Chris Challans writes:
Merely stating things your fanbase is likely to applaud does not good songwriting make. "If Yr Not" is the perfect example of this. The first line of the song is, "if you're not getting happier as you get older... you're f***in' up." Okay, I get it; yes, I agree with you... but when you just say it flat out like that, it's not interesting songwriting. The "old" Ani would have taken that as the root idea, then found novel and clever ways to express it. A successful song that expresses the same idea as "If Yr Not" is "Back Back Back" from To the Teeth.
Ruby Palma's review includes:
The songs are, on the overall, simply not a particular pleasure to listen to. They are at their best average and at their worst forgotten upon impact. Some of them, such as the noble "Amendment," simply should have remained poetry.
"I just feel drained," she says in "Zoo." The problem is that her well of inspiration seems similarly tapped out.
The truth is that "Which Side Are You On?" is a relatively unengaging and done-by-rote album from an otherwise exciting and trailblazing artist. It is welcome to hear DiFranco again after such a long absence, but it doubtful many of her followers will be continuing to play this CD after several months' time.
Wesley J. Daniel observes:
This album, Which Side are You On? lacks style, it lacks passion. The last 2 albums have felt like Ani feels obligated to release something to her fans. As much as I miss the passionate, angry Ani from Dilate, I understand that she has grown up and become a wife and mother. I understand that her priorities have changed as well. But, honestly, if this is what we Ani fans have to look forward to...unimaginative, mediocre writing...I will just stop buying her music, give Red Letter Year and Which Side are You On to a local record store and just cherish her past gems like Dilate and Little Plastic Castles.
Yep, the new album really does suck
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"