It’s easy to forget what a startling impression Alanis Morissette made the first time around. In 1994 she was barely out of her teens, recording for Madonna’s label, and already a dance-music star in Canada, though few in the U.S. knew about that. That year’s album Jagged Little Pill showed a singer/writer who had a lot of issues and a lot of killer hooks, and who wasn’t afraid to get provocative. By most accounts she was recently burned in a relationship, though she’s kept her mouth shut as to who did the deed.
Six major hit singles wound up coming from that album. The first, “You Oughta Know” is already in Rock Band and two more make their DLC debut this week. “Head Over Feet” is as close as it gets to a straight-out love song, though with a decidedly obsessive tone.
“Ironic” was yet another hit from the album, and the subject of a mini-controversy. As wiseacres were quick to point out, none of the situations described in the song are especially ironic. If it rains on your wedding day, that’s not irony, it’s a bummer. And if you win the lottery at age 98 and then die, well…what were you thinking when you entered? Alanis herself addressed the burning issue last year in a London Times interview: “Yes, I’ve learned the definition of irony, but the dictionary now says that it's a coincidence and bad luck, too - not that I don't deserve a little slap on the wrist for my malapropism. I always tell people that I'm the smartest stupid person you'll ever meet.” So there!
Wrapping up this week’s DLC is “Handlebars,” an insanely catchy track by Denver’s underground hip-hoppers, Flobots. A Number One alternative hit last year, the song sounds suspiciously like a cheery novelty until you realize it’s really a political song about power and the abuses it brings.