Wednesday, February 27, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 102


 
 









 

Alanis' latest solidifies her legitimacy as an artist

By Jason C. Consolacion
Daily Cougar Staff

She's back.

Four years after releasing her second album, and three years after playing God in the Kevin Smith film Dogma, Alanis Morissette
returns with the release of under rug swept.

With 11 solid tracks, the Canadian-born singer/songwriter has grown into a beautiful artist. Playing guitar and keyboards and floating
her signature vocals through intelligent lyrics, under rug swept far surpasses her work on 1998's Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
and is comparable to her multi-platinum 1995 U.S. debut album, Jagged Little Pill.

For the first time, Morissette serves as the lone producer for her album. She originally recorded 25 tracks for the CD, but rounded it
down to 11 short and sweet tracks, all of which portray her maturity as an artist.

The sound of each individual song and the album as a whole is reminiscent to the work she did with heralded rock/pop producer Glen
Ballard (Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Dave Matthews Band). Escaping the shadow of Ballard wasn't quite fully achieved on Junkie, but
Morissette has done nicely with her latest.

"21 Things I Want In A Lover" opens the album with a hard guitar riff and an infectious pop groove, much like "All I Really Want," which,
incidentally, opened Morissette's Jagged Little Pill.

"Narcissus" features Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and is very similar to "You Oughta Know" and "You Learn," also from Pill.
Other guest musicians on the album include Meshell Ndegeocello, Stone Temple Pilots' Dean DeLeo and Jane's Addiction bassist
Eric Avery.

The first-released single, "Hands Clean," is actually the worst track on the album.

With its mellow acoustic rock feel, Morissette struggles to fit her syllable-filled lyrics in each line an effect she may be aiming for;
however, it sounds bad.

"That Particular Time" is easily the most precious song on the album. As she writes about "the mysterious divide between men and
women in the hope of establishing and sustaining a genuine oneness," Morissette sings her beautiful melody so nicely it's the best
track she's recorded since "Uninvited."

Other ballads like "Flinch" and "Utopia" show just how far the songwriter has come since parting ways with Ballard. Her ability to match
word stress with rhythms is quite moving. Also, Morissette has really found ways to stretch her melody lines, aiming for intervals that
show her diverse range. Finally, songs like "So Unsexy" and "Surrendering" remind her fans that Morissette has a knack for making
people groove to her music. With influences derived from pop and r&b, she sustains her ability to mix different genres in her unique
style of rock.

Alanis Morissette

under rug swept

Maverick Records

3.5 stars
 
 
 
 
 

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