Ani DiFranco’s 14th CD, Educated Guess, is a “collection of recollections,” as she boldly professes on “The True Story of What Was,” one of the album’s four spoken tracks. It’s a…love him, hate him…praise him, condemn him…need him, better off without him…can’t make up your mind what it is you’re feeling kind of experience. It’s a clash of romanticism and sarcasm, a kaleidoscope of mellow tunes offset by rough-edged lyrics.

This is the kind of CD I call, “a good companion in times of need.” Now, let me state my case: Guys…write this one off. Girls…if you’ve just broken up with “that jerk,” and are looking to embrace your state of denial…this one’s for you. Ani’s independent nature is reflected through her music. It is empowering, inspiring, and even slightly bitter.

Ani’s characteristic feminism is boldly apparent in “Origami,” where she proclaims, “I am an all-powerful Amazon warrior/not just some sniveling girl/so no matter what I think I need/you know I can’t possibly/have a need in this world.” What woman can resist losing herself in the poetic lyrics and acoustics of this album?

This CD, accompanied by a glass of fine red wine, is perfect for one of those nights when everything seems pointless, when the only solution to life’s frustrations can be expressed through a few off-tune guitar cords and ambiguously emotional words.

Maria Carolina Marquez can be contacted at .