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Pop - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino - Maverick Records

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It's hard to overstate how much the songs of Jagged Little Pill — released on feminist pioneer Madonna's Maverick label at a moment when Hootie & the Blowfish and the theme from Friends were anesthetizing America — shook up pop radio in 1995. No one was prepared for first single "You Oughta Know," which stormed into ubiquity in a blaze of raw fury aimed at a "Mr. Duplicity" who rebounded too soon. Often mis-characterized as pure vengeance, the dynamics-propelled rocker (with bass and guitar from Flea and Dave Navarro, then of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) was really about being forthright and staking a claim to un-pretty feelings: "And every time you speak her name/ Does she know how you told me/ You'd hold me until you died." Of course, Morissette had no choice but to be divisive. From the album's opener "All I Really Want," you'll know if you love or hate her voice, with its affected tics and shrieks. Let it also be said that Jagged Little Pill is not an album for those who find harmonica grating, and that jaunty hit "Ironic" may drive literalists crazy with its litany of inconveniences ("It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife"). But it's that lack of self-consciousness from Morissette (19 years old at the time) that makes songs such as the grungy "Forgiven" — a defiance against patriarchal Catholic guilt — and self-empowerment bop "You Learn" a clarion call of independence for young women looking to ditch fear. It also let her create a completely new sound that didn't draw directly from typical female influences (save for the folksy "Hand In My Pocket", which comes on like the spiritual descendent of Edie Brickell's "What I Am") and left a mold for countless female artists after. © Qobuz
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Pop - Released February 25, 2002 | Rhino - Maverick Records

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Pop - Released November 12, 1999 | Warner Records - Maverick

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Pop - Released November 12, 1999 | Rhino - Maverick Records

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Pop - Released October 16, 1998 | Rhino - Maverick Records

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Pop - Released June 26, 2020 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released November 11, 2005 | Maverick

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 9, 1995 | Rhino - Maverick Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released November 29, 2019 | Atlantic Records

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Pop - Released December 2, 2019 | RCA Deutschland

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Pop - Released August 24, 2012 | Columbia SevenOne

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Pop - Released February 21, 2020 | RCA Deutschland

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 17, 2004 | Rhino - Maverick Records

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Alanis Morissette has often written about affairs of the heart, but she's rarely written from the perspective of being in love, and she's certainly never recorded an album where she seems so in love and at peace as she has with her fourth album, So-Called Chaos. She doesn't hide her romance with Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, perhaps best known as the title role of National Lampoon's Van Wilder, thanking him in the liner notes and alluding to their relationship throughout this romance-heavy record. There are still strands of bitterness, cynicism, and jealously, yet they feel like unfinished business that she's slowly putting to rest. Nowhere is this more true than on "This Grudge," which for all intents and purposes looks like the final chapter in the tale of "The Relationship," the one that fueled "You Oughta Know," since she acknowledges that she's held "this grudge" for "14 years, 30 minutes, 15 seconds" and through "11 songs" and "four full journals" (and, given Alanis' penchant for confession and single-minded obsession, chances are she's not exaggerating). She's not just leaving this relationship behind, she's maturing, and there's a calm directness to much of her writing that leads her to both open-hearted love songs and, occasionally, a sly sense of humor (as on the sardonic opener, "Eight Easy Steps"). Morissette still has a tendency to overwrite and then deliver these tangled tenses in exceedingly odd phrasing -- the chorus to "Knees of My Bees" doesn't sound much like "tremble and buckle," it sounds for all the world like "jambalaya, Bucko!" -- but that's simply par for the course with Alanis. What's unexpected, though, is the confidence of her music, which recaptures some of the vigor of Jagged Little Pill, as it's brighter, denser, catchier than either of its immediate predecessors, and boasts her most assured singing yet. Even with all this, it's not heavy on immediate singles -- the first, "Everything," takes awhile to have its hook settle in -- but as an overall record, it's her most satisfying since her blockbuster breakthrough. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released May 20, 2008 | Maverick

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The running joke goes like this: as soon as Alanis Morissette suffered a heartbreak like she did prior to Jagged Little Pill, she would once again write lyrics as vitriolic as confessional as that 1995 breakthrough. As any tabloid follower knows -- and really, in the new millennium we all follow the tabloids whether we like it or not -- Alanis split from fiancé Ryan Reynolds after the release of 2004's So-Called Chaos, an album that floated joyously on her newfound love, so it's no great stretch to see its 2008 follow-up, Flavors of Entanglement, as its opposite, a classic breakup record. And it is, filled with songs of heartbreak, anger, and regret, along with a healthy dose of self affirmation -- or at least it seems that way, as Alanis' words are harder than ever to parse, a mangled web of garbled syntax, overheated metaphors, and mystifying verbal contortions all requiring too much effort to decode. In that sense, it's a lot like Jagged Little Pill, but musically this is far closer to the muddled mystic worldbeat of Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, thanks in large part to her collaboration with Guy Sigsworth, best known for his productions with Björk and Madonna. Given his résumé, it should come as no great surprise that Sigsworth gives Flavors of Entanglement some adventurous textures and drum loops, even electronically altered voices on occasion, but this is no dance record; it's a claustrophobic, cluttered adult pop album underpinned by a hazy new age sensibility, best heard (if not best articulated) on "Citizen of the Planet," a thick swirling dirge which serves as an appropriate opening salvo for this dense murk, where the music is almost as impenetrable as the lyrics. Coming after the streamlined Under Rug Swept and light So-Called Chaos, this return to insularity is a bit startling yet it's welcome, both for those who find a personal connection within Alanis' accidentally cryptic confessions and those who like to listen to her ramblings with their mouths agape, as this overspills with emotional and musical dissonance, the kind that made her phenomenal success on Jagged Little Pill improbable and her slow descent into high-end liberal lifestyle music after Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie quite understandable. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released August 24, 2012 | Columbia SevenOne

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Pop - Released January 1, 2013 | Eagle Rock

Alanis Morissette hasn't racked up a lot of live releases over the years, which makes 2013's Live at Montreux 2012 somewhat noteworthy. Discounting such oddities as the 2002 home video Music in High Places, this is Alanis' first official live album since 1999's Alanis Unplugged and much has changed in the ensuing 13 years. Back in 1999, she was one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. In 2012, she's a survivor and an old pro, easily adjusting the keys of the song to fit her voice, knowing how to sequence her set so the fan favorites -- a huge chunk of Jagged Little Pill is here -- are threaded between the new songs. The band is big but not too powerful, the performance polished without being overly slick. There may be no surprises, as another titan of the late '90s once sang, but it's a satisfying performance, one that should please the fans who have been waiting years for a live souvenir. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released May 24, 2005 | Maverick

There's an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm from 2002 where Alanis Morissette is performing at a benefit concert that's eventually held at Larry David's home, where she sings a stripped-down acoustic arrangement of "You Oughta Know" with guitarist David Levita for an audience of wealthy Hollywood liberals. This may not have been the genesis of her 2005 album Jagged Little Pill Acoustic -- initially for sale only in Starbucks stores, but released to mass retail in late July -- but that performance not only offers a clue to the sound of this acoustic-based reinterpretation of her blockbuster breakthrough, but also to its target audience. Unlike the 1995 original, this is not a dense, glossy pop album that slyly co-opts and repackages ideas from the musical fringe for a mass audience, nor is this akin to her 1999 acoustic album Alanis Unplugged, where Morissette was still sorting out exactly which direction to take in the aftermath of her phenomenal success. Jagged Little Pill Acoustic is the sound of an artist who is comfortable and settled, fondly reminiscing about her crazy past for an audience that is also comfortable and settled. This is sepia-toned music (which is appropriate, since the cover itself is a sepia-toned replication of the original's artwork), with all of the excesses and eccentricities of youth either romanticized or dismissed with a soft chuckle. Alanis marvels at how crazy she was back then, as she and her audience both congratulate themselves on surviving ten years while reflecting on how much they've personally grown in that decade. All of this is captured in the lone lyrical change: "Ironic" now concludes with Alanis meeting the man of her dreams and meeting not his beautiful wife, but his beautiful husband (she's no longer pronouncing "figures" as "figgers," either). This doesn't change the song or its intent, but it does signal that Morissette has a slightly different perspective, one that is self-congratulatory, more tolerant, and more self-consciously urbane. And that pretty much summarizes the music here, too: it's deliberately mature and certainly more tasteful than the original Jagged Little Pill, the kind of music that would sound good playing in, well, the background of a coffee shop. While there are acoustic guitars at the foundation of each of the 12 tracks here (plus the unlisted 13th bonus track), this isn't strictly acoustic, at least by most standards: with original JLP producer Glen Ballard, who never met a production he couldn't overdub a few more times than necessary, on board as well, it's not surprising that Acoustic winds up being a subdued adult alternative pop album filled with strings, keyboards, and production instead of a stark acoustic record. Since Ballard is a pro and since Alanis has lived with these songs long enough to find different, yet comfortable, ways to rephrase these familiar melodies, it's a pleasant enough listen, but it's hard to see the point of the album. That is, unless it is really for the kind of crowd she serenaded in that episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm -- a very satisfied, very comfortable audience that prefers to see the past only through rose-colored glasses that present their history in terms that are more acceptable to who they are now than who they were back then. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 16, 1998 | Reprise - Maverick

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Pop - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino - Maverick Records

It's hard to overstate how much the songs of Jagged Little Pill — released on feminist pioneer Madonna's Maverick label at a moment when Hootie & the Blowfish and the theme from Friends were anesthetizing America — shook up pop radio in 1995. No one was prepared for first single "You Oughta Know," which stormed into ubiquity in a blaze of raw fury aimed at a "Mr. Duplicity" who rebounded too soon. Often mis-characterized as pure vengeance, the dynamics-propelled rocker (with bass and guitar from Flea and Dave Navarro, then of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) was really about being forthright and staking a claim to un-pretty feelings: "And every time you speak her name/ Does she know how you told me/ You'd hold me until you died." Of course, Morissette had no choice but to be divisive. From the album's opener "All I Really Want," you'll know if you love or hate her voice, with its affected tics and shrieks. Let it also be said that Jagged Little Pill is not an album for those who find harmonica grating, and that jaunty hit "Ironic" may drive literalists crazy with its litany of inconveniences ("It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife"). But it's that lack of self-consciousness from Morissette (19 years old at the time) that makes songs such as the grungy "Forgiven" — a defiance against patriarchal Catholic guilt — and self-empowerment bop "You Learn" a clarion call of independence for young women looking to ditch fear. It also let her create a completely new sound that didn't draw directly from typical female influences (save for the folksy "Hand In My Pocket", which comes on like the spiritual descendent of Edie Brickell's "What I Am") and left a mold for countless female artists after. © Qobuz