Music post by guest blogger Ruddy Adam.
Two Excellent Alanis Morissette Songs: “Ironic” & “Hand In My Pocket”
As we did with showcasing Jewel earlier this year, this is a jump from our presenting singers and groups from the Elvis era: 1955-1977. As noted then, we do plan on showcasing several of the Girls from the 1990s, because of their unique talent and innovativeness.
A child prodigy, Alana Morissette began playing the piano at six, and her talent was immediately recognized. By the time she was 12, she was an accomplished pianist. Just as well she played the harmonica and acoustic guitar, and was noted for her ability to innovate both her voice and the instruments she was playing.
She writes her lyrics herself, with occasional help with her some of the melodies. Because her lyrics are so good, we’ve placed them under each song.
Alanis is one of our Girls of the `90s, and she is at the top of that class in innovation, passion, voice manipulation, and talent. She began in Canada as a pop singer in the early `90s, and had a successful career before moving to LA and turning to what soon became tagged as alternative rock. In 1991, her first CD, “Alanis,” distributed only in Canada sold 1-million copies.
Her first CD in the alternative rock realm, “Jagged Little Pill,” came out in 1995, and sold over 33-million units globally. This was a prescient beginning to what would become an outstanding production of songs with her eighth CD, “Havoc and Bright Lights,” released in 2012 selling over 60-million worldwide.
Her voice is just about right in the middle register of soprano, yet she tends to scoot higher when she manipulates her voice at the end of lines or at pertinent points in her songs. Alanis makes truly pleasant sounds, however not necessarily scale-note sounds, which makes her singing all the more interesting. Her lyrics are exquisite and clear.
Very good lyrics in both songs below, and we love how she manipulates her voice in these songs, both subtly and brazenly. When she lets her voice break, and then pulls it back to normal, she produces a really pleasing sound. It’s one of our favorite singing sounds, in fact.
While she often uses only an acoustic guitar along with an accompaniment piece or two, she sometimes adds the harmonica as she does in “Hand in My Pocket” below.
I think if you take a close look at her lyrics, you will appreciate her songs even more. Enjoy!
“Ironic,” by Alanis Morissette (4:00)
Note: In “Hand in My Pocket,” the tiny, passive looking blonde playing the drums so quietly and steadily is the fabulous Taylor Hawkins who would eventually move on in `97 to being the drummer for the Foo Fighters, one of the all-time great Rock bands. Hawkins is in our top five for the best drummers ever.
We simply adore the way Alanis phrases her final words in this song, such as piano. She is a master phrase!
“Hand In My Pocket,” Alanis Morissette (4:00)