Alanis Morissette
Jagged Little Pill


5.0
classic

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF
August 15th, 2006 | 158 replies | 30,954 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


I grew up on Alanis Morisette. I’d drive home from school, and we’d listen to Jagged Little Pill. To this day, I can sing every single song off this album, and I can also recollect many of the basslines and guitar parts. To put it plainly, I was scarred by Alanis. I hated her from middle school till just over a month ago. Then, I decided “What the hell, I’ll give Jagged Little Pill another shot.” How I appreciate my brilliant suggestions I make to myself.

To put it plainly, Jagged Little Pill certainly deserves its reputation. It’s incredibly emotional, sharply written, jaded almost to the point of hilarity, and it kicked off a stupendous amount of cliché’s. Looking back, the album is just over the top with its presentation, with Alanis singing wildly and without much restraint or organization. That’s much to do with the charm of the album, however; it was Alanis before she got incredibly famous, when she was only expected to push around 100,000 copies.

The most surprising part of the recording is how original the music is. The guitar’s are effects laden, and often playing, for the time period, rather technically, and often make the dark and depressing atmospheres of the best Alanis songs (in particular, Wake Up is heavily dependent on it’s musical backdrop). However, the bass playing on the album is in particularly quite good, if not spectacular. Done mostly by the legendary Flea, the basslines are often furiously played and are in addition some of the best of his career. You Oughta Know, arguably the most parodied song on the album, features one of the best basslines of the 90’s, period, and many other songs come close to matching that.

What really makes or breaks the album, however, is how you cope with Alanis’s voice and singing style. Her voice is very high pitched, caustic, and well, unique. She goes through a large range here, from the quiet crooning seen on Perfect to the wailing on You Outha Know, to the womanly screaming on Ironic. She also regularly goes in and out of pitches and singing styles in the span of a secod, such as on All I Really Want, where the changes are so frequent she sometimes sounds like the female version of James Maynard Keenan. In fact, she might just be the female version of James Maynard Keenan. Just kidding.

But seriously, this chick can sing. If you can accept her voice. It’s entirely too abrasive, and those who are used to more traditional female vocalists will likely be turned off. However, it’s also not that inaccessible; she’s so convicted, it’s easy to just relate to her. She can also sound quite sweet, as on Head Over Feet, where she goes on about a friend who becomes her lover.

On that topic, the obvious attraction many people find to Alanis is her lyrical work. It’s not so much that’s eloquent, but moreso that it’s brutally honest most of the time, something that female songwriters couldn’t do in ‘95 if they wanted any sort of popularity. She tells what she feels, how she feels, and if there’s any reason for her to feel that way in every one of these songs, and it’s still refreshing to hear against some of the more generic female writers of our day, even if they have a more traditionally better voice. Oh, and for the record, I think she pulled a big one-up on everyone and made the song Ironic ironic so that it would be the ultimate irony song for getting irony wrong. Just for the record.

It’s difficult to express why this had such a huge impact on the world upon its release. It’s got a take no prisoners attitude, a strong musical basis, an eclectic singer in Alanis, and lyrics that anyone (no, it’s not some man-hating or man-excluding album as its so touted to be) can relate to, and a sense of carelessness that you can get lost in. It’s one of the most varied pop/rock albums I own, and its also one of the most emotionally powerful to boot. Just, if you do end up liking it, don’t start including Head Over Feet on party mixes. People don’t like it very much if you do…



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Chart.
3.9
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A painfully honest album that shows a brilliant artist at her peak....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love Alanis *sigh*

Bron-Yr-Aur
August 15th 2006



4405 Comments


You Oughta Know is great.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I attended an open mic the other night, and a black guy sang an Alanis song. I don't know if it's on here though.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There's an 80% probability it's on this album. Six of the songs here went on to be massively huge singles.

The Jungler
August 15th 2006



4827 Comments


This album seems kind of dull to me. I haven't quite listened to all of it and I don't know when I will.

Good job on the review.

Intransit
August 15th 2006



2797 Comments


god, I hate you for putting that abortion of a song on the mix

regardless, good work as usual, I really just cannot get over how whiney she is.

francesfarmer
August 15th 2006



1477 Comments


You write excellent reviews...

And I had no idea Flea played on this.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Flea's work on this is excellent. I was so impressed I wondered "Jesus who the hell is playing this?", so I googled it up and bam, I learned Flea played most of of the albums bass.

Cygnus Inter Anates
August 15th 2006



721 Comments


Yum.

The Sludge
August 15th 2006



2169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy shit!!! Wine dine and 69 me, because this review served it good justice.

(I had a crush on her growing up, mainly from the Thank You video)

Patrick
August 15th 2006



1891 Comments


Great review, I have to admit I did not know that Flea did the bass work. If I were a chick and my boyfriend was abusive I'd crank up you oughtta know and slap him in the face.

Patrick
August 15th 2006



1891 Comments


Oh, and Ironic is a kick-ass tune as well.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[quote=Sarcastic]If I were a chick and my boyfriend was abusive I'd crank up you oughtta know and slap him in the face.[/quote]
That's the best comment on any of my reviews ever.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Does this album have a song on it that says something about her going into her ex-boyfriend's house and taking a shower and stuff?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes, that's the hidden song at the end. It's one of my favorite songs on the album. It's acapella and uber creepy and altogether womg-inducing.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

THATS THE SONG THE DUDE SANG. He had an awesome voice.

Bron-Yr-Aur
August 15th 2006



4405 Comments


I used to listen to this album all the time. As a matter of fact, I still have it somewhere....

/looking

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hahahah. I can't imagine that song karaoke. It gets a lot of the tone from the echo-y room she recorded it in.

Btw, I'm requesting Alanis's genre be changed to rock, as she was rock until her latest release, and even then...pop rock should at most be the secondary genre.

Bron, I think everyone used to listen to this album a lot, they just dont want to admit it.This Message Edited On 08.15.06

Bron-Yr-Aur
August 15th 2006



4405 Comments


I clearly recall myself as a young lad, sitting in the backseat of my auto-mobile and listening to "Ironic". Wow, I forgot how much I liked that song.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
August 15th 2006



2806 Comments


My 8th grade English teacher used Ironic to teach a lesson on irony.



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