Since 1990, though, DiFranco has basically single-handedly proven that you don't need a record label to become an idolized, celebrated musical artist. All you need is truth, a bit of lyrical style, and a voice that offers a more intimate look into one's life than a video camera could ever hope to. With Reprieve, her latest album (recorded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina), nothing has changed except DiFranco's delivery. No, she hasn't gone pop. No, she hasn't stopped talking about politics. No, she isn't any less bitter about the state of the world or a woman's place in it. But DiFranco offers up something considerably more laconic than her most recent efforts, paring down her music to reveal an even more intense truth in haunting songs that, though not recorded live, place you right next to her at the bonfire as she pluck-strums her guitar. "Decree" makes the point best, as DiFranco sings, "the stars are going out and the stripes are getting bent." Ouch.