On the other hand, DiFranco's increasingly elaborate studio sound was yielding diminishing returns, and even when the songwriting on Guess meanders, it's still a reminder of how potent the simplicity of her early days is. Ignore the lack of anything as catchy as "Both Hands" or "In or Out" and get lost in her lyrical cascades and popping guitar rhythms. Guess works best as an album-length sonic collage, but for those of you looking for standouts, the sweet, shimmering title track and uncharacteristically catchy chorus of "Bubble" are as good as you'll get. Another Guess would probably be way too earnest and granola-ish by half, but for now DiFranco's return to her roots has made for her best album since Dilate.
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