With a bit of luck you have been following my reviews of Alanis’s studio albums, as well as the other odds and ends she’s produced over the years. But it comes down to this, my favourite Alanis tracks. So let’s just get on with it! Please note that you can find Youtube links to all these songs by clicking the song titles.
30. Are you still mad (from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie)
A rather croaky start with this shrieker from angstfest SFIJ. After that rather sparse intro the layers of music keep getting laid on one by one. When that gorgeous warm string section pops in midway through the first verse, I just melt.
Much better than the feminist terror it sounds like it’s going to be from the first 30 seconds.
29. On my own (from Alanis)
OH YES I WENT THERE. The pre-JLP albums were more of a curiosity than a rich mine of lost material, but there were some really nice moments in there. Some were just for comedy value and big hair but they were still better than they seemed at first glance. Apart from Oh Yeah anyway…
So this is a rather more teenage angst with a ropey set of rhythms, but it’s passionate and a glimpse into what she was on the verge of turning into. It’s also dripping with melodrama, but I love it.
28. Right through you (from Jagged Little Pill)
Time for the first appearance from the big album, and it is as representative a track as any, of her angry anti-“establishment bastards” material that was so much fun. So now she’s pissed off at some sleazy music fatcat (or something) and is now relishing the chance to spit some venom. I really love “now that i’m Miss THANG, now that I’m a ZILLIONAIRE”.
27. Front row (from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie)
That opening 5 seconds is still the first thing I remember when I recall SFIJ, such a striking opening. So the song itself is a little more straightforward, but that’s not a bad thing. As we have become accustomed to, it’s a bit of a stream-of-consciousness track, and not really one of her big tracks, I just have a special affection for it. *laughs a WICKED LAUGH*
26. So unsexy (from Under Rug Swept)
I may have asked this already, but was this ever going to be a single? It feels like it has commercial appeal all over it, especially for an artist (or label) looking to get back on the commercial horse after SFIJ’s spiky radio-unfriendly feel – or at least compared to JLP.
What’s this? Alanis is feeling self-conscious and flawed? Well get used to it, that seems to be a running theme. But a lovely chorus and a gentle journey all in all.
25. You learn (from Jagged Little Pill)
Talking of commercial, here’s one of the staples from JLP that got Alanis to the top of playlists. I was a little negative about this in my earlier write-up, I felt it was a bit Phoebe Buffay lyrically, and while that does still irritate me a bit, re-visiting the MTV Unplugged album has really warmed me up to it once more. Her vocals are really lovely, well exercised on a song that really suits her. Lyrically I’m still not a huge fan but musically I really like it.
24. I Remain (from Prince of Persia OST)
Right back up to date now with 2010’s new track from Prince of Persia. OK so I doubt it will be a huge favourite with most of the Alanis fans but this is as close she’s come to an epic movie song since Uninvited, and I love it. Spooky melody, great delivery, and I LOVE the climax in the last minute, even if it does take a while to reach it.
Another rarity, I’m not sure where this came from but I really LOVE the sound of it. As I have said, it reminds me of Pieces of You-era Jewel, a rather mournful acoustic guitar and little else. I have NO IDEA what she’s going on about, but what passes for a chorus really is lovely, I just find myself fascinated by this track every time I hear it. LOVE the picture that goes this this video link too!!
22. My Humps
Oh Alanis! Showing she had a sense of humour (not that I doubted it), she came out with a cover of this skanktastic hit from the Black Eyed Peas. That would be funny enough, but she made a whole video for it too, which I still love watching. Let’s face it, she’s come out with worse nonsense than this song, but her classic angsty delivery of the lyric really just sets this off. AWESOME
21. Your house (from Jagged Little Pill)
Secret bonus track time now, and I will try to write this as much as I can without thinking of the TERRIBLE version of it on JLP Acoustic (hate that…). So instead I remember the unhinged acapella version lurking at the end of JLP. As I have realised when discussing this with people, there are different interpretations to this song, I choose to think of the mental ex-girlfriend rifling through her former lover’s stuff while he’s out. The shit hits the fan when she realises it’s all over and he’s moved on, and turns into a sobbing mess.
Weird and chilling, and a great WTF end to a brilliant album. Please click the video link here to see a great live performance of it.