Monday, November 29, 2010

Alanis Morissette, “Jagged Little Pill Acoustic” (Maverick, 2005)

            Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” is a beast. First released in June of 1995, this well loved album didn’t take long to become an instant staple in the CD collections of angry women across the globe, particularly in the United States. 10 years later, the pop/rock singer-songwriter released an acoustic version of “Jagged Little Pill” that is, perhaps, more daring than the original.
            What makes a great album great is honesty—something that Morissette has managed to stay faithful to despite countless accusations that she’s just an angst-ridden bitch. The acoustic version, however, takes the sentiment of the lyrics a few steps further. Raw, slightly down-tempo versions of her songs allow her to clear away all the clutter of the standard pop album and truly showcase the emotional quality of her words in every single track. Additionally, the beauty of her quirky Canadian voice is allowed to dance around your ears in a new and playful way, regardless of whether she’s simply ornamenting her phrases with catchy pop licks or singing nonsensical syllables during instrumental breaks. Don’t worry though—she still has the same bite. Only now it’s highlighted with a sense of maturity.
            By taking an unexpectedly gentle approach to the album, listeners are not only surprised by her calmer side but are also provided with the same intimacy of sitting in on a living room style private concert. Songs like “Mary Jane” and “Perfect” feel like heart to heart conversations while hits like “Head Over Feet” and “Hand in my Pocket” feel fresh and more profound without compromising their ability to get stuck in your head. Interestingly enough, it also makes angrier songs such as “You Oughta’ Know” sound angrier, only in a darker and brooding way.
            Morisette makes a minor but clever lyrical change to “Ironic”, which is arguably her biggest hit to date: “It’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife/ It’s meeting the man of my dreams and meeting his beautiful husband.” Little jokes of the same caliber are sprinkled throughout the album for those familiar with the original release. However, those who have yet to familiarize themselves with the music can still get a lot out of listening.
            Re-releasing this album is daring because it’s considered to be one of the top albums of the 90’s. By deconstructing to acoustic, Morisette is potentially challenging her fans in the same way that her single “Thank You” a few years after the release of “Jagged Little Pill”. However, she could not have made a better decision. This new take on the album is truly a masterpiece.

No comments:

Post a Comment