Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill relevant opinion | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

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Long before Taylor Swift was taking swipes at ex-boyfriends on her albums, Alanis Morissette was channeling her heartbreak into one of the biggest records of the 90s. Break-up albums and songs had been written before – possibly most famously Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours which saw all the band members channeling their interpersonal relationships and break-ups into songs – but what Alanis created was something visceral.

It would be more correct to say that she spat out many of the tracks rather than singing them. Songs such as All I Really Want and Right Through You are almost animalistic. You Oughta Know, which is one of the greatest odes to heartbreak ever written and has become somewhat of her signature track, is venomous in its delivery.

Obviously, it spoke to the angst of millions of people who bought it at the time. However, it is still as relevant today as men’s historic treatment of women is frequently put under a microscope. Written about the then 33-year-old comedian Dave Coulier’s treatment of 18-year-old Alanis it spoke to listeners’ souls.

At the time, no one knew who it was about but when it finally came out decades later. the age gap alone gave many the ick. For his part, Coulier says he knew it was about him when he heard the line “I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner” as he specifically remembered that interaction.

That was one of the tamer lines in the song. Some are unprintable here. Alanis was not one for a tearful ballad about missing her man. The lyrics are angry and at times vindictive.

Alanis claims not to even remember writing the immortal line: “And every time I scratch my nails down someone else’s back, I hope you feel it. Can you feel it?”

The words just fell out of her she says. “I wasn’t aware of what was coming out of me,” she told Billboard years later. “I’d go into the [recording] booth when the ink wasn’t even dry and sing. I’d listen the next day and not really remember it.”

Of course, the whole album isn’t angry – break-ups don’t work like that. Ironic sees her pondering life and all its mysteries. It still manages to hint at her heartache though with the lyrics: “Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right, Life has a funny way of helping you out when you think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up in your face.”

Overall the collection of songs is raw and angst-ridden, tender at times, and sometimes contradictory but always relatable and if anything it becomes more relevant and relatable with age.

The album turned 25 in 2020 and Alanis announced she was touring to play it in its entirety. Delayed because of Covid restrictions, it was 2022 before she took to stages and if you needed any reassurance about its ongoing relevance these shows were it.

I attended her Dublin gig on that tour. Alanis, now a happy and content wife and mother of three, barely addressed the crowd preferring instead to play the record in order of the tracks so that people engaged with the full “story”. Although now settled and happy, she channeled all the anger she had when she wrote the songs in order to do them justice.

The audience was predominantly female and it was obvious that every single track still spoke to their souls. Although older (and one would assume wiser) than they were when the album first came out, they also had more life experience and had been hurt used, and abused by people they loved.

This was obvious when You Oughta Know began. Over 10,000 women sang along so loud that you could barely hear her vocals. There was a communion to it that only comes when a roomful of people are united by a common thread – in this case, heartache and poor treatment by men.

The album turns 30 next year and if Alanis chooses to tour it again, no doubt the reaction will be similar. Because the themes are timeless. We’ve all been angry and hurt and we’ve all struggled to express how we were feeling. Alanis spoke for us all when she bared her soul on that record and that is why it will always be relevant.

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