Alanis' latest solidifies
her legitimacy as an artist
By Jason C. Consolacion
Daily Cougar Staff
Four years after releasing her second album,
and three years after playing God in the Kevin Smith film Dogma, Alanis
returns with the release of under rug
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
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
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
"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
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.
under rug swept