of a new-wave pop ballad; some smart band with louder guitars should cover it immediately.