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Thursday, November 5, 1998
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 53

Cheap Eat$

About the Cougar

Alanis Morissette aggressive, yet poetic on follow-up album

Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
Alanis Morisette

Maverick Records
**** (of five)

By Jake McKim
Entertainment Editor

After the enormous multi-platinum success of her 1995 debut CD Jagged Little Pill, expectations for Alanis Morissette's next album were sky high.

No matter what she did on the follow-up stylistically, it would be criticized.

If she were to change her style and focus more on sweet ballads rather than aggressive, hard-rocking tunes, many would criticize her for not "keeping it real."

If she decided not to stray from what she did moodwise with her first album, many would say that they had heard this one before and accuse her of unoriginality.

So on her latest effort, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, Morissette did the smart thing and combined the two styles of rock to create an emotionally-charged, but musically poetic CD that attempts to please everyone. And that is what makes the collection of tracks so brilliant.

Morissette gently glides between hard-hitting, in-your-face tracks and soothing, story-telling songs that make listeners feel as though they have just left a poetry reading.

Angst-ridden songstress Alanis Morissette climbs back onto the charts with a solid sophomore album.

Katrina Dickson/Maverick

Pulse-pounding guitar-driven tracks like "Front Row" and "Baba" breeze into more peaceful, easy-listening cuts like "Are You Still Mad" and "Sympathetic Character," providing a steady balance of song character.

Memorable tracks such as "That I Would Be Good" and "Would Not Come" should find their way to radio soon and again establish Morissette as a bonafide hitmaker.

Morissette smartly offers lyrics dealing with broken relationships, spirituality and dozens of other topics that demonstrate the evolution of her intellect from Jagged Little Pill to now.

If there are weaknesses, they can be found in the tracks "Joining You" and "Heart of the House," but these are minor setbacks in an otherwise impressive album.

Ethereal lines such as "I've seen them kneel/with baited breath for the ritual/I've watched this experience raise them to pseudo higher levels," show the depth of Morissette's thinking, while other, more secular phrases like "Are you still mad that I flirted wildly?/Are you still mad I had a tendency to mother you?/Are you still mad that I had one foot out the door?/Are you still mad that we slept together even after we had ended it?" prove that she hasn't abandoned her wild side.

Granted, the success of Jagged Little Pill most likely will not be matched in Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie simply because that kind of sound had been nonexistent since the days of Janis Joplin. The innovative fashion in which Morissette was presented to the world grabbed people and forced them to accept and love her or hate everything for which she stood.

This album will probably force people to realize that she is a force to be reckoned with in rock music and set the standard that rockers should follow if they strive to make it in the industry.

Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie is far from being a masterpiece, but it will cause people, for the second time, to take notice of this small, but vocally-powerful, artist and sell enough copies to be labeled a follow-up victory.

Reach McKim at

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