Jagged Little Pill Acoustic

Alanis Morissette

Maverick, 2005




Whatever happened to Alanis Morissette?

Apparently she had something of a backlash after the success of her international debut Jagged Little Pill, went to India, got off antibiotics, and decided to let herself not be troubled by having to repeat or live up to her success. Which is great for Alanis, but this listener left with the drain that started with my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (although I did take another peek when they released "Hands Clean" as a single on a later disc... mistake!).

Aside from spawning funny music review headlines ("The Rage Cycle Revisited") there doesn't seem much point to Jagged Little Pill Acoustic. Acoustic is a format that's used to put songwriting into the center of the performance, but it's not the best idea here. While the songwriting isn't bad, we're only shown just how important the pop production energy was to the life of the original 1995 bestseller.

Which is no slag from me. Producing is as much a craft as songwriting is, and Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard deserve kudos for revving up "You Oughta Know" with raging distortion and "Forgiven" with gloomy grooves. Because now that they're missing, the songs sound like they did in her Unplugged release: polite, easy listening versions of rages forgotten, rolled out by an introspective Morissette to an expectant but disappointed audience. On that album it was the non- JLP songs that shone.

Most of the songs sound like declawed tigers. Or like other singers. The new version of "Perfect" sounds like a Shakira ballad, albeit a good one. "Right Through You" sounds like Faith Hill country. "Hand in My Pocket" is so tamed and thoughtful it belongs on a television commerical for life insurance. "You Learn" has become a sing-along... and so on. Great vocal performance on "Forgiven," boring as it is, but the original wasn't too bad, either.

For fans of JLP (and sixteen million of you out there did buy it) there will be some novelty value to the disc, but casual listeners should stick to the original. For diehard fans only.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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