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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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Alternative & Indie - Released June 9, 1995 | Maverick

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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 November 12, 1999 | Warner Records - Maverick

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

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 31, 2020 | Epiphany Music

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

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

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

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Pop - Released November 11, 2005 | Maverick

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Film Soundtracks - Released November 29, 2019 | Atlantic Records

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

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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 January 1, 2013 | Eagle Rock

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

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Pop - Released October 16, 1998 | Reprise - Maverick

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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
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Pop - Released May 20, 2008 | Maverick

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 2, 2019 | Epiphany Music

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Pop - Released December 1, 2003 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Alanis Morissette in the magazine
  • Alanis Morissette - Such Pretty Forks in The Road
    Alanis Morissette - Such Pretty Forks in The Road Canadian Alanis Morissette’s ninth studio album is carried by Smiling, a song written for the Broadway adaptation of her third album Jagged Little Pill, released in 1995. The track appears in the first act when Mary Jane Healy (the mother of a modest family in Connecticut) highlights the contradi...