Throughout her career, Ani DiFranco has given her own take on tired rock star clichés. When other artists answered to major labels, she opted to start her own. While other guitarists relied on electric heroics, she pounded on a strangely tuned acoustic. And when faced with the task of releasing a career retrospective, Ani created anything but the traditional "greatest hits" package. With Canon, the double-disc set scheduled to hit stores on October 1, 2007, fans will get an unprecedented look at how the artist sees her prolific career, and newcomers will get the ultimate primer in DiFrancology. Like everything else she creates, Ani made this record to her precise specifications, carefully selecting 36 songs from her voluminous back catalogue, including tunes from her first album and her 18th.As a result, Canon doesn't play like a greatest hits package, but an album that's arranged and intended to be played from beginning to end. There are even some surprises along the way - a handful of re-imaginings of Ani classics, courtesy of the Little Folksinger, bassist and long-time collaborator Todd Sickafoose, and drummer Alison Miller. The trio busts out fresh, inspired versions of the Dilate gems "Napoleon" and "Shameless," as well as "Your Next Bold Move," "Overlap" and that simple, aching ballad and live staple that absolutely never gets old, "Both Hands." So while other "best of" projects get slapped together by labels to fulfil artists' contractual obligations, Canon represents the beginning of a new phase of Ani DiFranco's unabashedly unique career. Because sometimes, for us to move forward, there's nothing healthier than taking a long, fruitful look back.