Wednesday, February 26, 2014

One Year, 100 Albums: #36 Alanis Morissette "Jagged Little Pill"

Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill, 1995

I think this is an album that gets a lot of hate for being stereotypically, embarrassingly 90's, but that's only from people who haven't listened to it in a long time. People that have a caricature of Alanis in their minds as this hateful, caustic, burdensome woman WHO DOESN'T EVEN USE THE WORD "IRONIC" CORRECTLY.

What they're forgetting when they're going for the quick callback joke, is that Jagged Little Pill is a powerhouse. It has such a wide range of tones and emotions that it can almost be overwhelming. I think it's true that you have to be in a very specific emotional headspace to listen to it and get all of the brilliance it's putting out there. Some sort of combination of vulnerability, sarcasm, self-deprecation, and hope.

I got into this album in almost the same way I got into Dark Side of the Moon: I had a tape that someone had recorded the album onto and I listened to it almost in secret. There were curse words on it and concepts that I didn't even understand until I was much much older ("Would she go down on you in a theater?") and all of that made it the most exciting experience.

The album has only grown more meaningful as I've gotten older, particularly the non-singles like the ones I featured below the video. If you don't understand what she's singing about in either of those songs, well, then I guess you had an atypically idyllic childhood/adolescence. Congratulations!

Now let's talk about this video. Isn't it weird that it exists on a continuum from Sinead to Miley? Also, why do people hate on the harmonica so much? I think it's PERFECT in this song and video. I just love the simplicity of this one and, though I ALMOST went with the video for "Ironic" (multiple Alanises take a road trip), I'm really glad I chose this one to put up here.

Alanis Morissette - Perfect
Alanis Morissette - Forgiven

You can buy Jagged Little Pill at Amazon, Amazon MP3, and iTunes

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