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Alanis Morissette first came to our attention in 1995 with the phenominal 3rd 'Jagged Little Pill' which became one of the best selling album's by a woman of all time. The general public interest in her declined after that album, a huge contributing factor would possibly be down to the follow-up album 'Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie' which is a dark and non-commericial record, which I believe put a lot of people off her. I know I was certainly dissapointed when that album came out, but in time I learned to love it. Anyway, enough of that, this is about the follow-up to THAT album, 2002's 'Under Rug Swept'. 'Under Rug Swept' was released after a 4 year break by Alanis. Alanis is quite well known for taking long breaks between albums, putting about 10 songs on each album and only releasing two singles from each album so us fans have to make the most of her whilst she is in the public eye. This album is again, a lot different to 'Jagged' and 'Supposed' but more commercian that the previous album. Consisting of 11 songs, it showcases Alanis' vocal ability to make use of the most unusual dialogue and turn it into a song. '21 Things I Want In A Lover' is the opening song on the album, it's quite a stormer. Rocky and edgy. And indeed the song does list the fill 21 things that she wants in a lover. 10/10. 'Narcissus' - Another man-bashing track. I like to call this song a bit 'quirky', it's obviously about some guy who she's not very impressed with and is listing his flaws. Each sentance starts with "Dear Momma's Boy...." which makes it repetetive and the song doesn't have a chorus but it fits perfectly on the album. 9/10. 'Hands Clean' - This was the first single from the album and I remember hearing for the first time on the radio (Yay! Radio were playing Alanis back in 2002!). It's a song that has a bit of warmth to it, unlike many of her previous songs. I remember reading that it's about how she was in a relationship with a much older man when she was about 16 or something. One of the highlights on the album 10/10. 'Flinch' - Alanis has been hurt again and here she is pouring out her heartache on the album. This song is so beautifully done. There is real emotion in the lyrics and just the whole sound of the song is done perfectly 10/10. 'So Unsexy' - I remember this song being touted as a potential single during the album campaign (but as per usual, Alanis can only manage to release 2 singles and go into hibernation for another 4 years!). For me though, this song doesn't really appeal. I feel it lacks something, and that something is definatly needed for it to stick out on the album. The lyrics, as always are killer, but the song itself is pretty weak compared to what has been heard previously 6/10. 'Precious Illusions' - The albums second and final single. Great song, fits in with the whole sound of the album. About facing up to harsh realities instead of living in denial. Has that edge to it that 'So Unsexy' misses and therefore why I think it was a good choice for a single 9/10. 'That Particular Time' - Another slower song, it is kind of a 'whiney' song. I can't say it's one of my personal favourites on the album but I can definitley see the appeal to it. 7/10. 'A Man' - Now, this is a weird one. I want to like it but I just can't. This sounds like it would have fitted better on her previous album 'Infatuation Junkie' as it has the 'darker' tones which filled that album. I know alot of the hardcore fans thought this was the best song on the album when it came out but I have to disagree. I prefer more commercial Alanis 5/10. 'You Owe Me Nothing In Return' - I think this is about a non-commited relationship, Alanis saying that i'll provide you with your needs and you don't owe me anything for doing it. Apparently, she has never performed this song live for some strange reason as it is one of the most oustanding songs she has ever done. Maybe she doesn't like it or something 10/10. 'Surrendering' - Another epic song. One of the more 'upbeat' songs on the album and definitley a stand out track. 10/10. 'Utopia' - Written just after the 9/11 tracks when the world was in a state of shock and disbelief over what happened. Very 'hippy' sounding is this one. Very dreamy and light. Good song to close the album with. 9/10. So, after the non-commerical album 'Infatuation Junkie', Alanis returned to a more commercial sounding record this time around. There's a bit of rock, pop, ballads on here that people will like. For me, this one of my faviourite Alanis albums. It's just what she needed to make at this point in her career.
Under Rug Swept was the 5th Studio Album by Alanis Morrisette, who had previously enjoyed huge success with Jagged Little Pill and Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. I am going to write this review as impartially as possible, although Alanis is my favourite female artist of all time! The album was released 25th February 2002 in the UK, and the following day in the US. It was the first album written and produced completely by Alanis, and sadly, whether or not as a direct result of this, it did not match the previous success of her other albums. The album was produced, recorded and written very rapidly - with each track only requiring a couple of takes and being performed as soon as written, with the music written at the same time as the lyrics. Pre-release Alanis was clashing with Maverick (the record label), threatening to leave because of disputes over unfair and unfavourable contracts for the artists. Madonna had to step in and pursuade Alanis not to leave. The album reached Number 1 in the US Billboard Chart, Number 2 in the UK album chart; there were two singles released, Hands Clean reached No.1 in Canada, No.23 in the US Hot 100, No.12 in the UK Top 20. Precious Illusions reached No.4 in Canada, did not chart in the US and reached No.53 in the UK charts. A third single was planned to be launched, but after the poor performance of Precious Illusions they did not release it. In a Press Statement in 2004, Maverick announced they had sold 3 million copies world wide. Track Listing: 1. 21 Things I Want in a Lover This song lists, unsurprisingly, 21 things that the singer is looking for in a partner. Almost reading like a wanted add in a lonely hearts, it is actually part truth. Alanis admitted that whilst a lot of it was fake, there are parts like compatability that are exactly what she looks for. It is a catchy rocky number, which is bound to get you flicking your hair about and playing air guitar! 2. Narcissus This song centres around the theme of being in love and trying to find common ground to make a failing relationship work, but being repulsed by your partner's qualities - the kind of battle you have with yourself when you would rather leave and everything they do annoys you, but when your heart wont let you because you love them. When she sings Alanis has a lot of sarcasm in her voice, I find this enthralling and she draws you in to the song - you just want to go and scream the words at every Mummies boy you have ever dated! 3. Hands Clean The idea of this track was to allow Alanis to convey honesty about her past relationships - whilst she had never previously lied she felt that being silent has an element of untruth. It's strong and powerful. It covers the feelings of anyone who has ever been in a secretive relationship, which has been an issue because of age gaps, other people, etc 4. Flinch Covers an experience where she almost ran in to a man who had previously had a profound affect on her life. You know the feeling, when your breath leaves you when you see an Ex. This is the song for you. 5. So Unsexy Describes Alanis's own insecurities. Again, I think most people will be able to identify with this - how you feel insecure because of someone. If you remove them from the equation you will gently and steadily begin to feel more confident and those insecurities will only ever resurface with that one person. 6. Precious Illusions A beautiful track which you can really rock out to - describing a make believe dream world, why can't you keep that as an adult - why do you have to part with them and face reality. 7. That Particular Time Another track surrounding parting with someone - a break up - when you really don't want to, and know you have to give an additional minute, hour, day, week of your life to that person because you love them so much, you just accept it wont work. 8. A Man Trying to understand things from a man's point of view in relationship breakdown - not my favourite track - I like Alanis best when she is a strong independent woman. NOT when she is tring to understand how the man feels :o) 9. You Owe Me Nothing in Return Alanis says: "about the real definition of what love is ... wanting for someone that you love what they want for themselves. And at the same time not sacrificing my own life and my thoughts and my own beliefs. Supporting someone in their choices and at the same time being able to express what mine are, even if they differ, is the ultimate healthy, loving interaction." 10. Surrendering Covers how Alanis feels at the point when someone draws on the courage that it takes to drop their defenses and surrender themselves to allow someone else to love them. This song is gentle and peaceful. It is a brilliant mood uplifter. 11. Utopia Utopia is an ideal world - this song is about a couple meeting in the middle, compromising on their needs and opinions and choice over the colour of the couch and going in the same direction. When she wrote this, she said she envisioned a man and woman getting in to their own cars and driving down the same road in the same direction - I'm sure to most people that simply would count as Utopia. 12. Sister Blister 13. Flinch (live at the "Whiskey") Opinion? I love this album, I think it is very underrated both by critics and by it's popularity reflected in the low album sales. It is a journey of break ups and make ups and everthing before, after and inbetween. There are rock songs, ballads, catchy tunes, driving songs - something for everyone. It can normally be bought for less than a fiver - either in bargain basements or online, and it is well worth adding to your record collection. If you are new to Alanis, don't judge all of her work against this - she has some much better albums - but this is emotive stuff - guaranteed to be identified with by listeners.
Most people will have not heard of Canadian artist 'Alanis' until 1995 when her bitterly honest, confessional style of songwriting sent her album "Jagged Little Pill" rocketing up the charts across the world and catapulted her into the limelight. Considering the brutal honesty of "Jagged Little Pill" it is almost bizarre to consider how she was once a huge star in Canada, putting out Paula Abdul-esque pop/dance tracks until something changed. Alanis cites moving to L.A. and growing up fast because of it which then allowed her to write with more maturity and to put honest, very personal thoughts into her songs which before hadn't been forthcoming. She certainly does that all right and in 1998, 3 years after the release of her first album as the confessional Alanis Morissette, she released the much awaited follow up album "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie"...to mixed reaction. Still undeniably an Alanis Morissette album, it was almost entirely inaccessible to all but the most ardent fans and for me at least, turned me away from her work for a while. Rather than rushing to purchase her third album "Under Rug Swept" as I had done "Supposed...", I more stumbled upon it around a week ago and on the strength of, what I thought was the rather average radio friendly single "Hands Clean", decided to give it a go. Good choice as it turns out. Under Rug Swept, both written and produced by Alanis herself is a more mature album lyrically than those which have come before, but it still focuses upon the same themes and issues which earned her the title "man hater" in the past. It would been 'nice' if she could have moved on a little more to have included new subjects for her songs because she's beginning to sound a little like an obsessive jilted ex-girlfriend, still hitting out at an ex-lover after 7 years, but you get what you are given and what you *are* given is another top class album despite that little niggle. Alanis tends to write about men, relationships with men, how shitty they are and what she has learnt from them, with her often anger-laced always very personal, confessional lyrics feeling somewhat like the musical equivalent of thumbing through the diary of a woman with guy problems. Hell, the amount of psychological venting which goes on during the course of a typical Alanis album could almost be described as witnessing therapy in action and is actually quite emotionally draining. Whilst arguably radio friendly pop music with it's catchy choruses and hooks, Alanis Morissette's music could certainly never been comfortably lumped together with the sugar coated anaemic fluff which usually populates the pop charts, it's far too complex both in terms of musical arrangement and the intelligence of it's lyrics. Alanis is Alanis, pretty much beyond compare unless you want to start talking in the realms of an angry female Morrisey and Under Rug Swept is a fantastic album which almost makes up for the dubious mess which preceded it. The more cynical of listeners will listen to some of the lyrics on this album and decide that whilst barbed and poetic these tracks are often little more than the kind of things you'll find gracing the problem pages of some teen magazine. "Narcissus" = "my boyfriend is sooooo vain", "So Unsexy" = "I feel so ugly", "21 Things I Want In A Lover"...'nuff said, but I'm not feeling in cynical mood today so I'll refrain from too much further comment along those lines. For me, "Under Rug Swept" marks a more mature outlook from Alanis, with the petulant verbal assaults against former abusive lovers and failed relationships from "Jagged Little Pill" being replaced by tracks like "Flinch" which are still angry, still barbed, but seem less like giving the inner demons a tongue and more a productiv e resignation to let the past lie and to learn from it. Emotionally, it seems Alanis might have just chilled out a little...just a little. You'll also be pleased to note that quite aside from the almost impenetrable mess of pretentious poeticism and anger which characterised the almost infeasibly pretentiously titled "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie", this album is actually very accessible indeed, with some impressive musical arrangements, accessible hooks and pointed emotional confessions as opposed to the cacophony of emotions which marred "Supposed..." and made it far too dense to appreciate. It feels very much like a stepping stone to greater things, it definitely the best Alanis album yet, but with maturing emotions and increasingly impressive arrangements, the fourth should be something to behold... We open with a typical high note, with "21 Things..." a track where Alanis reels off exactly what she requires from a man. Man hater? Obviously not eh?! Whilst undeniably a little "Just 17" in concept (In this issue 21 things to look for in *your* man...), this is a great track with a persistent crunching guitar plodding through, without overpowering, the verses and a low-key chorus where Alanis gives us a little wink and a nudge which basically says "yeah right!" because perfection like this isn't attainable. Continuing one the theme comes Narcissus hot on it's heels, arguably another "Just 17" track but excellent again with a real hook and the typical Alanis lyrical bite. This is a really 'odd' track musically, with distorted, echoing guitars mixing it with digitised melodies and a heavy bass line, but it works, but it's certainly different from the point of view of not being your typical Alanis track. Alanis pretty much talks through the verses, delivering a message to all those guys who think they are centre of the universe before delivering a chorus of real venom : "You go back / To the women to the women who will dance the dance / You go back / To your friends who will lick your ass " But this isn't all just vitriol, because the new mature Alanis recognises her own faults for wanting guys like this in the first place as well as trying to change them when she knows it's not going to happen. It's refreshing to see the pretension of "Supposed..." gone and the childishness of "Jagged..." exorcised on tracks like this. Two stonkingly good tracks down we are lead into two more which highlight more clearly than anything else the maturity of the new Alanis with the poorly titled "At That Particular Time" and "Flinch" which follows straight afterwards. Anyone who listened to Jagged Little Pill (and there were at least 28 million of you) would have heard the superb, yet incredibly vindictive track "You Oughta Know" with it's accusatory bitching and snarling, packed with recriminations, blame and full on anger at a broken relationship...which pretty much sums up the entirety of "Jagged..." for that matter. Compare that to the gentle, yet more effective "At That Particular Time" which speaks once more of a failed relationship but with pain and regret and more than a little guilt and the differences are quite stark. "At That Particular Time" is a simple, yet stirring ballad which most strikingly of all perhaps when you consider all the blame which has preceded it, is the acceptance of self-guilt and past mistakes in that relationship from Alanis herself. This is a truly beautiful track, showcasing how Alanis' voice has progressed with simply piano and synthesiser accompaniment as support. Perhaps more worthy of contrast to albums past is my favourite track from the album "Flinch" which again deals with a broken relationship but this time with exactly the kind of palpable anger and bi tterness which marked earlier albums. The difference here is there is a desire to move on from that, to exorcise the demons ("Soon I'll grow up / And I won't even flinch at your name") rather than to let them screech through the rockier tracks as they did on "Jagged...". "Flinch" may be a track about a failed relationship, but it's a very positive track, one which promises a time when the hurt and pain of break-ups will have passed. Simply vocals over acoustic guitar, Flinch is once again simplistic in musical arrangement but once again quite beautiful, if barbed. Erm, did I say Alanis had moved on? Precious Illusions unleashes the demons once more, but the venting is more palatable here because its the exception rather than the norm...and of course Precious Illusions is also a damn fine track which helps sugar the bitterness. Strings introduce this edgy track, but a heavy electronic arrangement soon kicks in as well, thumping through the chorus and beefing up the verses. Initially restrained, but barbed, Alanis' vocals feel like nothing more than the portent of the thumping choruses to come, rising to crescendo to meet them. This is a typical example of one of Alanis' more rock-based tracks, but with a new musical maturity, it's also one you'll be tempted to sing along to...no matter how loudly ;o) If "Precious Illusions" let loose some demons then "A Man" lets them pick us up and drag us kicking and screaming into the very bowels of hell - aka Alanis' vision of the male psyche. Opening with nothing but a simplistic electronic arrangement which is vaguely reminiscent of numerous horror movies and in particular an echoey version of the Halloween theme music, this is a moment of real darkness on the album. The opening is brooding, but soon the heaviest guitars, certainly more than bordering upon heavy metal, seen on one of her albums kick in to give us a real lurching, slow moving leviathan of a track which, told from a first person perspective, is as scathing as you could imagine an Alanis Morisette view on the male psyche might be... Throw into that mix the single "Hands Clean", a pure piece of bubblegum rock, with quick-fire subtly vocalised verses sung over crisp acoustic strings leading into a barnstorming chorus. I would have expected a radio friendly track like this to have done a lot better than it did but I think Alanis alienated quite a few fans with her previous album and it might have taken more than just one single to win them back. Hands Clean is the kind of "everybody-friendly" track which you either love or are indifferent to, there is no hate. Personally, I think it sounds like typical radio rock, accessible but no surprises. Along the same lines comes the foot tapping "Surrendering", which is great to sing along to and erm, 'has a good beat' with a slight country feel to it. I would have thought this was another which might have been earmarked for release as a single..but with all the attention I pay to the charts it just may have been already! "Surrendering" is a distinctly upbeat sing-a-longa-Alanis track, nothing too surprising in arrangement, but very listener friendly. Of course, even an album of more than a little merit from an artist of undeniable stature is blighted by a few fillers, although it's fair to say on any other album they might just be considered high points! "So Unsexy" is dull and self -pitying yet almost feels tongue in cheek, perhaps because it's meant to be, perhaps because it sounds so pathetic?! Equally, "You Owe Me Nothing" is a passable track, but ultimately is quite dull again with the kind of verse/chorus/verse arrangement which does nothing for anyone. Set your CD player to skip these and you've got an excellent 9 track album as opposed to an excellent 11 track album marred by two medi ocre tracks - much better! ;o) And so, as "Under Rug Swept" opened on something of a surprising note, so does it close on one. Utopia is a track which is almost a folk track with a musical arrangement consisting of various strings and acoustics and the most 'twee' vocals you are likely to ever find on an Alanis Morisette album. It's pretty much entirely out of character, but then in many ways much of this album is out of character so I don't know why I was surprised! Utopia has an almost ethereal, haunting air about it, which depending on my mood either has me skipping over it or loving it. Folk isn't really my scene, but you forgive the artists you like don't you... So, is this the best Alanis Morissette album produced? "Yes!", is the simple answer. Whilst I adored "Jagged Little Pill", and incidentally, it still finds it's way into my CD changer, "Under Rug Swept" is both a more mature album lyrically and a more accomplished album musically. The anger and bitterness is still there, but it's controlled now and some of the tracks are even quite positive in outlook which is a distinct change from albums past. I still respect "You Oughta Know" for it's sheer anger and I do think it is one of the best venting songs I've heard, but anger is just one emotion whilst songs dealing with similar issues on "Under Rug Swept" cycle through all the others and are just as, if not more effective. Definitely one I would recommend. Additional Info. Track listing 1 21 Things I Want In A Lover 2 Narcissus 3 Hands Clean 4 Flinch 5 So Unsexy 6 Precious Illusions 7 That Particular Time 8 Man, A 9 You Owe Me Nothing 10 Surrendering 11 Utopia Discography (As ?Alanis Morissette?) Jagged Little Pill Space Cakes [E.P.] Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie MTV Unplugged Under Rug Swept (As ?Alanis?) Fate Stay With Me Alanis Now Is The Time Purchasing Info. £6.99 (+£1 P&P from 101CD.com) (Thanks to kelkoo.com for the price comparison info.) Official Website: http://www.alanismorissette.com Some Fun: http://www.brunching.com/toys/toy-alanislyrics.html
Answering her critics who call her a man hater, on 'Under Rug Swept' Alanis displays a new maturity. Yes, she sings about failed relationships and egotistical men, but she also likes men as difficult as men find that it to believe that! The general tone of the CD is upbeat, although tracks 4 and 7 are slower and more melancholy/pensive. Even the songs that are bitter or sad have a certain calm strength to them rather than a vindictive air a la 'Jagged Little Pill'. Alanis has moved on and grown up, although the past still affects her ('flinch'). Most people know Alanis Morissette from her debut album 'Jagged Little Pill'(1995). If they did not listen to her subsequent releases ('Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie'  and 'MTV Unplugged' ) they will be pleased to hear her voice has developed and strengthened, lost some of its rawness whilst remaining distinctively Alanis. Likewise her lyrics have mellowed somewhat and her songs are much more upbeat than the majority of 'Jagged Little Pill'. Her live performance on 'MTV Unplugged' proved to fans and critics alike that she is a fantastic performer, but this is further reinforced on 'Under Rug Swept'. Bear in mind that on her debut album she was just 21 years old, she is now 27 (28 in June) - a certain maturity and progression is to be expected and she does not disappoint. Catchy with a strong pop rock beat and meaningful/quirky lyrics 'Under Rug Swept' really does prove to me that Alanis is one of the best female solo artists in the world. She is an accomplished writer (she has been writing songs since age 9!), an inspiring singer and producer of her own album. Track list: 1. 21 things I want in a lover 2. Narcissus 3. Hands Clean 4. Flinch 5. So unsexy 6. Precious Illusions 7. That Particular Time 8. A man 9. You owe me nothing in return 10. Surrendering 11. Utopia 1. 21 things I want in a lover Yes, Alanis really does list the qualities she would like in a lover in this quirky, upbeat song. In case you're wondering what these qualities are, they include: - big intellectual capacity - don't believe in capital punishment - uninhibited in bed A typical noughties woman, Alanis does not need a man to be happy so she feels able to list these qualities that she finds attractive. Why rush into a relationship with an unsuitable candidate! There's a funky rock beat behind the lyrics, with heavy emphasis on guitar. I find that it is so catchy that I want to sing and dance along to it and grin at her request for "more than 3 times a week". Isn't that what we all want? 4 stars 2. Narcissus Ladies, I bet you've had your own Narcissus at some point, a man who is so self-absorbed that he's more in love with himself than he will ever love anyone else. Yes, there's an element of bitterness and resentment in this song but I would never describe it as man hating, after all this is a man she tried to love. The music is fast-paced, anyone who has ever tried to sing Alanis' songs will find this to be quite typical. It can be a struggle to fit the words in exactly the same way as she does. The beat is funky, again a strong emphasis on guitar but more so on Alanis' wonderful voice. I love this song because I too have had a Narcissus boyfriend, in particular I like the way she points out his inability to commit: 'and any talk of commitment leaves you running for the door' Another 4 stars from me 3. Hands Clean The first single that Alanis released from this album and possibly the strongest. I defy you not to sing along to it! This song is all about being in love with a man who wants to keep the relationship a secret. I've been in t his situation also so I can relate to the shame and feeling of inadequacy that she implies. 'we'll fast forward to a few years later and no one knows except the both of us and i have honored your request for silence and you've washed your hands clean of this' The beat behind this song isn't as strong as the previous two, the guitar and her singing is much softer to convey the sadness of the situation. I have to give this song 5 stars because the music & lyrics are superb 4. Flinch This is one of the slower, melancholy tracks on the CD. This is a song about trying to escape your past, get over a failed relationship but being affected by him all the same. Alanis' singing is haunting and emotional and the lyrics move me every time. 'how long can a girl be shackled to you how long before my dignity is reclaimed how long can a girl stay haunted by you soon i'll grow up and i won't even flinch at your name soon i'll grow up and i won't even flinch at your name' This is the kind of song you would play if you found out your ex was getting married! There's heavy emphasis on acoustic guitar here and a slow, mellow beat. This allows Alanis' voice to shine. A moving 5 stars from me. 5. So unsexy The lyrics of this song are so beautiful they never fail to bring tears to my eyes. Somewhat reminiscent of TLC's 'Unpretty', this is the kind of song to play on days when you feel ugly. 'i can feel so unsexy for someone so beautiful so unloved for someone so fine i can feel so boring for someone so interesting so ignorant for someone of sound mind' This is faster in pace than the previous song, the music almost drowns out Alanis' voice, emphasising her frailty. I suffer from low self-esteem so this song really touched me. Sometimes I feel like Alanis is singing from my heart. 5 stars 6. Precious illusions This is a song about the daydreams/illusions we use to protect ourselves from the harsh reality of life. By using these protective illusions we are surviving rather than living. In this song Alanis choses to let her guard down, to experience true bliss. 'but this won't work as well as the way it once did cuz i want to decide between survival and bliss and though i know who i'm not i still don't know who i am but i know i won't keep on playing the victim' The song starts off with a quiet guitar behind Alanis' voice and increases in tempo at the third verse. There?s a sense of quiet optimism about this song reflected in Alanis' strong hopeful vocals. 4 stars 7. That particular time Slower again, this is a sad song about the end of a relationship. She is hanging on to their love even though the relationship has died. I think most of us can relate to this situation and all the painful feelings arising from it. 'i've always wanted for you what you've wanted for yourself and yet i wanted to save us high water or hell and i kept on ignoring the ambivalence you felt and in the meantime i lost myself in the meantime i lost myself i'm sorry i lost myself...i am' The music is minimal to emphasise the melancholy lyrics. 4 stars 8. A man This song has strong religious connotations, once more drawing from her Catholic upbringing. I sense a strange comparison between a husband and Jesus. 'and i have been shamed and i have relented i'm working my way toward our union mended and i have been shamed and i have repented i'm working my way toward our union mended' Unusually for a song with such a religious context there is a strong rock beat to the music. Combine d with this, Alanis really sings the shame from the lyrics. This is a good, strong song but probably my least favourite on the CD and therefore I would only give it 3 stars. 9. You owe me nothing in return Slower once more, this song has a strong beat but a laid back feel. I think it is about unconditional love. They say 'if you love someone then set them free', this song is the musical equivalent. 'you owe me nothing for giving the love that i give you owe me nothing for caring the way that i have i give you thanks for receiving it's my privilege and you owe me nothing in return' It is a nice song but it doesn't inspire feeling in me like many of the others. 4 stars. 10. Surrendering Slightly faster in tempo, this is a song about allowing yourself to love. It makes me think about my boyfriend and his fear of trusting, of surrendering. The moment they do you are so grateful. 'and i support you in your trusting and i commend you for your wisdom and i'm amazed by your surrender in the face of threatening forces that i represent' The tempo is upbeat and the lyrics are pretty optimistic. I wouldn't say it was typical of Alanis Morissette's style but it is a good song. 4 stars. 11. Utopia Slower once more, Alanis' voice is beautiful on this song about utopia. The lyrics really emphasise a sense of peace and happiness. 'this is utopia this is my utopia this is my ideal my end in sight utopia this is my utopia this is my nirvana my ultimate' There's something incredibly calming about this song and it is the perfect end to this great CD. 5 stars. Perhaps the coolest part of 'Under Rug Swept' is the interactive features - through playing the cd on your pc you can access a secret website which has a letter fro m Alanis, exclusive audio tracks (a live version of "Flinch" and "Sister Blister") as well as the making of "hands clean". The letter is brief, thanking you for your curiosity that caused you to seek out the secret website. The audio tracks are good: The live version of "flinch", live at the whiskey in LA, proves the strength & quality of Alanis' voice. It has a really laid back feel. Alanis' voice here could be compared to whiskey - smooth with a bite to it. "Sister Blister" is a previously unreleased track so it is a great bonus. On the audio page there is also a link to Utopia lyrics. This plays in Windows Media Player - the song in the background with the lyrics displayed. This version is stunning, Alanis' voice sounds angelic. All of these are available for hi or low bandwith - luckily I accessed this on my boyfriend's broadband so it downloads incredibly fast. Making of "hands clean" has various options: Storyboard - sketches for the video Pictures - stills from the video Video clips - 21 clips available on hi or low bandwith See the video - beautifully clear picture of the video The cd is worth buying if you're an Alanis fan - the songs are great and the extras make this a perfect buy. * Thanks to dictionary.com for my title Utopia - An ideally perfect place, especially in its social, political, and moral aspects.
Alanis's latest album 'Under Rug Swept' (her first studio album for four years) is a return to form after her last album 'Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie', though selling a considerable amount of copies, 'flopped' when compared to the amazing success of her first and best album 'Jagged Little Pill'. 'Jagged Little Pill' was angst ridden and filled with references to bad relationships annd rants against men in general whereas 'Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie' mellowed out a little and created a more inspiring, perhaps enchating album which I don't think fans were ready for hence the lower sales figures. Granted the album contained the great 'Thank U' and the apologetic yet sweet 'That I would be Good' but it simply wasn't the addictive little pill, that was 'Jagged Little Pill'. Alanis's latest album is an exhibition of what is to come, it leaves you yearning for more with its harsh and unopologetic lyrics and killer guitar rifts. The album is however not very radio friendly, with 'Hands Clean' and 'So Unsexy' being the only songs I can imagine hearing on commercial radio. It is also badly produced, unlike 'Jagged Little Pill' which had Alanis's friend and 'spiritual brother' Glen Ballard taking up the job as producer whereas in this album Alanis thought she'd do it herself and take over the role as producer with little success. Another slightly annoying thing is that in many of the songs there are stupid synthesisers and unecessary keyboard effects. Track Listing - 21 things I want in a lover - Great opener, sets the tone for the rest of the album with its list of requirements for a man. 3/5 Narcissus - Great Lyrics but slightly annoying after a while. 3?5 Hands Clean - The most 'Mainstream' of all the tracks it is an analysis or synopsis in my eyes of alanis' past rela tionships and of her life as a recording artist. 4/5 Flinch - Very long track, about six minutes I think. Sounds a little out of place because its more 'country' than than the rest, but then again it adds greatly to the lyrical and musical diversity of the album. 3/5 So Unsexy - Quite self pitying, allows us a hint of Alanis's thoughts of herself and lack of self belief. Set to be a single in my eyes, very catchy. 4/5 Precious Illusions - I guess this one is perhaps single material too. Quite easy song to relate to, delves into alanis's illuions about her life. 3/5 That Particular Time - Second best song on the album, the first being 'So Unsexy', it is very quiet and enchanting. Great Lyrics too. 4/5 A man - Powerfully delivered with its heavy rock-guitar accompaniment but ultimately boring and doesn't make too much sense. Worst song on the album. 2/5 You Owe me Nothing in Return - Nothing special really, nice lyrics, nice music, average alanis. 3/5 Surrendering - Quite exciting and well paced but not one for repeated playing in my view. 3/5 Utopia (Bonus Track) - Beautiful and Peaceful. It is rare that a bonus track isn't just some throw-away from a past album but this song is very well written and has great soothing music. 4/5 Overall I would recommend this album, though it isn't as good as Jagged Little Pill, it is slightly better than the overlong 'Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie' and charts alanis's progression as an artist, bearing in mind she's only in her late twenties. This return to form truly merits the 4 stars I am awarding it. It has come to my attention that I missed a couple of points out or didn't elaborate upon my points so here goes - Many of the tracks wouldn't be suitable for 'commercial' radio stations as they are for a defined/specialist taste in my eyes, though this album is more mainstream and more appealing to a wider audience I still don't think that it features tracks that would reach the top ten...although I could be wrong. I guess it would be worth what I paid for it if I had paid for it but I recieved it as a gift, but had I not recieved it as a gift i would have bought it anyway.
Originally signed up as the main profit-maker for Madonna's own record label 'Maverick', Alanis Morissette shot to international fame in the 1990s with some of the most inspiring and awesome songs to graze our land for some time. The soft-rock catchy classics 'Ironic', 'You Oughta Know', '(You Live,) You Learn', and '(One) Hand in My Pocket' were all acclaimed and extremely successful chart-climbers, all of which led to the album 'Jagged Little Pill' becoming the 5th best seller of the 1990s in the UK. Alanis came back, amid intense pressure for decent music and troubles with her home life, for a second stab at international stardom, over two years after her original album had caused so much of a positive 'she must be a diva/genius to be this good' reaction. The pressure led this album to be weak as a result. The depressing uncharacteristical music with no real emotion led us to believe that she had been driven into something she really didn't want to be doing, something less about music, and more about profit and a need to release an album just to keep from losing her fans. Hence, a lot of disappointed fans lost interest, and she went into hiding after the flop that it was. 'Under Rug Swept' is the welcome new album from the Canadian popstress, released with mixed expectations from her avid fans. Was the first album, after all, a one-off fluke, albeit on the same level as the other greats of our time? Or were we to expect something even better than before having had such a disappointing and long break since any decent material? Luckily, the latter seems to be true, as this release looks set to be a bigger and more beautiful, touching album than even her first. Whilst most of her songs from her first album were chirpy, amusing anecdotes from her previous relationships, mingled with the traditional I-IV-V chord pattern and a nice catchy melody or two, this album sh ows a lot more variety and maturity in her writing; from soft-rock, her more traditional approach, to ballads and more heavy rock, and the result is astonishing. Her middle-of-the-road attitude is something that has made her such a big hit across the world anyway, particularly in her home country, but the successful introduction of new genres to her repetoire of otherwise great, but albeit pop songs is what has made her, in my eyes, such a definite genius of music. As with Madonna, who moves from album to album with such change in music and fashion, adapting to the times, whilst maintaining a revolutionary approach to her work, so has Alanis. 21 Things I Want in a Lover: A weak start to what is otherwise a very good album. Whilst the enthusiasm is there, and the words tell a definite theme (namely, the 21 things she wants in a lover), it sounds as though it's been translated from English to French, possibly Swahili, Norewgian and back again, as the emphasis on the melismaticly placed words don't suit the tune all that often. Hard-rock for Alanis, definitely more Metallica in style than Barenaked Ladies. Well, that could be a little extreme, let's say more Garbage. Not a track worth ignoring, but not one that's really suitable for such a great album. Narcissus: If I'd ever have to pick one sole track as being the essence of Alanis, this would be it. An unbelievably catchy tune, with fantastic lyrics and a great beat. The verse, chorus and bridge all have excellent melodies that link up really well, and the soft-rock combined with the 'oh-so American' fast lyrics that are impossible to understand on the first listen through is just a combination I could cuddle up with with a big tub of Haagen-Dazs. Hmm. Best track on the album, for sure, and I wouldn't be surprised if this one became a future Number 1. Hands Clean: The first single taken from the album, and a top 10 hit, but again, not a real reflection of her genius. Whether it's all some marketing genius designed so that she gets the most album and single sales I'm not sure, but the lyrics in particular are weak, even if the song is happy enough to be considered a pop single release. Still, again, not a bad single, and would probably be a number 1 had it not been for very little publicity and the little expectation of fans from her previous album. Flinch: Another song with the A-B-C (verse, bridge, chorus) rotation so central to some of her songs. Again, they link up well in this, a very slow but catchy and annoyingly memorable tune in each. One of the best tracks on the album, and one that is instantly likeable. Great lyrics and very easy-listening background music style, and although a lengthy 6 minutes, appears to float on by. A very addictive song, definite 'hummer'. So Unsexy: Another possible future single release in this, a pop/rock combo with each verse starting with a compellingly syncopated tune. Excellent music, and lyrics, with real emotion. However, as with there is an important point to make about this track, in that her self-obsessed nature leads her to be over emotional at times and does tend to hinder the otherwise excellent quality of music, as is found with other tracks on the album at times. Precious Illusions: Surprise, surprise, yet another single in this one, and I think this time, there may actually be some justice in saying so as this is the next single to be released by her. A hauntingly catchy song with great range of feeling and dynamics to show both sides of her character. Nice build-up as well. That Particular Time: The problem for ballads with Alanis is, as previously mentioned, her over-abundance of emotions does lead her music to stray a little musically. Such is the problem with this, an otherwise wonderfully unique and addictive song. Nice David-Gray sounding foundation as well, which works well. Possible duet there? A Man: Hmmm...she does like to complain about her men a lot. Still, the oriental and western combined idea is one that works very well, and the unexpected rock element brings a completely new edge to the album, which is fun. The harmony in the homophonic sections works well as well. You Owe Me Nothing in Return: Another chirpy song, albeit in the minor but still very addictive, as all her work is. Much more like the old traditional Alanis in style, a nice themed verse and separate chorus, both with very separate ideas. A strange idea for a song, but it's just about held together. Surrendering: Not the greatest of songs on the album, this very typical and rather mundane soft-rock idea of a song only reaches its heights in the chorus, which has great accompaniment in the form of a very strong beat and a nice guitar and whistle riff that comes around every few bars. Utopia: A gorgeous accoustic opening leads to what at first appears to be a depressing end to an otherwise generally uplifting album, but the contrast with the chorus, which is the most happy I think I have ever heard anyone ever makes the general mood even higher than the other on the album. The guitar riff, which runs underneath throughout the majority of the chorus is a great and very catchy element. I may seem to only have an average opinion of this album reading through my opinions of each track, but, strangely, as an album I seem to enjoy the music much more. The overall message and mood of each piece combine to create a very uplifting and pleasant listen, either as a means of relaxation whilst in the bath, whilst trying to get off to sleep, or as background music. The sheer diversity of the music makes it suitable for so many occasions, and for so many different categories of people. Whilst the soft-rock element comes in masses throughout the 11 tracks as the main idea, there are definite elements of pop, heavy rock and indie. This progression through the different ge nres and the utilisation of so many ideas and great melodies, is, what I think, makes this album even better than 'Jagged Little Pill'. However, because of the fact that so many people have been put off by some frankly terrible examples of her music recently (namely the second international album and the mediocre 'Hands Clean'), it doesn't appear to be doing as well. The fact that the melismatic phrases seem to be causing her so much difficulty does seem to be a definite bad point, but the album isn't without its commendations, especially since there are no weak tracks on the album whatsoever. Suitable for all, I would say, and a definite recommendation for anyone, but perhaps best suited to fans and teenagers best. Some tracks also contain bad language.
It can't be easy selling 28 million copies of what is effectively your debut album, just ask Alanis Morissette who in 1995 found herself catapulted into the mainstream collective consciousness with 'Jagged Little Pill'. Neatly filling the role of Courtney Love's more palatable younger sister, Morisette mixed the fury and noise of grunge with neat pop melodies, a pretty face and the classic vulnerability of the best singer songwriters. Along with the likes of Sheryl Crow and Tori Amos she pushed the female singer songwriter genre right back to centre stage and spawned an army of imitators, most of whom faded back to obscurity soon after (where are you now Meredeth Brooks eh?). By rights such sudden success shouldn't have gone to her head, Morissette after all had had in effect a trial run as a pop starlet in her native Canada between the ages of 16 to 18. However a series of exhausting world tours and perhaps one too many sessions in intensive therapy wreaked their damage. By 1997 the average interview with Morissette seemed to consist of little more then a deluge of psychobabble and worst fears were confirmed by her 1998 sophomore effort 'Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie'. The title really says it all (although not quite in the same league of pretension as the title of the second Fiona Apple album admittedly), a dense, practically impenetrable mess of 17 tracks which contained a virtual ocean of seething lyrics but little more then a small pond of melody (the single 'Thank U' being a notable exception). It alienated the vast majority of her audience and forced Morissette into a virtually hermit like retreat from which she has only just emerged (well she was in a Gap advert last year but methinks this doesn't count). So four years on and in the face of declining audiences for the genre she helped revitalise, Morissette has a lot of ground to make up with 'Under Rug Swept'. Initial signs don 39;t look too promising, Morissette has split with producer/co-writer Glen Ballard who presided over 'Jagged...' and much of 'Supposed...' and has opted for self production, all too often the last refuge of the over inflated artistic ego. So it is something of a pleasant surprise to announce that 'Under Rug Swept' is Morissette's finest album to date by quite some margin, largely returning to the territory she so thrilling inhabited on 'Jagged Little Pill' but also suggesting artistic progression. Gone are the unwieldy dictatorial swathes of lyrics that characterised 'Supposed...' and in their place are driving melodies, tangible and effective hooks and sharp witty couplets that cut to the point rather then giving us a complete emotional history. Unashamed pop rock tracks such as flyer single 'Hands Clean' and 'Surrendering' see Alanis setting out her stall: strong choruses, lashings of guitar and plenty of bite in the vocals. 'Under Rug Swept' however, for the first time also showcases a growing maturity. Now aged 27, Morissette has done most of her growing up in public and here she presents the musical evidence. Gone is the bile splattered anger and almost childish angst of 'Jagged Little Pill', in its place Alanis vents her inner demons in less overt ways. 'Hands Clean' and 'Flinch' examine the damage done by youthful relationships with predatory elder men but the anger has faded to worn regret. Whilst in stark contrast to 'You Oughta Know', 'That Particular Time' describes the collapse of a relationship without recriminations or blame. The Alanis of 2002 acknowledges her own failings as well as that of her feckless men, 'Narcissus' is as much about her own foolishness, "Why do I try to love / Try to love you when you really don?t want me to?" as it is about the idiot of the title. There is added musical depth too, the hazy distorted guitars and lilting chorus of 'Narcissus' hint at a definite acquaintance with the work of Leona Naess, whilst Beth Orten could easily appropriate the folky texture of closer 'Utopia'. There is an impressive breadth of material too, from the stomping rant of opener '21 Things...' to the bleak and barren ballads such as 'That Particular Time'. Even the albums most throw away moments, 'So Unsexy' and 'You Owe Me Nothing' possess sufficient poise and melodic bite to make fulfilling listening. The album kicks off with a crashing guitar line and a throaty vocal, which serves to confirm that the ghost of 'Supposed...' has been firmly banished from the recording studio. '21 Things That I Want in a Lover' is the closest to old school Alanis present here. Full on and passionate, in most hands the volume of lyrics in the verse would overwhelm the listener but the unrelenting guitar roar keeps them in line, marrying them to a marching melody and leading into a neat low strung chorus. Alanis sets out her criteria for the ideal man, but hinting that she knows better; admitting "Not necessarily needs / But qualities that I prefer." The superb little twist in the middle eight and the sudden fade out on conclusion create a startling curtain raiser. The distorted blend of fade in/out guitars and digitised rhythms that open 'Narcissus' meanwhile serve to demonstrate that Alanis is no longer in a musical rut. Although the track borrows heavily from Leona Naess' fantastic 'Charm Attack', Alanis manages to add a twist of originality in the unexpected melodic twists the track spins through. The unusual guitar work leads into a pleasant floaty vocal melody before solidifying into a neat hook in the bridge. The key surprise however, is saved for the sudden downward spiralling chorus, for which Alanis reserves the best of her venom "You go back to t he women who will dance the dance / You go back to your friends who will lick your ass!" The hazy melody works wonderfully and given Ms Morrisette's usual tactic of going straight for the aural jugular is another hint of the maturity prevalent on the album. The crucial evidence for Alanis' musical growth however is kept on the album's two pivotal tracks, 'At the Particular Time' and 'Flinch'. Never previously a great strength these two songs represent a textbook example of how to write and perform a strong ballad. 'At That Particular Time' despite its weak title is already making a strong case for my favourite song of the year (and its only March!). Beautifully paced and built on a bleak and sparse canvass of piano and subtle strings, Alanis sings with moving guilt, regret and elegant beauty. The contrast from the harsh screeching of 'You Oughta Know' could hardly be greater. The melody is gentle but memorable and moves seamlessly from verse to a stirring chorus before soaring into the middle eight that eventually crashes down in a wave of pathos and the repeated line "I'm sorry I lost myself." The lyric meanwhile represents an adult reflection on the end of a love affair rather then childish recrimination; she highlights her own mistakes as much as that of the former partner. 'Flinch' therefore provides both a contrast and coherence to 'That Particular Time'. Dealing with a similar subject matter, the bitterness and resentment of early Alanis is more clearly visible "What's it been / Half a decade? / It still hurts like it was four months ago" but tinged with strength and a desire to move on "Soon I'll grow up / And I won't even flinch at your name." Crucially the difference is in the music, constructed from just acoustic guitars and vocals, the songs whole outlook is different. Rather then screaming and looking for revenge, Mor isette is now more human, hurt and still affected; with this approach she shows far more of her inner pain then her earlier spiky incarnation. These intriguing lyrical insights into Morisette's psyche are thankfully married to a dark but pretty melody, with a brooding verse and free flowing chorus which spirals into a tag line that is more pain then spite. Thankfully however, Morisette has not lost her knack for penning a winning pop song either. Flyer single 'Hands Clean' hits all the right marks as a perfect piece of pop/rock, although its somewhat subdued chart success suggests the musical climate has moved on, since 'Jagged Little Pill'. The clever mix of the girlish acoustic verses, a tension building middle eight and a pile driving electric driven hook laden chorus works wonders and seems perfect FM radio material. Again Morisette has calmed the bile in the lyrics, letting the actions of her former lover speak for themselves. The bite is more in the music, with the contrast between the razor sharp acoustics in the verse and the pounding electrics of the chorus making the point more elegantly then a whole essay of poisoned prose. Add to this the lovely swirl of the middle eight, and you have one of the finest singles of this year to date (although admittedly the competition hasn't exactly been tough so far). 'Precious Illusions' is cut from the same cloth and seems a safe bet for release number two, but improves on the template by providing such a hook infested bridge which winds up the tension so efficiently that the explosion of the chorus is practically earth shattering. Again the acoustic guitars, which introduce the track, are as sharp as knives, whilst Morisette's deep-seated vocal hints at the volcanic eruption to come. The electronic percussion, which gradually kicks in underlines the tracks edginess, before the whole rhythm and mood alters on the bridge as Alanis' voice gradually rises u ntil the thumping crescendo of the chorus is unleashed. The spite and anger which has been spread so thinly on other tracks is given free reign here, but acting as a contrast rather then the norm and complementing the music wonderfully it provides a delicious concoction. 'Surrendering' provides the final piece of this accessible trilogy, quick paced and instantly foot tapping in its syncopation and jarring guitar lines. The odd little flute line which opens the song, and the hint of sitars in the guitar mix give the track an original feel, whilst the chorus is once again text book stuff, with an adhesive melody and driving beat. The guitars pound away in the background in a particularly startling manner, always teetering on the edge of dominating the proceedings, but reigned back by the sheer power of the vocal melody. 'A Man' meanwhile is the albums darkest moment, where Alanis gives a wry look into what she sees as the male psyche, opting for a spot of first person empathy. Unsurprisingly its not a pretty sight, but acts as an interesting lyrical companion to 'You Oughta Know', "Been crucified by an enraged woman" being a notable illustration. The song is a slow paced and guitar heavy beast, with the melody a tub-thumping resilient beast and the guitars occasionally hinting at metal, rather then their usual more restrained selves. The somewhat disposable 'So Unsexy' and 'You Owe Me Nothing' are the records weakest moments, although neither is completely without merit. 'So Unsexy' borrows 'Narcissus' hazy, almost out of tune guitar backdrop. The lyric is almost mocking in its self-loathing, dominated by self-pity whilst undoubtedly aware of the ridiculousness of its content. An above average chorus adds to a listenable package, although it's notable that the track was much improved in a stripped down acoustic live performance. 'You Owe Me Nothing' meanw hile builds neatly from ghostly keyboards and synthesised strings into an interesting melody on the verse but lets the game down with a somewhat dull chorus and the album's weakest lyric. Far better is closing track 'Utopia' which adds one final contrast to Alanis' back catalogue. Built on a swirl of strings and acoustics, the song floats along with the albums prettiest vocal performance and a distinct tinge of folk to the chorus and structure. The displaced harmonies, which descend a second after each other on the chorus give the song an ethereal air, not a term one would usually associate with Morisette's work. The closing sea of sighing choral harmonies rounds off the record nicely, one final surprise on a record at times bursting with unexpected turns. 'Under Rug Swept' is a rich and rewarding record. It effortlessly retraces the very qualities which brought Alanis to widespread attention whilst updating her musical palette and toning down her more extreme lyrical tendencies. Crucially the winning melodic knack of her debut has been rediscovered, with some real gems as the result. How well Morisette will fair in today's somewhat different chart environment is unclear however, and the more mature outlook may disappoint those looking for a less considered dose of cathartic rage, but 'Under Rug Swept' comes recommended for those looking for a refreshing and yet familiar take on the guitar aided singer songwriter sound. Oh and for those who've wondered where I've been, my profile page explains further but rest assured that I don't intend to leave it quite so long between opinions in future. You can decide whether this is a good thing or not!
Alanis Morissette seemed to release thirty-four singles off her first album, Jagged Little Pill. It was milked so much it provided protein for half of Canada for three entire years. Having said that, it was a great album, fresh for its time, and included great videos for songs like 'ironic' that helped transform me from an adolescent boy to a much wisened young man. Jagged Little Pill sold around 26 million copies, I think, and Morissette became a face recognisable all over the world. Ok, well done, fair enough. I have to say that I didn't buy her second album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, because I just couldn't be bothered. The constant single releases from Jagged Little Pill really irritated me and the same again just didn't seem worth baring. Of course, the follow up didn't sell enough to fill even the smallest of big buckets (?) and half of Canada were forced to turn to other dairy products. So, it's 2002, and Alanis Morissette has a new album out called Under Rug Swept. I decided I was just about ready to return to the world of lost boyfriends (most of which are presumably MANfriends a nuber of years her senior), and life's woes and wisdoms. The release of the album has been fairly subdued, yet it seemed to have picked up a few promising reviews, so hey why not? I persuaded my friend that it would be an excellent idea if she were to buy the album as she would probably like it much more than me etc etc. Try before you buy, I say. You know what, it's actually very good. Under Rug Swept is self-produced and contains some of the best work Morissette's career. Tracks like 21 things I want in a Lover and So Unsexy seem like the older, more life-experienced brothers of Jagged Little Pill's You Oughta Know and Ironic. The sound is somehow refreshingly electric (I love my New Acoustic thing but you know how it can get, long live The Strokes), and the vocals are diverse enough to make each track unique. The album is just about the right length too, as Morissette rids herself of the long winded 'epic' approach used on Supposed Fprmer Infatuation Junkie. Under Rug Swept is free from being pretentious (spelt correctly, you know who you are), and is a worthy addition to anyone CD rack. Sorry this was a bit rushed, it was supposed to be a bit more detailed but I've just remembered I've left a pizza in the oven. Sorry. Is there a DooYoo section for frozen pizzas? Freschetta rules.
This is the title of Alanis Morissette's new album! I won it last week on Mercury FM radio and I must admit that it is excellent. The cover is a colourful portrayal of half of Alanis' face and she looks at her best! The album has 11 tracks. They are; 21 things I want in a Lover Narcissus Hands Clean Flinch So unsexy Precious illusions That particular time A man You owe me nothing in return Surrendering Utopia It is a very good album and is very cool to listen to! In my opinion it is returning more to the style of Jagged Little Pill put has a cool new aspect to the music. There is a mix of very up beat music like Hands Clean and then more rocky music such as the song 21 things I want in a lover! Hands Clean is my favourite song on this album at the moment! In my view it is one of her very best! Alanis wrote this song and produced the entire album!All of the songs were mixed by Chris Fogel except for "That Particular Time" which was mixed by Rob Jacobs! The album came out on Monday the the 4th of March 2002 and I recommend that all fans of Alanis or just new fans of Hands Clean should go and buy the album. It is only £12.99/£13.99 from most good music shops and it is a great investment! I listen to it all the time! This album has some special features too! It is an enhanced CD which provides you with a backstage pass to her secret website, videos and unreleased songs! It is definitely a Cd to add to your collection!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 21 Things I Want in a Lover
3 Hands Clean
5 So Unsexy
6 Precious Illusions
7 That Particular Time
9 You Owe Me Nothing in Return