Ralphy's C.D. Reviews
Review date 18-12-1998: Alanis Morissette - C.D. Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
This CD poses quite a dilemma for me. Although I've listened to it often by now, I still don't really know what to make of it. It's Alanis's 4th album, but most people, especially in Europe, know only her previous album, the fantastic "Jagged Little Pill".
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The album contains no less than 17 songs, but misses Alanis's radio-hit "Uninvited" which would have given it a real powerlift. The lyrics are again very autobiographic, but this time less angry and more spiritualistic and appeasing. It feels as if Morissette has come more to terms with her troubled past and tried to put this in her new songs. What you notice right away in the lyrics is the use of a lot of repetition in songs like the first single-release "Thank U", "Are you still mad", "Sympathetic character" (I was afraid), "That I would be good" and "Would not come". Repetition is a means to get the message across, in which she succeeds, but here it could be too much of a good thing (the jury is still out on that one). Another way in which this album differs from the previous one is that the focus was more placed on the performer's voice and less on the music, so the album misses a bit of the rock-element of Jagged Little Pill, except maybe for the song "Baba" (In my opinion a song about the false worshipping of so-called guru's or Gods, in which she ironically challenges her followers not to kiss the ground she herself walks upon as a lot of them do). Her voice is very exceptional (not beautiful like that of diva's like Celine Dion or Whitney Houston, but it stands out of the crowd of performers in a very good way), so that also isn't necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes the music could've been worked out a little more, I believe.
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I've read another review of this CD (on Music-Critic Music Reviews, see the Links Page) in which the whole CD, except "Thank U" was crushed. I cannot agree with that. because in spite of the above mentioned critical remarks, it is still a fascinating album and every time I listen to it I find new points of interest in it. although it misses the supreme quality of songs like "Ironic", "You oughta know" and "Uninvited". Also on an Alanis message board I've seen the song "One" mentioned several times as the worst (less best) song on the album. In my opinion it's "One" of the best, in which she proves again a lot of self-criticism, a thing that most rockstars of Alanis's stature lack. Other highlights of the album are "Front row" (some people call it Alanis's rap song, I don't agree she's singing, not rapping) , "Baba ", "That I would be good" (about ?, but beautifully sung), "I was hoping" (about hope for a higher level of friendship), "Would not come" (in which she expresses that in spite of past failures, mistakes and even successes she still didn't reach her unmentioned goal, probably some kind of peace of mind), "Unsent"(about past relationships, released as a single in Japan) , "So pure" (where the album tittle comes from) and "Joining you" (the second single release in Europe). The only song on the album I really don't like is the closer "Your Congratulations", a sort of poem about parental approval with very little music added. My all in all rating for the album would be a 7.5 (probably subject to change in the future, as most of her songs always keep growing on me)
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