Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Whatever happened to Alanis Morrisette?

Now I know she's put out like seventeen albums or something since Jagged Little Pill but I think my question is what happened to her? I mean, I'm listening to All I Really Want, the first track off the first album and it's really good. Not the music so much as the content and just the emotions that lie behind the screen of lyrics. She's angry. She's not taking shit from you, whoever you are. I like that.

You Oughta Know is even more pissed. In You Oughta Know she sounds like she's about five seconds from cutting off your dick with a rusted safty razor. And it just reeks of that feminimity that daunts all men: there is a moment of calm right in the middle, just like every argument you've ever had with a woman where suddenly she stops talking and just glares and then you realize that you're really in trouble.

The anger and bitterness in this album is a milemarker in time for me, even though I have a penis. I don't know why, but there are still songs on this album that make me think of myself when I was younger and could identify with the pain and meanness and anger that fills the words (if not the music, which is kind of weak at best).

So what happened? The last time I saw her in any type of music scene was her naked (unflatteringly so) in a dirty laundromat. I think. That might have been a MadTV sketch making fun of her. All I know is that something happened that destroyed that anger and heartfelt hurt and the rage that boiled under the surface. My guess is she fell in love, had a kid, and decided that it was her responsibility to save the world, just like every other over-blown solo artist.

Does this happen to every solo artist? It happened to Madonna, who is now just a joke, especially after Guy Ritchie started making good movies after they divorced (personally I lost my taste for Madonna when I saw the beginning of Resevior Dogs). It certainly happened to Elvis Costello ("Whatever happened to Peace, Love and Understanding?" Well, Elvis, you made it vapid and washed out and a battle cry for burnt-out hippies and trendwhores) and even made a Beatle lose his integrity (I'm pointing at you, Sir Paul, although Ringo also went in the same direction, he was never really popular except when he was a drummer in the 60s).

See, there are exceptions to the rules though. Bruce Springsteen, as generic as he is, he somehow stays popular. But I can explain this simply because of Chuck Klosterman. In Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs he say's Bruce was cool "because he was trying to save us." [mine or his emphasis, I'm not positive] My contention is that Bruce was trying to save us the entire time. Elvis and Alanis (and to a lesser extent, Madonna) started off hating the world and most of it's occupants, at least for three minutes at a time. But then, after they blew their anger-load they decided that they were wrong before and know we were all worth the effort to try to save us.

To be honest, they should have stayed wanting us to burn. When you're angry you're the most honest, so when Alanis is asking us if our new girlfriend will go down on us in a theatre, she's really telling us that the world isn't fair and life sucks and that the world isn't squeaky clean. Her mission isn't to save us, it's to destroy us, but instead she saved us. By trying to save us, she destroyed what we thought of her.

Fuck. Does that make any sense?

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments:

Post a Comment