As slick as the music is, the lyrics are unvarnished and Morissette unflinchingly explores emotions so common, most people would be ashamed to articulate them. However, she added enough pop sensibility, slight hip-hop flourishes, and marketing savvy to that formula to become a superstar with her third album, Jagged Little Pill. All of this adds up to a record that's surprisingly effective, an utterly fascinating exploration of a young woman's psyche. Alanis marvels at how crazy she was back then, as she and her audience both congratulate themselves on surviving ten years while reflecting on how much they've personally grown in that decade. Original producer Glen Ballard has overseen the mixing and mastering from this edition which also provides a new essay from Morissette reflecting back on the era and providing stories behind the newly issued demos. That is, unless it is really for the kind of crowd she serenaded in that episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm -- a very satisfied, very comfortable audience that prefers to see the past only through rose-colored glasses that present their history in terms that are more acceptable to who they are now than who they were back then.
This doesn't make Jagged Little Pill great, but it does make it a fascinating record, a phenomenon that's intensely personal. Head Over Feet, Right Through You, Forgiven, Perfect, Not The Doctor, You Learn and Hand In My Pocket. What's all the more remarkable is that Alanis isn't a particularly good singer, stretching the limits of pitch and credibility with her octave-skipping caterwauling. This is sepia-toned music which is appropriate, since the cover itself is a sepia-toned replication of the original's artwork , with all of the excesses and eccentricities of youth either romanticized or dismissed with a soft chuckle. And that pretty much summarizes the music here, too: it's deliberately mature and certainly more tasteful than the original Jagged Little Pill, the kind of music that would sound good playing in, well, the background of a coffee shop. Often, it seems like Glen Ballard's pop inclinations fight against Alanis' exorcisms, as her bitter diary entries are given a pop gloss that gives them entry to the pop charts. This, after all, plays like an emotional purging, prompted by a bitter relationship -- and, according to all the lyrical hints, that's likely a record executive who took advantage of a young Alanis.
A lot of high quality soundboard bootleg pressed discs were released back then of the concerts and also studio demos. For a list of references mentioned in the podcast visit 'Conversation with Alanis Morissette' will feature conversations with different individuals from different schools and walks of life discussing everything from psychology to art to spirituality to design to health and well-being, to relationships whether they be romantic or colleagueship or parent with children relationships. Jagged Little Pill Acoustic is the sound of an artist who is comfortable and settled, fondly reminiscing about her crazy past for an audience that is also comfortable and settled. . Perhaps the guitar grunginess just hints at it.
Since Ballard is a pro and since Alanis has lived with these songs long enough to find different, yet comfortable, ways to rephrase these familiar melodies, it's a pleasant enough listen, but it's hard to see the point of the album. At its core, this is the work of an ambitious but sophomoric 19-year-old, once burned by love, but still willing to open her heart a second time. This may not have been the genesis of her 2005 album Jagged Little Pill Acoustic -- initially for sale only in Starbucks stores, but released to mass retail in late July -- but that performance not only offers a clue to the sound of this acoustic-based reinterpretation of her blockbuster breakthrough, but also to its target audience. This doesn't change the song or its intent, but it does signal that Morissette has a slightly different perspective, one that is self-congratulatory, more tolerant, and more self-consciously urbane. Since its release in 1995, the album has sold over 30 million copies and this new set sees the audio remastered and adds a disc of unreleased demos selected by Morissette herself.
Unlike the 1995 original, this is not a dense, glossy pop album that slyly co-opts and repackages ideas from the musical fringe for a mass audience, nor is this akin to her 1999 acoustic album Alanis Unplugged, where Morissette was still sorting out exactly which direction to take in the aftermath of her phenomenal success. I saw one of the concerts in Virginia when Taylor Hawkins was the drummer. Alanis Morrisette Biography Alanis Morissette was one of the most unlikely stars of the mid-'90s. But it still sounds fresh. . . .
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