Hmm, I think most people have an opinion on Alanis Morissette, and she's pretty much a love her or hate her kind of gal . Well, maybe not so much now, seeing as how she's not in the public eye as much anymore, well not over here anyway, I don't know about anywhere else. I'm sure they still wheel her out for thr Juno awards over in Canada.
Like the rest of the world, I've had Jagged Little Pill lying around the house for ages - nobody has yet to own up to buying it by the way - and for a while, I really hated it. Recently though, I heard it playing downstairs - again, nobody would admit to putting it on - and I really enjoyed it.
After a few more listens, I think a have a new appreciation for it, and resentment for its obvious influence. As far as I'm aware, pre Jagged Litte Pill (JLP), Morissette was Canada's answer to Paula Abdul, without the drunken fondling of Simon Cowel in front of millions of course, known only as 'Alanis'. Somehow, she was able to shed that image, break out of her homeland and release one of the biggest albums of the 90s, and undoubtedly one of the most successful from a female artist.
First off, I love JLP. I think she was able to pull off something that we've not really seen copied successfully yet. Avril who? If you look at videos or photographs from the period, i think, there's a real sincerity in her songs - however much they sounded like some chick having a ***** fit, it was HER ***** fit, and she was going to let everybody know about it. She carried the dirt of the street on her shoe, and these diary entries turned songs were sang with genuine emotion. She could have been the girl across the street - she's not a playmate of the year like Debbie Harry. But, most of all, she had alot of really good, radio friendly songs, with some pretty sharp writing. Even I can't help but wince when she screeches 'when I scratch my nails down someone elses back I hope you feel it XD.
Of course, I can completley understand why some people may not like it. For all her voice is unique, and distinct, it can be interperated as screechy, and just out of tune. I think my opinion falls somewhere inbetween .
Furthermore, in many ways it could be interperated as being an album filled with internalised sexism - You Oughta Know.
Although, as much as I love JLP, I actually think that she was able to reach greater heights with her follow up, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, where Alanis stops raging at the men in her life, and turns on herself - and lost most of her fans in the process. Her style has changed, in what is a more mature album both lyrically and musically, but she still has the same biting cynisism which won her so much acclaim in the first place. Songs like The Couch take us to darker places in her life, which for some, being so personal, can be off puting. But then again, she has a habit for laying her life out there for us.
Unfortunatley those are the only two albums I have - besides Alanis Unplugged, and Jagged Little Pill Accoustic - WTF was she thinking there?! I've seen Swept Under The Rug, and So Called Chaos, but they're both pretty expensive, so I've never bought them - would be interested to hear about them though. *nudge nudge*
So yeah, Alanis Morissette. Underrated singer/songwriter, or silly slag?
I really like some of her songs, I like the anger she conveys towards people, like in "You Oughta Know". A lot of people don't like that song, but I don't see it as sexist at all, it was her emotions and her anger towards someone which she laid out straight for everyone to know what it was about. She wasn't hiding behind metaphors, as many great songs do (and I love metaphors, particularly in music), so this was such a change, and a good one actually. When songs play themselves out so you know exactly what the artist is talking about, it usually doesn't sound all that great, but this one is so powerful that I just really like it. I like her honesty. I don't know much of her latest stuff, but her first album was great. I'll admit it, I really like it. "You Oughta Know" is one of the few non-metal songs that I can play over and over.
You laugh at me because I'm different. I laugh at you because you're all the same.
I truly and honestly think that Jagged Little Pill is one of the best records of the 90s, if not the best. "You Oughta Know," the famous single from that album was ranked number 28 on the top Canadian pop hits of all time. It's her album that I'm most familiar with, ever since my sister bought it on tape when it first came out. It was one of the few tapes that when it was put on in the car, nobody would protest. Beyond that album I haven't heard a lot of her other songs, except for the singles. And I like what I hear. She's a great representation of a Canadian Artist, and has stayed true to her roots moreso than star just as famous, if not more so, than herself. She's an artist I'm proud to say came from my home and native land, and as long as she is putting music out, I'll probably support it in a quiet way.
Now if only I could find my sister's copy of Jagged Little Pill right now...