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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 11, 2005 | Maverick

Alanis Morissette had hits after her 1995 blockbuster Jagged Little Pill -- she also hits before it, but those Canadian teen pop hits have been effectively written out of her official biography to no great loss -- but after that album's nearly three-year reign on the charts in the second half of the '90s, she never dominated radio, MTV, and popular consciousness again. She was always a presence, and each of her records received a flurry of attention upon its initial release, with both 1998's Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie and 2002's Under Rug Swept both debuting at number one on the Billboard charts, but once it became clear to her millions of fans that she was pursuing a weirder, introspective direction in the wake of Jagged Little Pill, they started to slowly drift away and Alanis' status faded with it. She still made good music (even if the albums themselves could be uneven), but she stopped having genuine pop hits. Of course, she kind of stopped making pop music, as the sober nature of her first hits album, 2005's The Collection, proves. This generous 18-track collection has the great majority of her charting singles and it's understandably heavy on Jagged Little Pill songs; there are five here, including "Hand in My Pocket," "Ironic," and "You Oughta Know," but not the radio hit "All I Really Want." Most of the remaining big hits are here, including the non-LP "Uninvited" from the City of Angels soundtrack, "Thank U" (here retitled "Thank You"), and "Hands Clean," but there are several charting singles from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie that were overlooked ("Joining You," "Unsent," and, most regrettably, "So Pure," the liveliest song on the LP), which suggests that Alanis now also sees that album as an awkward growing period between the angst-ridden adolescent of JPL and her self-consciously mature work of the 2000s. In their place are a hodgepodge of non-LP rarities, largely soundtrack contributions, including "Still" from Dogma and a very bad version of Cole Porter's "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" from De-Lovely; there's also "Sister Blister" from her overlooked 2002 rarities CD/DVD Feast on Scraps, plus a new cover of Seal's "Crazy" that's startlingly close to the original. All these relative rarities dilute The Collection, making it seem something less than either the hits or the best of Alanis Morissette; it doesn't help that they're clustered together in the second part of the compilation, slowing the momentum of the hit-heavy first half quite a bit. Also, the overall tenor of these songs, whether they're hits or rarities, is just a shade too self-serious; the songs crawl along under the weight of the heavy, atmospheric keyboard and guitars, which may give Alanis plenty of space to run wild lyrically but never quite amount to being as catchy or immediate as any of Jagged Little Pill. As a result, The Collection isn't nearly as a satisfying listen as it should have been, even if it functions reasonably well as a sampler of Alanis' biggest and best post-JPL work. It may have more than its fair share of dull patches, but it does have most of the big songs, which should be enough for many fans who have liked various Alanis songs they've heard on the radio since Jagged Little Pill but never bothered following her after the muddled Supposed Former. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released November 12, 1999 | Rhino - Maverick Records

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Pop - Released October 16, 1998 | Reprise - Maverick

While it's not a repudiation of her blockbuster, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie is a clear step forward, teeming with ambition and filled with new musical ideas and different sonic textures. Alanis Morissette's voice still sears, but she has more control over her singing, rarely reaching the piercing heights that occasionally made Jagged Little Pill jarring. Also, she has clearly spent some time crafting her lyrics; not only do they never sound like straight diary entries, she no longer is trying to fit too many syllables into a phrase. These two differences are subtle -- the brooding, Eastern-styled music that dominates Supposed is not. There are numerous extensions of the vague hip-hop and pop fusions that made "Hand in Pocket" and "All I Really Want" huge hits ("Front Row," "UR," "Thank U," "So Pure"), but much of the album is devoted to moody ballads and mid-tempo pop, where the textured production functions as a backdrop for Morissette's cryptically introspective lyrics. Far from being alienating, this approach works surprisingly well -- not only do the pop tunes sound catchier, but the ballads, with their winding melodies and dark colors, sound strong and brave. If anything, the record is more coherent album than its predecessor, and even if it isn't as accessible or as compulsively listenable, it's a richer record. That said, it won't win any new fans -- for all of her success, Morissette is a weird acquired taste, due to her idiosyncratic vocals and doggedly convoluted confessionals -- but it certainly confirms that she doesn't quite sound like anyone else, either. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released May 24, 2005 | Maverick

It's remarkable that Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill struck a sympathetic chord with millions of listeners, because it's so doggedly, determinedly insular. This, after all, plays like an emotional purging, prompted by a bitter relationship -- and, according to all the lyrical hints, that's likely a record executive who took advantage of a young Alanis. She never disguises her outright rage and disgust, whether it's the vengeful wrath of "You Oughta Know" or asking him "you scan the credits for your name and wonder why it's not there." This is such insider information that it's hard to believe that millions of listeners not just bought it, but embraced it, turning Alanis Morisette into a mid-'90s phenomenon. Perhaps it was the individuality that made it appealing, since its specificity lent it genuineness -- and, even if this is clearly an attempt to embrace the "women in rock" movement in alterna-rock, Morissette's intentions are genuine. Often, it seems like Glen Ballard's pop inclinations fight against Alanis' exorcisms, as her bitter diary entries are given a pop gloss that gives them entry to the pop charts. What's all the more remarkable is that Alanis isn't a particularly good singer, stretching the limits of pitch and credibility with her octave-skipping caterwauling. At its core, this is the work of an ambitious but sophomoric 19-year-old, once burned by love, but still willing to open her heart a second time. All of this adds up to a record that's surprisingly effective, an utterly fascinating exploration of a young woman's psyche. As slick as the music is, the lyrics are unvarnished and Morissette unflinchingly explores emotions so common, most people would be ashamed to articulate them. This doesn't make Jagged Little Pill great, but it does make it a fascinating record, a phenomenon that's intensely personal. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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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 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
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Pop - Released February 25, 2002 | Reprise - Maverick

Although it wasn't immediately apparent, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie found Alanis Morissette floundering in her success, albeit ever so slightly. Like most arty collegiate types, she reacted to massive success with an instinct to experiment, and since she had sold so many records, she and producer/collaborator Glen Ballard were given free range to do pretty much whatever they wanted, resulting in a muted, fitfully intriguing album that had the feel of a sophomore slump even if it was her fourth record (but who counts those first two records as part of her discography, anyway?). It was pretty good, it sold pretty well, but nobody liked it all that much, so it was time for a cool change on her next record, Under Rug Swept (funny how the three years separating Jagged Little Pill and Supposed seemed longer than the three between Supposed and this). The biggest move Alanis made was ditching Ballard, which has the unexpected result of bringing back the sound of Jagged Little Pill, a lush, dense layering of loops, guitars, keyboards, and vocals that makes her songs seem catchier than they are. But that's not all -- she's returned to the impassioned, awkwardly written, syllable-heavy confessional verse that marked Jagged Little Pill. Not only that, she's returned to the very relationship that inspired her breakthrough hit "You Oughta Know," most clearly on the album's lead single, "Hands Clean," this time written from the perspective of the older man who laid prey to the young Canadian star. This would all seem calculated, an attempt to regain her chart status, if Morissette wasn't so unabashedly earnest, seemingly unembarrassed by her confessions. And perhaps she shouldn't be, since her lyrics are so elaborately overwritten it's hard to discern what's going on in her songs. Repeated listens may reveal that her tortured verse derives from something very personal indeed (perhaps it's something so personal, she chooses to hide it by ignoring the rules of syntax and logic, but given her interviews, her unwieldy words are likely just a personal artistic statement), but it's never clear what the songs are about, unless she makes it clear in the title ("21 Things I Want in a Lover," "Narcissus," to name but two). It was easier to call this trait charming on the diary confessions of Jagged, but by this point, the elaborate phrasing and rush of consonants is becoming a bit of a distraction, but the saving grace of Under Rug Swept is that it sounds good. The music flows, the production doesn't overplay its hand, it's pleasingly melodic, tempering the extremities of Jagged Little Pill while retaining the character, and as such, it's easy to groove on the sound without listening to the words. A downside is that the songs, apart from the first three, don't stand out as individual songs, but they do cohere as a whole better than Supposed, and that's no small accomplishment. Alanis is still held back by her own idiosyncrasies -- her determination to be different, to write every word she could possibly ever want to say in as difficult a way as possible -- but that's also her defining characteristic. It's better heard on Jagged, but if you want more of that, take this: it's what Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie should have been. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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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
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Pop - Released December 1, 2003 | Maverick

Fresh from her "Toward Our Union Mended" 2002 world tour, Alanis Morissette hit the studio to pull together FEAST ON SCRAPS, a double CD/DVD featuring eight unreleased audio tracks from her last studio outing UNDER RUG SWEPT and a full concert from Rotterdam on the DVD. A master of looking inward and emerging with musical manna, Morissette does not disappoint as she dips into feelings of undeserved success (the subtly tumultuous "Fear Of Bliss"), guilt over this dissatisfaction (a gently lilting "Offer"), and a heavy dose of fame-fueled ennui (the Middle Eastern-flavored "Purgatorying"). Other highlights include the harder-edged "Sister Blister," touching break-up ballad "Simple Together," and a gorgeous solo acoustic reading of her hit "Hands Clean." The accompanying DVD further enhances this already stellar package with the aforementioned live show packed with Morissette favorites "Ironic," "You Oughta Know," and "Hand In My Pocket" along with behind-the-scenes footage from the UNDER RUG SWEPT sessions, rare home videos, and live footage from other cities on the 2002 tour. FEAST ON SCRAPS is far from skimpy, and on the contrary, turns out to be a fine audio/visual meal.
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Pop - Released May 20, 2008 | Maverick

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
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Pop - Released May 17, 2004 | Maverick

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Pop - Released December 1, 2003 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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Pop - Released October 14, 2013 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released June 5, 2009 | Maverick

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