Alanis Morissette - Under Rug Swept

Finally I have gotten my hands on the new Alanis album. The local shops weren't very helpful, either they order only 2 copies of each new release or this was simply one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the year. Although the latter is probably the case, I'm not quite convinced yet.

I'm getting flashbacks to the time I was holding "Former Infatuation Junkie" in my hands, thinking "was this really worth it?" The second album wasn't as poppy and grindingly angry as the first one, and I'd only bought it because of "Thank You". A few weeks later, I finally got used to its diverse style and unique mix of sounds/emotions. "Front Row" and "Unsent" have become firm favourites from that album, and I guess that still has to happen with this new release.

"Hands Clean" has been rammed down our throats by the radio and TV stations, to the point of everyone being sick of it (or getting there fast...), and just for good measure they played it again. Sadly, the rest of the CD is nothing like it. It's calmer, at times angrier in tone, but never as poppy.

But perhaps that's a good thing, so I'll take the 'sadly' back. Most of the songs are ballad-like and smooth, but undoubtedly Alanis when it comes to refrain and lyrics. "So Unsexy" could be the next single, telling a story in true Alanis style. "You Owe me Nothing" also grabbed my attention, again for being 'different' and confusing the overall blend of the album. Perhaps my square little mind was confused and not used to the diversity of an Alanis Morissette CD anymore. Thus I won't go into any more detail about songs and what my opinion of them is, as this could change within a few days...

As was the case with the previous release, I think it takes a while to grasp the avalanche of emotions the artist wants to convey, and how all this syncs (or doesn't!) with the music. In my opinion, Alanis Morissette is one of the best story-tellers of our time, and she makes great music too! As for the music itself, the recording is of good quality and shows a nice sound stage with clear instrument definition.

The album doesn't disappoint, but I still have to get used to it. I've listened to the whole CD twice and now skip around songs in my car. Fans shouldn't be disappointed, but newcomers to her music best listen to it a few times before purchasing. If you love "Hands Clean", buy the single!

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