Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette – 1995
First listen? – Yes
Jagged Little Pill is a classic album, one that I’m pretty sure most readers of this article will see as an important album from their formative years. I’ve never actually listened to any of it outside of the two major hits so I was excited to see it on the list. It feels strange but even going in blind I ended the album feeling like I’d known Jagged Little Pill, like I’d been sent back to the earliest memories of music I have. It’s aggressive, rocky, but full of hooks throughout a sound that makes the album stand out from other records from the mid 90s. I’m not actually sure if Alanis was the first female to sound like this, but it’s safe to say she wasn’t the last. 20 years on, you can hear the influence this album had across the industry. Some owe her a debt directly, Avril Lavigne, Shakira and Katy Perry for instance, while it feels like acts like Beyonce and Rihanna couldn’t have become the dominant forces they are without an album like this breaking through when it did. The album itself sounds as fresh today as it must have done in 95, something I’m genuinely surprised by. You Oughta Know and Forgiven are massive tracks, the former being possibly even more iconic than the now radio staple Ironic. It’s quite interesting that neither of these songs even made the top 10 in the UK, Head Over Feet was the only song to break this barrier making it to number 7. Both are incredible songs and I was glad to find that the rest of Jagged Little Pill lives up to the high standard. Vocally powerful and yet vulnerable and real throughout, it’s an album that sounds effortlessly easy for Alanis, which makes it an electric breakthrough record.
Will I listen again?: Yes, especially the singles.
Best Track: You Oughta Know