ARTIST: Alanis Morissette
TITLE: Jagged Little Pill
YEAR RELEASED: 1995
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #1 UK
SINGLES: You Oughta Know (#6 US, #22 UK), Hand in My Pocket (#13 US, #26 UK), Ironic (#4 US, #11 UK), You Learn (#6 US, #24 UK), Head Over Feet (#8 US, #7 UK), All I Really Want (#58 US, #59 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: That’s half the record up there!
LINEUP: Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard, Benmont Tench, Lance Morrison, Matt Lang, with Flea and Dave Navarro on You Oughta Know and others variously through the record
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Former teen hitmaker (Canada only) decides not to be so polite any more, writes blistering songs about men and sex and relationships, becomes an international star almost by accident.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: There’s basically two things people really remember about this album – first is that Ironic is not ironic at all (though there are some Ironic truthers out there, and they’re still discussing this in 2014!) and second is that You Oughta Know may be the biggest F. U. to an ex by a female singer, ever. Well, at least I think so.
It produced five top 40 hits, lots of airplay, and a few imitators. A few of the songs are powerful and almost (almost) as intense as You Oughta Know. The singles are mostly catchy ear candy (despite some of the lyrical content), and most of the arrangements are sorta alternative, sorta safe rock and roll – 1995 radio ready. Her voice at time is straining to reach some of the notes and at times she puts too much inflection and grace notes on some syllables.
Even though it really wasn’t expected to sell much, it became a monster and overwhelms anything else she’s done or will do. It’s better than a lot of detractors will give it credit for, but divorcing the album’s quality from what it meant for many girls and women in 1995 is hard to do.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: She released two teeny-bop dance pop albums in 1991 and 1992 up in Canada. The first one went Platinum up there, but the second one was a relative stiff and so she needed to change things up.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yep. Anniversary editions and deluxe editions with the usual demos, live shows and an acoustic record.
GRADE: B: Some I like a lot – some is kind of…not good. I know I’m not the target demo for this, either (not even in 1995) but there’s enough good stuff to keep it around.