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yep did have my hand in my pocket when i bought this
everyone else when i was in school loved oasis , but her voice was different from the
music everyone else was listening to ,
This has got to be one of the first albums I had , I love her voice its different and the songs have really good meanings to them , hand in my pocket was the song that made me get this album I saw it on an mtv live show Years and years ago . There are a lot of great songs on here like you oughta know , Ironic , Mary jane ( prob one of my fav's ) other Excellent songs have got to be perfect this song is very sad yet , I find very true , its nice to see her still making new music and staying with in the music industry ,
You can pick this album up for next to nothing now its really good value for money and there are a lot of different types of song moods this is one where you never skip a track , I love her music videos as well ironic is probably the best for me , the album cover has lyrics to her songs , she sings clearly and you can easily understand her Canadian accent . Nice to see someone who can play the guitar as well , not just pretending to hit the chords a must buy and there are a lot of other albums she has released so I would recommend them as well
Isn't it ironic ????
Don't ya think ???
In 1996 Alanis Morissette became a household name when she released her third studio album 'Jagged Little Pill' (Her prevous two albums 'Alanis' and 'Now Is The Time' were Canadian only releases and complete pop sounding).
In the UK our first real insign of Alanis Morissette was on the angsty sounding first single 'You Oughta Know' which was a Top 40 hit single in 1995. Our first impression of her was that she had obviously been through a nasty breakup and was bitter and promised revenge. The whole song was pure anger driven with epic lyrics such as 'Everytime I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it'. Amazing.
The album became a worldwide hit selling millions in 1996 and topped the UK album charts several times.
Some of her best known singles are from this album and sadly she has yet to and doubtfully will reach the heights of this album, but maybe that is a good thing. 'Hand In My Pocket', 'You Learn', 'Ironic', 'Head Over Feet' and 'All I Really Want' were the remaining songs released as singles from the album and surprisingly it was only 'Head Over Feet' that reached the top 10 in the UK Singles charts. The album is full of highlights and the theme remains steady throughout. If you liked the singles then you will love 'Not The Doctor', 'Mary Jane' and 'Wake Up'. There is also a hidden track called 'Your House' on the album.
To this day, Jagged Little Pill remains an all time classic and is still featured in many album countdowns and charts throughout the world.
This album should be in everybody's collection.
1. All I Really Want
2. You Oughta Know
4. Hand In My Pocket
5. Right Through You
7. You Learn
8. Head Over Feet
9. Mary Jane
11. Not The Doctor
12. Wake Up
I've liked Alanis Morissette for several years as she's an artist that can't really go 'out of date'; I can relate to some of her lyrics, the songs can make me feel certain ways and they're all catchy in their own right.
Jagged Little Pill is probably the most popular and well-loved of her albums, being her debut back in 1995. Was it really that long ago? Time flies...! Since then she's released a few other albums and acoustic versions, gaining much recognition along the way as an accomplished singer songwriter. Her earlier stuff for me is classic, but whereas with author musicians I often find later work less appealing, I also love her more recent album. Jagged is a combination of upbeat, thoughtful, catchy and moving, all wrapped up in one album to give perfect variety for many listening moods.
The album consists of 12 tracks, including some familiar singles like 'Hand In My Pocket' and 'Ironic'. These are songs lots of people seem to recognise without having seem to know of Morissette; they've been around quite a while and have become classics in their own right. The tracks are:
1. All I Really Want
2. You Oughta Know
4. Hand In My Pocket
5. Right Through You
7. You Learn
8. Head Over Feet
9. Mary Jane
11. Not The Doctor
12. Wake Up
Some people compare Morissette to singers like Tori Amos, but for me, Morissette is in a class of her own. Her voice on this album is unique, her own signature that can't, and hasn't, been copied. It goes with the music in every direction, and I'd imagine so people would say it's not always 'in tune' but I like that. It's raw and powered by emotion, moving freely and effortlessly with the rhythm. You don't get the feeling that she's putting anything on for the sake of selling music; it's not nasally, doesn't follow a fashion trend and doesn't sound phony because her voices comes across as authentic and truly her own.
I'm not really sure what genre you'd place Jagged Little Pill in. Grunge perhaps, but I'd rather not box it in. Again, I think that when this was released she carved out her own space in the music industry and made it her own. It's angsty but not irritating in a self-pitying way. I find this like an album of therapy, where she's getting emotions and lessons learned out to the listener, not just moaning about it or talking garbage to accompany some music. Some aspects are a little controversial perhaps, but the lyrics are, on the whole, suitable and respectable given the meaning behind them. The lyrics are both personal and relatable in various songs, which is part of the reason she became so well-loved. People could identify with her words and emotions, giving them an outlet through her music and providing a soundtrack to accompany certain moments of their lives. I know I listened to this on repeat through some times of my life, and still listen to it a fair bit now because I don't seem to tire of it.
In addition to emotional and meaningful aspects, the album has a lot of upbeat catchiness to it. This is usually found in the choruses, which can be powerful and very recognisable. There are moments when the music becomes quite trashy and brutal in a somewhat elegant way, such as in Ironic, and singing along becomes fun and an enjoyable release. Other tracks, like Mary Jane, take the pace down a notch and are good to be thoughtful with, to contemplate over and to comfort yourself in.
All in all, this album has a bit of everything wrapped up in a wonderful, uniquely brilliant voice. It's powered by emotion and intelligence, providing a soundtrack of vibrant, catchy tunes and thought-provoking moving moments.
Definitely one to give a listen to if you haven't already.
1995, Selling on Amazon for £4.66
(Also available as Acoustic, £2.99)
This album will forever be one of the best albums I've ever heard. It always transports me back to my childhood. The album is chock full of f**k you songs aimed at her former lover. Some are harsh, all guns blazing and others are more vulnrable and tender, showing how much it hurt her. But all are terrific. The thing that I love about Alanis is her ability to write lyrics and sing in a way no-one else has before or will again. The words she writes and the way she explains things is just incredible. And every song has its own catchy hook. Her voice is just a masterpiece too. She has an incredible talent for being able to belt out the loudest notes and other times be soft and quiet and you listen intently for both. She has done some incredible follow up albums but I have to say this one is far and away the best. I think the time of release was critical at that point in the 90's when woman power was at it's peak and people were sitting up and taking notice of those talented female musicians. I don't think there will be many people who have not heard Ironic, which is of course a great song, but not my favourite on the album. I think Forgiven had to be up there with my favourite songs. I love the rawness of what she sings about and the belting chorus. What a bloody talented woman she is.
Jagged Little Pill was the third studio album released by Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, although the first released internationally (as a teenager Morissette had released two dance-pop albums in Canada). It was released in 1995 and became one of the most successful albums of all time, receiving both commercial success and critical acclaim. It reached number one both in the UK and in the US Billboard chart, as well as several other countries. Morissette wrote all of the lyrics herself, the angry songs proving a catalyst for the anxiety and panic attacks she suffered after being robbed at gunpoint on the streets of LA.
1. All I Really Want
2. You Oughta Know
4. Hand in My Pocket
5. Right Through You
7. You Learn
8. Head over Feet
9. Mary Jane
11. Not the Doctor
12. Wake Up
13. You Oughta Know (Alternate Take)
The album is famous for the angry, angsty songs featured on it and for Alanis's strong, distinctive voice. Several of the songs do fit into the 'angry' category: All I Really Want, Right Through You and the lyrically hilarious You Oughta Know, not to mention the famous Ironic, are songs generally directed at men and failed relationships: I can certainly understand why they got a reputation as relationship break-up songs! However there other kinds of songs on the album too, covering all sorts of topics: Perfect, about a pushy mother, Forgiven, about religious guilt, and Head Over Feet which is more of a conventional love song. Hand in My Pocket is optimistic without being sentimental, while You Learn is philosophical and mature. My edition also includes a different version of You Oughta Know and a bonus track, an a cappella version of Your House.
I find it hard to believe that Alanis was only 21 when this album was released. The witty lyrics, chosen song topics and fantastic voice seem to come from someone with much more life experience. I think this is a fantastic album and one I really enjoy listening to. Even though it was released 15 years ago it doesn't sound dated at all.
This is a fantastic album and I strongly recommend it.
Rather than just do a review of the Album I have decided to include some information about Alanis. Her background, hopefully this will help you understand the meaning of the songs in this album as there are mostly drawn from personal experiences.
*** Contains Explicit Lyrics***
Background on Alanis
Alanis hails from Ottawa, Canada and is generally considered a "Rock Chick" singer-songwriter. This is not how she originally started out, believe it or not she actually went down the pop/dance avenue. You will find it almost impossible to believe if you are already familiar with this album. She then went south to Los Angeles, America and met up with musician/songwriter Glen Ballard. The chemistry between them resulted in Jagged Little Pill.
Jagged Little Pill
Well there can be no doubt that this is her breakthrough and indeed defining album. The sales and critical aclaim alone are enough to justify this title. These facts are however not the most reason I bought this album.
I bought it simply because a heard a track (You Learn) and was hooked immediately, I wanted to hear the entire album instantly. The fact that the person who was playing the album in the car was a huge fan of the album helped! Jagged Little Pill is her third studio album. She has released 5 tracks from the album and the singles have had varied succes in the UK charts . The singles have achieved greater success in America as has the album but to date in the UK the album has sold more than 3 million copies.To date the album had sold 33 million copies worldwide. Hopefully this review will add a few more to that figure!
**Tracks release as singles in the UK**
You Oughta Know - Chart position 22
Hand in My Pocket- Chart position 26
You Learn - Chart position 24
Ironic - Chart position 11
Head over Feet - Chart position 7
Singing/Song Style and Writing Infulences
The angst which is clearly contained in this album is attributed to several incidents in her life. She claims that she was mugged in LA and this gave her the basis for the majority of tracks on the album. " The song You Oughta Know", was reportedly written about an ex-boyfriend.
Her singing style is of course not to everyones liking. It ranges from wailing/ abrasive on You Oughta Know, to a more subdued style on Perfect. She has a great vocal range and this album really shows off her talents. When you listen to the album you can almost feel the emotions she is going through when she is singing. Its like you are living her life through her songs.
Each track has a distinctive sound, and at the time of release I would say ground breaking use of musical arrangements. The whole album is heavy on guitars and bass, the use of harmonica (played by Alanis) is crucial. There are also tracks were she sings practically accustic or acapella which are a joy to listen to.
1 All I Really Want 4:43
2 You Oughta Know 4:07
3 Perfect 3:07 135,812
4 Hand In My Pocket 3:38
5 Right Through You 2:55
6 Forgiven 4:59
7 You Learn 3:58
8 Head Over Feet
9 Mary Jane 4:39
10 Ironic 3:47
11 Not the Doctor
12 Wake Up 4:52
13 You Oughta Know (Hidden LP Remix + Hidden Track) "Your House" 8:11
Personal Opinion on Each Track
1 All I Really Want 4:43 - BANG! a powerful statement of intention on the first track from the album. The harmonica and guitar lead introduction are dominant and drive this song. The bass and drums on this track are fantastic and add to the power of the song. The singing style and lyrics are first class. You can feel the agnst in her voice. She pulls you into the song and does not let you go until she is through with you. Standby Standby!!
2 You Oughta Know 4:07 - Again a truely powerful song delivered with some force. Her singing is angst ridden and powerful. Great lyrics and even the expletive seems apt. This song is reportedly about an ex so she really gives it some welly! Revenge is a dish best served as a song! 9/10
3 Perfect 3:07 - This song shows the softer side of her voice. It contains wonderful lyrics even though the song is delivered softly it still has raw emotion. The musical accompaniment with this song is scaled back greatly yet it still enhances the track. Perfect! 8/10
4 Hand In My Pocket 3:38 - Possibly my favourite song on the album. Lyrically its brilliant, everything has an counter balance, " I'm broke but I'm happy", 'high but grounded'. Starts of slow and gradualy builds to a climax. Great musical accompaniment which again adds greatly to the track, the harmonica solo is a real treat. 10/10
5 Right Through You 2:55 - A great guitar led introduction into the song then the drums and bass kick in. Brilliant lyrics delived with agnst, passion and venom. The guitars/Drums fade through the song to allow you to savour her performance. Class. 8/10
6 Forgiven 4:59 - Starts slow with just the power of her voice, gradually the guitars and bass kick in. Its again an emotive song. I do enjoy this track but it is probably one of the weaker songs the album. Still worth listening to if not just for her lyrics. 7/10
7 You Learn 3:58 Wonderful song. The song that got me into this album. A close shave between this and Hand in my pocket for my favourite song on the album. A huge hit for her. Drums lead from the intro and continue to lead throughout the song. Brilliant lyrics " You live, you learn" 10/10
8 Head Over Feet 4:27 - Reportedly about her falling for a close friend. Slow intro guitar led. A brilliant song, both lyrically and musically. Not delivered with her usual agnst, a much softer performance. Again the harmonica solo is a real treat. 9/10
9 Mary Jane 4:39 - To be honest possibly the weakest song on the album. Its slow and for me seems to lack any real meaning. The song allows her to really show off her lyrical ability but still lacks something for me. A little boring.
10 Ironic 3:47 Quality, Quality! A fantastic song and arguably her most famous song. In my opinion her best song lyrically with lines like " Meeting the man of my dreams... and then meeting his beautiful wife" A slow guitar lead intro which leads to fantastic lyrics and a kicking beat. Pure class. P.S. Ed Burne dined out on this song for years! 10/10
11 Not the Doctor 3:47 - A steady song with a nice guitar led intro which continues throughout. Excellent lyrically, similiar to "hand in my pocket in some respects. Not one of my favourites but still a good filler song. 7/10
12 Wake Up 4:52 - Nice guitar led intro, quickly met with a good drum beat. Lyrically very good, its a slow song which to me seems to fail to do much, to be honest its a bit whiney! Not the song I would have chosen as the last on the album. 7/10
13 You Oughta Know (Hidden LP Remix + Hidden Track) "Your House" 8:11 A remixed version of track for the hidden track "Your House" Just Alanis singing acapella, its brilliant and beautiful. Delivered with great raw emotion and passion. Shows exactly how much talent she has. Class.
In 2005 (tenth anniversary of the original album's release) "Jagged Little Pill Acoustic" was re-released as an acoustic version of the album.
This album was originally sold through Starbucks' Hear Music brand in an exclusive six-week deal that ended on July 26, 2005.
This is an album that all music fans should have in their collection. Its raw, emotive, lyrically brilliant and groundbreaking. Alanis delivers each line of each song with passion and in most cases angst. She has theability to express emotion which is lacking in most female vocalists. Musically its brilliant, the songs are accompanied by fantastic guitar rifts and kicking drum beats. The harmonica played by Alanis is
a surprisingly cool addition. Lets not forget she wrote these songs, and in some cases needed only one take to record the song.
Angry young rock chick yes = Fantastica lyrics and truly emotive delivery.
Released June 13, 1995
Label Maverick, Reprise
Producer Glen Ballard
All lyrics by Alanis Morissette. Music written by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard.
I find it impossible to speak badly of this album. This album was as much a part of life while I was growing up as perhaps Pokemon and the Spice Girls were for all the other kids growing up in the '90s.
It still isn't something that's left me, with it getting listened to several times a week (despite Alanis being a major let down live). The album in my opinion, is one of THE albums of the 20th Century and perhaps doesn't get the recognition is most certainly deserves.
There a handful of songs on the album which the whole population can easily sing along to, such as the aptly named song Ironic, which contains not a hint or irony, just a lot of bad luck.
However, anybody who has never got the hands on this album must do. NOW. If only to get absorbed in the highly moving masterpiece Perfect. It sings of the pressures children often feel from the parents to be perfect. It is sang with a lot of angst which is to be expected from Alanis, but also such heartfelt realism, that it's hard not to stop and take every nanosecond of it in.
A truly amazing album. Every household should own at least one copy.
"Jagged Little Pill"- 1995 Produced by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard. All lyrics by Alanis Morissette.
There are only a handful of people in the Western countries who haven't heard a song by Alanis Morissette; those who have only been on this earth for a short while, those who are deaf, those who don't care for music and those who are from another planet. However, many people might not know that the song on the radio is actually her and don't really care either way. I was one of those people until I came across her album for the equivalent of only £5 in a hidden record shop situated in Perth, Australia. Being as one of my friends had been desperately trying to convince me to pay her music some attention, I thought 'what the hell' and bought it. And I must say, I really don't regret that decision.
The album starts on a high with the powerful "All I Really Want", where Alanis has you hooked on her vocals within the first verse. The song is an up-beat mix of frustration and woman power, to the extent that some people accuse her of hating men. It's an obvious fact, however that the majority of the best songs are written from feelings of bitterness.
Track two is one of the major selling points of the album, which by the way was her third but is actually considered as her world-wide debut. "You Oughta Know" was a song that I knew without knowing it, and I was singing along to the chorus on the first listen. This song is again full of anger and heartache, but is brilliant for those who may have been in that situation, which is most likely a lot of people.
Other stand out tracks include "Hand In My Pocket," with fantastic and inspiring lyrics, "Right Through You", again with more in-your-face lyrics and "You Learn," an awesome live-life-to-the full type of song. My all time favourite has to be "Ironic" which starts of with a calm verse with light drums and percussion before bursting into the powerful chorus. The lyrics in particular are as usual fantastic and are about something that everyone can relate to, the irony and ridiculousness of fate.
Overall, the album is great and only has one song which I'm not to keen on ("Perfect" Ironically!) It's great to have full blast on your stereo if you feel anger at that certain person (though, I'm not sure if it works quite as well for the guys) ; It's great if you're in a mood for deep-thinking and it's great if you need to do some spring-cleaning. Mainly, it's great to listen to whilst you're doing just about anything....except, perhaps if you're having a romantic night in. ;)
This has to be one of my all time favorite albums. I was a little unsure when I bought it, thinking it might be a bit girly. How wrong I was! This is rock at its finest, with a few subtle edges thrown in there that will send shivers up your spine!
Well this is often in people's top 10 list, so once again must ask, why is it so good? Well here is what I think of every track:
1. All I really Want - Some great words and a classic beat. Always makes me smile this song, reminds me of women in general (sorry ladies). Brilliant start to the album and really prepares you for whats to come. 8/10
2. You Oughta Know - Very angry powerful song. Alanis obviously had some rough treatment and is out for revenge!!! Some classic lyrics in this one, and with that fast powerful head banging beat, this is a really good song! 8/10
3. Perfect - Bit quieter song, some nice mellody, and just all round pleasentness. Love the opening lines 'Sometimes its never quite enough, when your flawless, then you'll win my love'. Typical!! 7/10
4. Hand in my pocket - Lyrical masterpiece, catchy melody, wonderful. Alanis tells you all the things she is, 'high but grounded' etc... But everything is going to be ok! I love this song so much! 10/10
5. Right Through You - Starts off a little slower, not quite the power of previous song, but still deserves to be on the album. 'Hello Mr man', I love that line. 7/10
6. Forgiven - Another angry bitter song. Not to keen on this one, is a little too dark for me. 6/10
7. You Learn - Another massive hit for Alanis. 'You live, you learn' very simple statement to build a song around, but really does work very well. Another classic! 9/10
8. Head Over Feet - Another one I love. Think this was the first Alanis song I ever heard so will always love this one. A little more chilled out than some, and more pop I would say. Still great though. 9/10
9. Mary Jane - Another chilled start to this one, chorus picks up, but always thought this song wa just lacking something. 7/10
10. Ironic - Wow! What a song, surely Alanis' most well known work. Some wonderfully wimsical lyrics that make you smile. 'Ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife' where she was when she wrote that I have no idea. The spoon factory?? Brilliant song though, a classic in anyones book. 10/10
11. Not the doctor - Another song with powerful lyrics, a good one that would make it onto most albums with ease. 7/10
12. Wake Up - 'You like snow, but only when its warm' nice song to finish off on. Not quite as good as some she has done, but still well worth listening to. 8/10
Overall one of the best albums have ever heard. Alanis never really managed to repeat the magic she created here which is a shame. But if your an angry teenage girl or an old lonely man, this album has something for everyone!
Go get it! Overall rating 9/10
I remember buying this album a few months after it came out and playing it over and over. It is one of those enduring albums which you can return to again and again and of course this was the the album which made Alanis a household name almost overnight.
Who is she:
Canadian singer/songwriter Alanis is famed for her quirky brand of alternative pop rock. This album sold over 30 million copies.
On this album:
It gets off to a weak start with 'All I Really Want.' Not a song I would have started the album with. Alanis' vocals are fine, but the tune is not gripping and it seems to lose you at a minute in. She should have launched with 'You Oughta Know' which is much more powerful. A gutsy vocal and snarling lyrics as she lays into her ex with bravado.
'Hand In My Pocket' is a charmer, with elements of country music bubbling under it. It is more mellow and you could imagine playing it as you walk up dusky highways trying to hitch a ride in the hot sun. I also rate 'You Learn' which sees her pouring her all into some screeching vocals, stretching to reach some really high notes and pulling them off. The obvious choice would be to plump for 'Ironic' but I am not choosing to highlight this track, purely because Alanis does not understand the true meaning of the word 'ironic.' Is it really ironic that there are 'ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife'? Or is it more a case of a drastic inconvenience?
Fiery lyrics, spicy vocals delivered with a unique style and some very memorable and original songs make this a must have album. Fourteen tracks is good value too
Funnily enough i've just heard that Alanis Morrisette is playing the Carling Academy in Glasgow soon and I think i'll try and pick up a ticket for it, although i'm not a huge fan of her latest efforts I'd still like to see her perform her classic songs from the past. Most of which you'll find right here on "Jagged Little Pill" this album was hugley successful and exceeded all expectations. It also sounds as fresh and good today as it did when it was released.
She bravley released 6 singles worldwide from this album and they seemingly got better and better. Of them she first brought out "You Oughta Know" A hard hitting and emotionally charged hit. She then changed course and released the melodic sweety known as "Hand in My Pocket". Her biggest hit was of course "Ironic" which still gets a lot of airtime even today and rounded off her releases with the wonderful "You Learn" and subdued but excellent "Head Over Feet"
1. All I Really Want
2. You Oughta Know
4. Hand In My Pocket
5. Right Through You
7. You Learn
8. Head Over Feet
9. Mary Jane
11. Not The Doctor
12. Wake Up
13. You Oughta Know
14. Your House
Overall this is an awesome album which for me still sounds tremendous. She was and still is a very talented song writer with a great voice and I think that this is a must have for all music fans. Thumbs up. Great Album.
You can't find the first two albums by songstress Alanis Morissette anywhere, because she has a secret. Before she became the terrifying force that spurs along Jagged Little Pill, album no 3 for her, she was a dance singer. Yes, she was one of those twee pop stars who sing about how much they like boys and isn't basketball just the coolest and all those sorts of things. You think I'm kidding? Look her up for yourself. Alanis Morissette used to be a cute kiddie pop singer.
I only mention that because on this album she is frequently terrifying. Come 1995 the once permed teenager became a force of nature that crushed all men before her in a cavalcade of broken genitals. She had some bad relationships, you see. Really bad ones. So bad, she wanted to destroy these men in front of the rest of the world, possibly burn all their possessions, and then stand on top of the burning rubble and proclaim "I love the smell of a broken man in the morning". Or, y'know, something similar. She started writing lyrics that were far different to anything she ever wrote before, confessional and bitter lyrics that were fuelled by the bad men in her life and the panic attacks she'd been having since she was mugged whilst in LA. By a man. All these things came together under the careful eye of Glen Ballard, her producer, and formed Jagged Little Pill, and album which made her famous, and she could never repeat again in her career, try though she did.
"You Oughta Know" is the track we should start with here, because it's the song which most embodies the rest of the album - and is the most famous, probably. It just so happens to be the most bitter and angry song anyone has every performed. Sure, some people do death metal, and My Chemical Romance love a good whine, but they can't come close to Morissette's lyrical prowess. She isn't holding back, and every curse-ridden word packs a punch - "every time I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it" springs to mind. The guitars squeal out with violent distortions, and the way the song starts off quietly, before descending into anarchy, before quietening again before she prepares her final assault... it's one of the defining songs of the time. Nothing else on the album sounds quite as angry as this track, but it really does have a kick, even now.* Elsewhere on the album, the music is more laid back, and the songs reminisce and consider more than they do criticise and attack. "You Learn", for example, is about getting experience out of life. The guitars swim around lazily, and the chorus is delivered as a chant that can be seen either as wisdom or as desperation.
The general sound of the album is alternate rock. Guitars are found in most every song, rumbling and providing discord for Morissette's yelp of a voice. She's good at shouting, and the down-tempo songs work well too, although it can be damn-near impossible to make out what she's saying. "All I Really Want", the poppy harmonica jazz session that opens the album, is a fine demonstration of this. She yelps and yodels and whines and yells. It's not a bad song for that either, and opens the album strongly, preparing you for what you're about to hear. "Not The Doctor" and "Mary Jane" pass by with this same ear for a hook, having decent melodies that make up for lyrics which can be a little cloying. Both tracks are quieter affairs that open up during the chorus, which seems to be the case for many of the songs here. "Right Through You", the shortest song here, begins as a ballad before fuzzy guitars crash out as she declares her lover to be truly transparent. In all of these songs, you can see where she's coming from, because she puts herself into each song in a way she has rarely been able to since.
"Ironic" is another pop gem, tucked away halfway through the album. It starts off with just the acoustic guitar accompanying her as she lists off things that she deems to be ironic, in an attempt to sum up life itself. Then, of course, comes the big chorus "it's like rain on your wedding day/it's a free ride when you've already paid" and so on, with gigantic guitars and stuttering drums accompanying her - but her voice dwarfs it all. And of course, the fact that the song isn't much ironic is ironic, don't you think? In a similar way, her voice stands out all over "Head Over Feet", my favourite on the album. It's never brash in the way some of the other songs are, and retains a strong sense of melody as the guitars grunt their way into place and she sings with steel "you've already won me over/in spite of me". There's a wholly unnecessary harmonica bit, but who doesn't love unnecessary harmonica? If I had my way, there would be an unnecessary harmonica solo in every song! There's no harmonica in the closing track "Wake Up", which is just as well because it has enough going on as it is. A quick, quiet guitar shuffle which veers from ballad to uptempo song to middle-of-the-road weariness, it recalls in tone the sort of song Beck was putting out when he was mid-Odelay. And as a song, it works out better than "Perfect", a track I have no love for. The first ballad on the album, it doesn't work for me because it seems so clichéd, in terms of the writing. The execution is fine, but something doesn't sit right about the thing, far as I'm concerned. It also follows "You Oughta Know", and there probably isn't one song which could stand up to that sort of pressure.
"Forgiven" stands out from all the other songs by a mile, being as it is different in style to the other songs. The longest song, and kinda an epic, it shows off Morrissette's vocal abilities, as she pulls out all the stops on it. At first coy and mysterious, she leads the song into familiar rock n' roll territory, before then pulling back entirely and letting rip with a banshee wail of a chorus that has echoes and shading and all kinds of spooky technical stuff going on. I tend to really like this song, because it wilfully stands out from all the others, and provides a bit of overwrought majesty to the album. "Hand In My Pocket" does the opposite, by balancing out the album and providing the anchor for all the other songs. It has a very familiar opening guitar line, and the lyrics recall "Ironic" in a way, as most of them are oxymoronic statements. It's a song of reassurance, that everything is going to work out later on, even if now it kinda sucks to be her. And it's a good, reliable sort of track for pulling you out of a malaise. Another great pop/rock song.
It's very hard to criticise this album, because so much goes right. There are four or five songs in here which are truly iconic, which stand up and fit in with the best songs ever made. There are other songs which don't have quite that sort of power, but which fit in to the tone of the album perfectly. And there are one or two brave mistakes. Yet overall, what we have here is a powerful album, that will sound as bold and creative in 50 years as it does now. And I say all this, even though she scares me. Jagged Little Pill is one of those albums which everyone should have in their collection. That's how important and vital the music sounds, that's how essential the record is. Go.
* At the end of most versions of this album is an alternate version of You Oughta Know, which has a slightly boosted bass. What's more interesting is the song that follows on from this, a short and powerful lament that recalls the moment Alanis realised she was being cheated on in painful, chilling detail. It ends the album on a disturbing note of clarity.
Alanis Morisette was born in Ottawa, Canada on June 1st 1974, and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 16. She released a debut album simply called Alanis in 1991, but this was not very successful. Jagged Little Pill was her first major album, released in 1995 with the help of her "spiritual brother" and producer Glen Ballard, and she became an overnight success with her style of angry, aggressive rock about love and, well, men. The album won her several awards as well as fame, including Best International Newcomer at the Brits, and 4 Grammy awards, including Album of the Year. It went on to sell around 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the biggest selling of the 90s.
I first became acquainted with this CD when it was voted in at number 16 of C4's 100 Greatest Albums, which is quite an achievement for such a relatively recent album. I also knew the famous songs on here, which are Hand In My Pocket, Ironic, You Oughta Know and You Learn, but I feared that the rest of the CD might be just filler. Luckily, I was very much mistaken
The album opens with All I Really Want, a rocky number about finding a soul mate and living a fulfilled life. Although not the greatest song on the album, it gets you right into the feel of the album straight away, and gives you a taster of things to come.
Next comes You Oughta Know, a song which you may recognise. That's right, it's the one with the shouty chorus. No doubt it's shouty because she's having a rant at an ex-boyfriend, and if you think this doesn't sound of any interest to you, I advise you to leave now, as that's the theme for much of the album. Still, it remains a very powerful song with a chorus that will have you shouting along in no time.
Perfect slows the tempo down a little, and is actually quite beautiful. I forgot to mention; although Alanis Morisette spends most of her time shouting, she has a really good voice, which is extremely impressive considering what state her vocal chords must be in. I'm not sure what the song is about, possibly sex (there's quite a lot of this on the album too)
Ah yes, the next track is Hand In My Pocket, and if you haven't heard this one, where have you been??? This is truly a rock anthem, with some great screaming (sorry, singing), thought-provoking lyrics and excellent harmonica.
Right Through You is probably the most explicitly angry song, as well as being the most explicit. The lyrics in the chorus leave a little to be desired (I know right through you, I walk right through you?) but the song is insanely catchy and her voice is full of rage as she shouts her way through a Mr Man who "took a long hard look at my ass". Did I mention the song was angry? Forgiven is another rant, this time against her Catholic upbringing. This is one of my favourite songs, because of its unusual mix of shouting and almost choir-girl vocals, in about equal measures.
You Learn is another very famous one, with some contemplative takes on life and uplifting lyrics. After this comes Head Over Feet, which is a slower, calmer song, this time about a lover who she actually got on well with, and all the great things about falling in love. But don't worry, it's not like you imagine, it's actually very good, with more of her trademark harmonica.
Mary Jane continues the trend of slower songs, with a heart-felt tune based around a simple verse and a soaring chorus which suits her great voice to a tee. Ironic is the song we all know and love, and probably her most famous song, even though it's a well known fact that some of the lyrics aren't very good (since when were ten thousand spoons or getting to work late ironic?) But overall, a fantastic song with a catchy chorus.
The final two tracks, Not The Doctor and Wake Up, are once again about love, and the fact that she wants to be equal in a relationship. Rather than fading out, these are two of my favourite tracks on the album, especially Not The Doctor, with its witty lyrics. But that's still not the end. On the copy I have, there is a thirteenth track, an alternative version of You Oughta Know. To be honest, I can't really tell the difference; the alternative just has more emphasis on the vocals I think. However that's still not the end!
If you carry on listening, there is a secret hidden track, about three minutes after the end of track thirteen. Although it doesn't actually say, I think this track is called Your House, as it tells the story of her sneaking into a lover's house and finding a love letter from another woman. Shock horror! Could this be the event which has fuelled her hate and her desire to make this record? The answer is probably yes. It's a great song, and shows off her amazing voice by having absolutely no backing music at all. Just her haunting voice, telling a story of love and heartbreak. It's a really fitting and beautiful way to end the album.
So there we have it, my track by track take on the album. But is it any good? If you don't have your own opinion by now, why not? It's an album you're either going to love or hate. Will you be fascinated by her stories of love gone wrong, or will it be an ordeal to sit through track after track of moaning? Will you love her uniquely powerful voice, or will you find it a horrible shriek? Well I hope it's not the latter, because I think this album is fantastic! It's honestly hard to pick a standout track, because they really are all brilliant, and it's not often you can say that about an album. It truly did inspire a generation, and you can see why it was voted so highly.
Go out and buy it, you won't be disappointed!
It's available to buy online for £6.99 from www.bangcd.com
There was a time in the middle of 1995 when Canada's Alanis Morissette was the next big thing, an astonishing caterwaul of pre-menstrual fury, powerful and seething, exuding purest venom with a nice line input downs, mainly of the male sex. She had a lengthy career as a phenomenal child prodigy back home, so it shouldn't have come as any great surprise, yet when Chris Evans played the track You Oughta Know with its near the knuckle lyrics "I want you to know that I'm happy for you, I wish nothing but the best for you both, an older version of me, is she perverted like me? Would you go down on you in a theatre?" Evans played it for the titillation factor, but quickly slagged her off as a moaning minnie, but the lines certainly struck a chord with the public, as did the bleeped out bit which went "Are you thinking of me when you f*** her?" Fact is, women don't talk like this in rock music, and the double whammy of a foul mouthed chick and her punk metal image sealed her arrival in a startling manner. The shock horror headlines would have been enough for a temporary emergence, but as it was Morissette had a bunch of truly wonderful songs in her handbag and she was quite prepared to dance round them at the disco of our souls. It was deep and meaningful and very soulful, but the most overriding impression was the one of total, spiteful rage, rebelling against the everyday laws which mean that women can't enjoy sex or talk like that. Morissette definitely did the second and her knowing looks hinted that she could also manage the first and we loved her for it. Sadly (or perhaps happily) for her, the album Jagged Little Pill which showcased her material that year was an enormous platinum smash, but she seemed to fade just as quickly from view as she emerged. She is still around and turning out the sort of stuff she produced back then, but has never recaptured the glorious rush of that fi
rst album, a blistering collection of tracks and a spawn of hits which had her on every magazine cover, the queen of the MTV generation Morissette was aided and abetted in her achievement by Glenn Ballard who produced, helped out on crafting the music and offered guitars, keyboards and programming, and it was very much a joint affair. Morissette provided some harmonica, and the album also featured Dave Navarro (guitar), Flea (bass), Benmont Tench (organ) and Matt Laug (drums) among the faceless studio team. It was a well realised and powerful album, uniformly good with enough edge to keep even the hardest critics amused for hours. It was hard to like the self indulgent and spiky Morissette, but it was impossible to ignore her talent or her songs. Morissette promised much with this epic, but had burned too brightly too quickly for her own good, and soon became a figure of fun for the same critics who had lauded her so highly. Still, one great album is certainly better than none, and Jagged Little Pill is undoubtedly a great album. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> All I Really Want >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> This was a great, blasting opening number, setting out her stall with standard signature pieces, quirky phrasing and treated voices over huge slabs of hard American rock. It wasn't orthodox, but it was intensely powerful. "Enough about me, let's talk about you for a minute, enough about you, let's talk about life for a while." All I Really Want is one of the strongest numbers on the album and simply drips with anger, a brilliant opener. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> You Oughta Know >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> If All I Really Want was amazing, then You Oughta Know goes a whole heap further, truly one of the great female rock numbers of the last decade. I've already filled you in on the shock aspects of those lyrics, but don't get the impression that there's nothing else here
. Bubbling bass undercurrents, manic, spitting, almost disturbed singing, battering, hard as diamond drums and guitar, and an atmosphere you could carve with a knife, this song has it all, together with a neat change in mood and dynamics part the way through which shows the musical control which contrasts so starkly with the paranoid and bitter mood. This song is about sex and lust and betrayal, and reminds you of nothing so much as early Elvis Costello, although with far more authenticity and realism. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Perfect >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> After the harsher and angry fire of the previous two tracks, Perfect is quieter and more restrained in mood, although its subject matter is no less fiery, telling the tale of dominant and demanding parents, perhaps a hint of autobiographical fury at her own child prodigy past. "Be a good girl, you've gotta try a little harder, that simply wasn't good enough to make us proud." She knows her stuff does Morissette, and this is a thoroughly effective song, despite its restraint. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Hand In My Pocket >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Another brilliant single, Hand In My Pocket sports a quirky, jangling sound over some booming bass and snappy drums, with urgent, breathless vocals, cod-Dylan mouth organ and a wonderful atmosphere. It has none of the bitter fury found elsewhere on Jagged Little Pill, but is nevertheless a great, invigorating number. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Right Through You >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> More spiteful put downs: "You took me for a joke, you took me for a child, you took a long hard look at my ass, and then played golf for a while." Morissette is the Ms Angry and Bitter of Rock and Roll and has certainly built up more than her fair share of resentment. Again the musical mood is relatively restrained and gentle, but the venom oozes from every pore, as she gives all the hangers on and putters dow
n the vicious finger. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Forgiven >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> This time it's religion, "the saviours, the loverless priests" who get the rap. A good rock melody is harnessed to press home the message, while Morissette gets almost histrionic, but there's enough peaks and troughs of mood here to keep the interest - "In the name of the Father, the Skeptic and the Son, I had one more stupid question." All the years of blind obedience and death in the name of religion are given short shrift. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> You Learn >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> More insanity and loathing, I'm afraid: "I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone, I recommend walking around naked in your living room, swallow it down (what a jagged little pill), it feels so good (swimming in your stomach), wait until the dust settles." However, it's a wonderfully attractive mid-paced number with distinctive vocals, and an addictive beat and melody. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Head Over Feet >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> This is a strange oddity here - a song with words which are quite (whisper it) HAPPY: "You're the best listener that I've ever met, you're my best friend, best friend with benefits, what took me so long. I've never felt this healthy before, I've never wanted something rational, I am aware now." It's a thoroughly optimistic, honest to goodness love song, and quite delightful. If only Morissette could have cut little gems like this in with the anger she'd have been so much stronger a muse. The music and playing are gentler than a lot of the other stuff, but there's still enough power to keep you enthralled. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Mary Jane >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Jingle jangle acoustic sets an almost Mamas and Papas style opening theme, and the whole piece has that distinctly timeless 60s West Coast feel
for the most part, with Morissette showing what a great singer she can be if she lets go of all the rage and concentrates on it. The voice is powerful and moving, cutting straight to the quick, although this isn't one of the better songs here, for all its gentle pleasures. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Ironic >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> This number explores the ironies of life - "A traffic jam when you're already late, a no smoking sign on your cigarette break, it's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife, it's meeting the man of my dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife." The mood is wistful and reflective, again relying on acoustic guitar for its gentler parts, while the hard rock of the chorus always drags you screaming away from the peace. Still, it's a nicely staged piece which you'd find hard to dislike. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Not The Doctor >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A clever, clipped guitar riff punctuates the whole of this song, urging us on over restrained drums and neat bass. I love this song, although it's not as immediate as some of the other stuff here. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Wake Up >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A wonderfully understated opening ushers in another quite outstanding track with some more great vocals and an almost distant, unsettling faraway mood. Then the album closes with an ominous, threatening version of You Oughta Know which wends its way over an astonishing five minutes of sheer tension and pain, before the ubiquitous mystery track at the end, delivered in a breathless a capella, unadorned and raw, a suitable end indeed to a blistering album from a wonderful talent.
Angry young woman music isn’t usually my bag, but right now, Alanis Morissette’s 1995 Jagged Little Pill is really striking a chord with me. I bought it when it was first released, but recently it has made a comeback into my personal “most listened” chart. I’m a woman scorned, you see, so this album rather suits me at the moment, and you’ll quite often find me doing the housework with this on full blast, snarling the incredibly vicious lyrics out at the top of my voice (after the little one has gone to school of course – there’s language!) The anger. The frustration. The bitterness. It’s all very satisfactory. And the vicious rawness of it is the first thing that strikes you about this album. The second thing is that this young woman has a remarkable voice. Her range and power is astounding, and it has an expressive quality that is lacking in so many female vocalists these days. And then, of course, there’s the fact that she is a fine songwriter and that this is a really stellar album. This is a fine album to play full volume and snarl along with, but it is also an album that benefits from a listen through decent headphones, where you can really appreciate Christopher Fogel’s skilful production. Before mixing Jagged Little Pill, Fogel was best known for working with Nine Inch Nails and you can still feel the edge. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ALL I REALLY WANT “Do I wear you out You must wonder why I’m relentless and all strung out I’m consumed by the chill of solitary. I’m like Estella I like to reel it in and then spit it out I’m frustrated by your apathy” Harmonica, distorted guitar, a little wahwah mixed really low, and a shuffle beat, combine with Morissette’s amazing vocal gymnastics to make this a worthy opener. I love the strange and c
onvoluted vocal lines she uses. Listen out for the wonderful layered vocals. The main vocal line is laid straight down the middle in the chorus, but way out to the right in the mix you get a high falsetto, and panned way out to the left, a low-pitched backing vocal. And in the middle eight, a wall of guitar, the main vocal mixed in the centre, with Alanis whispering the lyric over the top, right into your left ear. Then, the obligatory third verse breakdown, with just drums, bass and voice, accented with the barest minimum of a guitar riff, before coming to a crescendo for the final chorus. It’s a strident cry for understanding from an unusual soul, this song. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* YOU OUGHTA KNOW “Did you forget about me, Mr Duplicity I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner It was a slap in the face, how quickly I was replaced And are you thinking of me when you f**k her?” Probably the most vicious song on the album lyrically, this reeks of anger, pain and bitterness. It’s a song for the bunny-boiler in all of us women. When a woman has been dumped, this is what she’s really feeling, even though she’s putting on a brave face and singing “I will survive”. Vocals and some wonderful creamy-sounding bass licks take pride of place in the verse, followed by a big, rocking chorus, banging drums and bullet bass, with Morissette belting it out in full throat. It’s wonderfully evil. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* PERFECT “Sometimes is never quite enough If you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love Don’t forget to win first place Don’t forget to keep that smile on your face”. Just barely a ballad, the beautiful, crystal clarity of Morissette’s voice comes through on this track, at odds with the difficult nature of the lyrical subject matte
r. It’s a song about the unrealistic demands of a parent on a child, a parent who lives their life vicariously through their child and is never satisfied with their achievements. The delicate, ethereal, almost childlike voice in the verse, is backed by a gentle acoustic guitar. A wobble of emotion in the voice in the beginning of the second verse is left in, and it becomes more strident as the child echoes the harsh words of the parent. And it ends with the quavering little-girl voice, desolate, singing: “We’ll love you just the way you are If you’re perfect” It’s a tragic little song, well executed, but you’ll have to turn a deaf ear to the very obvious “Tracks of my tears” chord progression at the end of the chorus. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* HAND IN MY POCKET “I’m broke but I’m happy I’m poor but I’m kind I’m short but I’m health, yeah. I’m high but I’m grounded I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed I’m lost but I’m hopeful baby” It’s a study in duality, this song. I know exactly what she means with these lyrics. Sometimes you just can’t make up your mind, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and trust that everything is going to be OK. More harmonica on this track, and a sort of laid back “Still haven’t found what I’m looking for” groove. And that wonderful, soaring voice. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* RIGHT THROUGH YOU “You took me for a joke You took me for a child You took a long hard look at my ass And then played golf for a while”. Double tracked vocals are used to great effect again on this track, with the snarly secondary track panned to the left in the mix. It’s obviously an angry rant about the people who di
dn’t take Morissette seriously in her former career as a teen pop singer. The voice really flies in the big rocking chorus. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* FORGIVEN “You know how us Catholic girls can be We make up for so much time a little too late I never forgot it, confusing as it was No fun with no guilt feelings” Ooh, another song I identify with lyrically! I love the huge rocky chorus in this song. Morissette’s voice is enormous, hugely powerful and soaring. It’s a showcase for her truly remarkable vocal talent this one. And of course, it’s female Catholic angst, of course. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* YOU LEARN “You grieve you learn You choke you learn You laugh you learn You choose you learn” A loose shuffle beat and bass grove characterises You Learn, followed by a wonderful repetitive sing-along chorus. And a little homespun wisdom from Ms Morissette. The middle eight is a little hackneyed, but I can overlook that because of the gorgeous bass in that section and the overall gorgeous vocals. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* HEAD OVER FEET “You already won me over, in spite of me Don’t be alarmed if I fall head over feet Don’t be surprised if I love you for all that you are I couldn’t help it It’s all your fault” It really reminds me of someone, this song. If the preceding songs were full of bitterness, this is about healing, learning to trust. It’s not the strongest track on the album, but that’s not a major indictment, considering the overall quality. I wonder if it is the lack of viciousness that makes it lack sparkle? ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* MARY JANE “Well it’s full speed baby In the wrong direction There’s a fe
w more bruises If that’s the way You insist on heading” In my opinion the weakest track on the album, it reminds me a bit of one of those rather florid Country and Western ballads about a woman who done took the wrong path. Wonderful voice, but not really my cup of tea. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* IRONIC “A traffic jam, when you’re already late A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife It’s meeting the man of my dreams And then meeting his beautiful wife…….” It’s the definition of my life at the moment, this song! I love the lyrics. It’s a wonderful singalong song with a nice loose shuffle beat breaking into yet another big, stonking rocky chorus. A successful single and one of my favourite tracks on the album. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* NOT THE DOCTOR “I don’t want to be the sweeper of the eggshells that you walk upon I don’t want to be your other half, I believe that 1 and 1 make 2” Ever feel like the men you meet aren’t looking for a woman, but a mother, a healer, a crutch? That’s what this is about. It’s a nice enough acoustic guitar number. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* WAKE UP “You like pain but only if it doesn’t hurt too much You sit….and you wait…to receive There’s an obvious attraction To the path of least resistance in your life” I was married to this man! Another shuffle beat, another faultless vocal. It’s almost become old hat by now. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* For me, Jagged Little Pill is a remarkable album. It’s packed with great songs, and beautifully produced. It’s a showcase for an enormous talent. Most amazing of all,
though, is the naked quality of her voice on this album. Very little has been done to it. No distortion. No delay. No reverb. No technical wizardry. It doesn’t need it. Just an incredible voice soaring effortlessly through a series of gorgeously unusual vocal lines. Yes, it’s angry, and yes it’s bitter. It’s a very personal album. But it’s great. It’s real. Why settle for an Atomic Kitten when you can have a real live bitch. Cheers Allie xx
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 All I Really Want
2 You Oughta Know
4 Hand In My Pocket
5 Right Through You
7 You Learn
8 Head Over Feet
9 Mary Jane
11 Not The Doctor
12 Wake Up
13 You Oughta Know (2)
14 Your House