Alanis was not your typical 21 year old when she made Jagged Little Pill. She had something to say and she said it, and boy, did she say it loud! Vulgar? She didn't care, she spoke her mind and people loved her for it. Jagged Little Pill was THE soundtrack to many a generations around 95' and 96'. It helped people realize that women could be tough in the music industry as well and not just polite and "politically correct".
She inspired many people, men and women alike, to think for themselves and to say what they want. Why? Because everyone's voice and opinion deserves to be heard.
I'd like to break down this one-of-a-kind album and maybe bring to light something you may have never noticed before.
1) All I Really Want: This 6th and final single off of this album was a great way to start this album. It's sort of like a hint at what this entire record is all about. She wastes no time to say it how it is with the opening inquiry, "Do I stress you out?" You just think to yourself right then, "Oh crap. Who's in trouble??" Haha! In this track, she's basically venting about a relationship she believes is horrible. Being pressured to change just to please that one person who's a total jerk. No one needs that! She points out her "defects" and rubs them it into the guys face. Take that!
2) You Oughta Know: This here being the very 1st single off this record has got to be one of her most popular songs to date. It was nominated for three Grammy's and it won two of those well deservedly, but losing the third to fellow artist Seal. Two talented musicians assisted in the musical orchestration of this song, The Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea, and ex-Jane's Addiction/The Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitarist Dave Navarro. This song has quite an edge and is quite aggressive as well. This song is from Alanis' point of view. She seems to be addressing an ex-lover of hers who promised her the world, but instead ended up breaking her heart. She is expressing herself in a vengful way about how much pain he caused her. Wouldn't you? Arguably, one of her most popular songs.
3) Perfect: Here is a song that's a bit slower and more on the softer side of the musical spectrum. The meaning behind this song, for me, is a little vague. Correct me if I'm wrong Alanis, but it seems to be about her feeling like she's not good enough for her partner; like she's feeling worthless almost. It also seems that she feels she has to be a perfect person to be good enough for the one she loves. Sad song, but a good one too.
4) Hand In My Pocket: This here is the 2nd single off of this record. "Hand In My Pocket" is a very laid back/relaxed song (as the title suggests). It's almost like you can see yourself walking down the street listening to this song. It's almost like a "discovering yourself" kind of song too. One can usually figure things out in their lives just with a nice stroll down the street and observing nature. It's also a very inspirational song in that it's telling you not to take life too seriously and to just chill out some times. Don't let life get you down.
5) Right Through You: Not much can be said about this song in general. The meaning behind this track is also a little hard to catch, but what I do understand is that Alanis knew someone that was a fake. He tried to be something he wasn't or he wasn't what she thought he was, and like the title and song says, she saw "right through" him. She read him like a book. Great song.
6) Forgiven: Here is a song that stands out to me, mainly bacause it seems to be a very personal song to her. I could be wrong, but either way, it appears to speak of a faith that ways once force-fed to her as a child, but she went through something in her life that made her realize it was something she wanted. Again, I might be wrong, but that's what the lyrics told me. A very deep and powerful song.
7) You Learn: The 4th single off of this grand record, and with a strong message for all. To my understanding, this song was inspired by an event that happened to her, a robbery at gun point. That event changed her life and it resulted in teaching us all that when life comes at you, "you learn". That's all that life is really, learning from your own mistakes, and moving on with more wisdom.
8) Head Over Feet: The 5th single that has a bit of a different meaning from the rest of the album. It's a love song! It's about falling for your best friend unexpectedly. Such a connection and love you couldn't believe you missed after all that time. That perfect partnership and the unconditional love that goes way beyond just physical/superficial attraction. A true love.
9) Mary Jane: This is a very slow and solemn song. It seems to speak to someone who is not quite her/himself anymore. I'm sure many of us have had a friend or family member who was the same way at some point, and we, being good friends or famimy, try our best to turn them around. It's human nature to comfort those we care about. Like I said, it's a bit of a slow song, and some might even consider a filler, bit I believe it's still a great song.
10) Ironic: This 3rd single is a reminder to us all on how quickly life can change for anyone, and the irony that follows sometimes. In this song "irony" is used in the sense that when something unexpected happens to your current situation. Seeing that some people might not understand the irony in this song, I'm throwing out to you the sense of the use here. Aside from all the critisizm that this song received from people that didn't understand this song, it's powerful. At any given time in your life things can go from bad to worse, or vise versa, and if you don't see the irony in the lyrics, then you don't understand irony. Period.
11) Not The Doctor: Here is a song that can relate to both men and women. This track talks about how you (man or woman) don't want to be picking up after your partner, figuratively and literally. You don't want to feel like just a shoulder to cry on; not just someone who is there to take complaining 24/7. You don't want to feel like a mother, maid, or "doctor". Besides the deep lyrics, let's talk about the music itself for a little bit. When this song starts, you don't expect these lyrics to burst out. It throws you off, because the music this song starts with seems a bit jolly with the mellow but cheery/jumpy acoustic guitar riff. It's enough to throw one off and it's kind of funny at then same time. Clever song.
12) Wake Up: This song seems to talk about someone who never took a risk in his/her life. Someone who had the world handed to them and never had to work for anything in his/her life. It talks to this type of person and tells them to "wake up" and to get out and experience life on the edge, and to stop being so safe and boring. Neat song and a smooth way to help close this great record.
13) You Oughta Know/Your House: In most CDs and cassettes "You Oughta Know" reappeared in the end of the record, but it has a slight musical change, subtle changes only. Overall, the song is the same and still amazing. In the very end though, if you wait a few seconds, a hidden track entitled "Your House" plays. This song is more of a vocal solo; no musical instruments utilized at all. It's very heartfelt and sounds very melocholy. The lyrics suggest that she was inside her lovers (or ex-lovers) house and just spent time remembering or reliving past memories. A very touching and new way to close an album so magnificent as this.
Jagged Little Pill is TRULY a record for all collections of music, no matter what you listen to. As I stated, this record was the soundtrack for 1995 and 96', everyone who was anyone was listening to her and relating to her. Even though , to many people, she just disappeared after that album, she is still very much active in the music business, and she is still very popular to many, because of this record. She is legendary, because of this record. Jagged Little Pill should be considered one of the greatest albums of all time as it has motivated, influenced, and paved the way for many people in and out of the music scene.