Alanis Morissette Review – Jagged Little Pill Still Has Sharp Edges | Alanis Morissette
ONE video editing precedes the arrival of Alanis Morissette, capturing the Canadian-American anxiety-rock godmother’s extraordinary pop culture resonance with clips of everything from her Curb Your Enthusiasm como to James Corden and Justin Bieber howling Ironic at Carpool Karaoke. French and Saunders ‘memorable flesh-colored bodysuit parody of the Thank U video may also have been included, for a taste of the satirical setback that followed the singer’s celebrity zenith in the late’ 90s, but the point remains: no matter how big you remember Morissette has been, she was bigger.
A quarter of a century later – much spent in self-imposed exile to find inner peace through spirituality, meditation and motherhood – Morissette has become engaged on her own terms with a music business that nearly killed her to mark a milestone for 1995’s totemic 33m-selling Jagged Little pill. The 25th anniversary of an album that has already been re-released several times, once re-recorded in acoustic form and now the theme of a popular jukebox musical, has been stretched out for more than two years now. But who complains? Let’s just say no one is here in February in anticipation of Morissette’s latest chakra-balancing ambient album The Storm Before the Calm.
Morissette steps on stage in a baggy yellow T-shirt and leather pants, and sings with a loud and pristine voice, and rolls the high notes during Hand in My Pocket so effortlessly that they practically yodel, leaning so far back from the microphone during the exciting the chorus of You Learn that she might as well be in the parking lot. The sneaky record industry’s leader-shameful Right Through You almost announced #MeToo, and helps explain Morissette’s renaissance among younger listeners. But most fans tonight look like long-term people, many of them almost do not believe that the turnesky star is finally here in front of them and windmills her peroxide hair.
Ironic is touchingly sung in memory of Taylor Hawkins, who drummed with Morissette before joining the Foo Fighters. Flaming break-up song You Oughta Know has been covered by Britney and Beyoncé, but for full intensity must be experienced from the source.
The extra number frames Morissette’s difficult progression after Jagged Little Pill, first with 1998’s Uninvited, an almost Mogwai – like noise rock complaint that was unlikely to sell seven million copies. The Zen hosanna of Thank U were mocked in their time, and came from a singer who was beaten by an angry young woman. Today, they sound like the first step on a long road to happier and healthier superstar status.