"I had to leave the house of self-importance," Ani DiFranco sings softly on Reprieve's minimal, measured opening track. Thank god - it was getting a bit tiresome. Like her last two albums of stripped-down folk, DiFranco's latest reaffirms that her dabbling in overly ornate production is safely tucked into her horn-porn past. Prodigal fans will fawn over our lady of the well-crafted lyrics and heart-pounding guitar fist-fights. Millennium Theater takes on U.S. politics with trademark wit even if it does get too friendly with cheesy synth, while weaker tracks like Shroud include clunky non-rhymes like "doors" and "competitors." Generally solid with more hits than misses, but my usual advice to DiFranco still applies: don't record everything you write - wait a few months and give us the best ones. We won't forget you if you take a break sometimes.