Sound — 7
Have you ever felt like you're boiling inside, can't let it out and then someone comes up to you and says: "OK, now go"? Alanis Morissette has, for sure. This angry young woman's been singing since childhood, and even put out 2 mediocre records in early 90s, but without much success. It all started when she came to LA in 1994 to seek for a producer/collaborator, instead she got robbed on the street and that finally has triggered her creativity towards a new level. Glen Ballard, the producer, soon responded to Morissette's request, the connection between them was "instant". The two began writing and recording songs right away. First came out "Perfect" - done in a single take (which ended up being on the LP), "You Oughta Know" and "Ironic" followed after. All of that and more resulted in "Jagged Little Pill" - a record consisting of 12 pure, uncut, raucious emotions projected on the tape with zero interference. The anger and despair here aren't distilled, they're highly concentrated instead and thrown up in your face. I may not know who or what these songs are about - all I can tell for sure is that she REALLY means what she's singing.
Lyrics — 9
"Jagged Little Pill" is one of the few albums where lyrics are as powerful as the music, if not more. "All I Really Want", "You Oughta Know", "Right Through You" are rallying feminist hymns, "Head Over Feet" and "Mary Jane" describe a woman, stranded, lost inside herself. But, then again, Alanis' lyrical hero feels quite alright all by herself: "Ah, you ditched me, bastard - now get this!". Morissette's vocals on the album range from peaceful, insinuating whispers ("Perfect") to the furious angry rants ("All I Really Want"). And I bet, most of the songs on the LP represent a single vocal take - you cannot just stop singing Ironic before the chorus, take a rest, and then go on recording.
Overall Impression — 8
"Jagged Little Pill" came out just in time: grunge had already started to wear out, but the spirit of alienation and "passive agressive" was still out there. Alanis Morissette just kicked the door open, stormed in and said: "Here I am, young and anxious, and I don't give a sh*t if you like me or not". Best songs are "All I Really Want", "You Oughta Know", "You Learn", "Ironic". The album struggles with some fillers though, like "Forgiven", "Not The Doctor", "Wake Up", but they still carry the same traits as their more successful hit counterparts. In the 90s, if you were not living in a nuclear bunker waiting for WWIII, you should've heard this record. And I really like "Jagged Little Pill", cause they just don't put out records like this any more.