Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Alanis is back and better than ever

Alanis Morissette’s new album “Flavor of Entanglement” has the deeply personal songs and undeniable vocal talent that we have come to expect from Alanis, but this is not the same 20 something Alanis full of rage. This CD is very much about her personal break up with Ryan Reynolds. But this CD is so much more that your average “love gone wrong” songs. Alanis is older, more mature, and more introspective. She sees how the battles of the world are really not that different than the battles we have in our personal life. She is not only trying to find her place in relationships, she is trying to find her place in the world. At first listen, her lyrics are so deeply personal, it gives you that moment of “oh I shouldn’t be hearing this” but at the same time it resonates to the universal, familiar grief we all feel with the death of a relationship. Gone is the in you face rage and it is replaced with longing and grief.

Not only are Alanis’ lyrics reflecting her growith as a song writing, the music itself reflects Alanis growing as an artist. She skillfully mixes folk, world beats with techno dance beats. She so skillfully combines the two that you forget to be shocked that the two are combined. There are few artists that can challenge you to consider your own relationships and make you want to dance at the same time. In “Citizen of the Planet”, Alanis sings of seeing herself as more than just an individual. She sings of being unique but yet part of the bigger world. This theme is repeated throughout the CD. “Underneath” considers how our everyday conflicts are just microcosms of conflicts in the world today. “Not As We” is a raw testimony to the grief of losing a relationship and part of your identiy as part of a couple. Alanis sings, “Day one start over again. Step one step one. I’m barely making sense for now. I’m faking it ‘till I’m making it. From scratch begin again but this time I as I and not as we”. “Torch” is probably the most personal song about her break up. It is a sensitive laundry list of all the things that she will miss about Ryan. She holds nothing back as she sings, “I miss your neck and your gait and your sharing what you write”. Make no mistake, this albulm is not all morose. “In Praise Of the Vunerable Man” is Alanis’ ode to an emotionally available man. “Moratorium” is her oath to focus on herself for awhile and take a break from her quest to find a soul mate. All of the songs, regardless of topic reflect an artist that has experienced much growth and continues to growth through the good times and the bad.

Overall, this is a CD full of the new and of the familiar. Alanis’ unmistakable voice and painfully personal song lyrics are as familiar on this cd as on all of her albums. This album reflects a personal and artistic growth. She has more depth and more understanding of herself and the music reflects it. The music itself has many more dimensions . Like different parts of her personality, Alanis is able to skillfully mix and highlight sounds that seem like complete contradictions, but the end result is pure music to my ears.


daisy said...

I'm not a big Alanis fan, but your review made me reserve it at the library just to hear it.

Just wanted to tell you that you cracked me up with your puffy heart comment on my blog contest. I love it. Thanks for the smile!