My Alanis Morissette Top 30: #20 – #11

Time for another dollop of Alanis’ best bits (what a horrible sentence). Hopefully this gives the impression that while Jagged Little Pill was amazing, there is stuff outside it that’s just as great. As ever, click the links in the song titles to hear them on Youtube.

20. Straitjacket (from Flavors of Entanglement)

What a gorgeous bassline this has got with it, a proper DANCE TRACK! … this certainly my ears pricked up on my first play of Flavors, as well as a happy return for her VENOMOUS tongue. Who do you think you’re talking to with such FUCKING DISRESPECT? Anyway I love this, it’s a shame she didn’t take a more dancey direction with this album, given that Guy Sigsworth seemed MORE than capable of doing it… maybe next time.

19. Perfect (from Jagged Little Pill)

Back to JLP again, this really just did keep giving didn’t it? Happily it’s one of those rare occasions when an amazing album actually gets the sales to back it up. But anyway, parental issues here, I’m sure I can get on board with some of THAT. Sung in the role of the pushy demanding parent, she doesn’t pull any punches does she? That crabby middle-8 really sets it off too, WHY ARE YOU CRYIIIIINGGG? *croak*.

18. Ironic (from Jagged Little Pill)

Let’s stay with JLP and dispatch one of the biggies, probably her signature hit too. But that’s a double-edged sword as I really feel like I’ve heard this enough over the last 14 years. It’s a solid pop song and I love the structure of the little scenes painted for us in the verses. Fills me with warm fuzzy feelings about my lost teenage years.

17. Mary Jane (from Jagged Little Pill)

JLP yet again now, its last mention for a little while, I promise. One of the tearjerkers of the album too, poor MJ is having a tough time and her old friend AL is on hand to give a bit of encouragement. I absolutely love her vocals on this, full of tenderness for the verses, and power in the choruses. I’ve heard a few live versions of this too, always works on me anyway. GORGEOUS

16. Everything (from So-called Chaos)

A rather maligned lead single now from a rather underrated album if I might be so BOLD. An odd thing to launch the campaign with the closing song, but there we have it.

A simple video, could have been simpler, little twat teens jumping around it really didn’t help things, and it’s an oddly shoddy editing job. We aren’t supposed to think it’s a one-shot video are we? But it’s a beautiful gentle chorus that always gives me a bit of a lift when I hear it. Then of course we still have a few typically Alanis lyrics, like “I can be an ASSHOLE of the GRANDEST KIND”. How can you not be endeared by a song that starts like that?

15. You owe me nothing in return (from Under Rug Swept)

Gentle introduction into a really disarming track. I’ve said on a few occasions that I don’t really get what’s going on here, with Alanis seemingly giving into quite unreasonable demands, or at least making the offer to do those things. Either she’s being sarcastic or she’s done something REALLY BAD. Anyway, there’s just something in the air whenever I hear this song, especially that gorgeous middle-8. That floaty piano bit in the background just does something to me.

14. That I would be good (from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie)

One of my big favourites back in the day, focusing all my self-esteem issues and general teen angst into a rather heavy 4-minutes. She really puts a lot of passion into those few minutes, and then just when you are getting a bit misty she pulls out that recorder (or whatever it is) and just pushes me over the edge *weeps*

Has sort of lost its impact over subsequent years but I still have a place in my heart for it, just not one in the top 10 right now.

13. These are the thoughts (from MTV Unplugged)

A bit of a mix here between the “are” studio version and the “R” version from the MTV Unplugged. There’s not a lot of difference between them too, but they are both superb. She paces the words really strangely, especially over that rather creepy piano riff running throughout.

Builds wonderfully too, such a strange track, I LOVE IT

12. That particular time (from Under Rug Swept)

Let’s take the tempo down now, with a pretty straightforward ballad about letting go of a failed relationship. I can imagine I’d love this even more had I HAD a relationship, but there you go. Despite reminding me a little of Candle in the Wind at points, though bits like the middle-8 really melt me every time. Especially that “In the meantime I lost myself, I’m sorry I lost myself” just make me WELL UP

11. This Grudge (from So-called Chaos)

I always liked to think this was about the guy in You Oughta Know, but evidently NOT. Whatever. Musically there’s not much to it, but I can totally relate to the sentiment, being a big-time grudge holder. Just so much about this song really speaks to me, I understand exactly what she’s talking about.

The only difference is that she might actually get over her grudge, though she doesn’t seem too convinced she will…

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