Alanis Morrisette - The Collection

2006-03-30 08:59

GALLERY: Alanis though the years

Alanis has gone through many changes during her decade on the music scene. She's grown up and left the dark angry chick back in 1995, along with her un-kept over grown hair. Much to the disappointment of her critics, she hasn't faded into oblivion; instead she's grown in stature and still pulls a cult following - many of her fans have grown with her. And she's morphed, like catapillar to butterfly. But she proved herself likely to have a longer life than the average butterfly by adapting to many different genres with ease.

The Collection kicks off with "Thank You" from the "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie" album and ends with the infamous "Hand In My Pocket" from the "Jagged Little Pill" album - two big songs - and everything in between is what makes this a near perfect compilation. From being in love, to being scorned, from the tempestuous and tumultuous to the placid and serene, from her Catholic roots to her dance with Buddhism, there's something for everyone and a song for every emotion. Familiar favourites like "Head Over Heels", "Ironic", "You Oughta Know", and "You Learn" induce nostalgia.

The album makes provision for those who already have the entire Alanis collection. It includes unreleased material like Seal's "Crazy", a surprise entry between "Everything" from the "So-Called Chaos" album and "Princes Familiar" from MTV Unplugged. Three of her movie soundtracks, "Uninvited" from City of Angels, "Still" from Dogma and "Let's do it, let's fall in love" from the De Lovely soundtrack make a well-deserved showing. The lesser-known single, "Mercy" from the collaborative album by Jonathan Elias called "The prayer Cycle" is sung in Hungarian, Alanis' mother's native tongue. You also get two songs from the "Feast on scraps" album, "Sister Blister", and "Simple Together" (a song Alanis describes as being one of the most grief-filled songs she's ever written.) Only one other track from "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie" made the cut, "That I would be good". "Unsent" might have been a better pick.

The journey from a naive angry 21-year-old to an appreciative, philosophical 31-year-old woman is mapped clearly in songs on this selection. Alanis describes her songs as rooms in her house each having "distinct smells, memories, textures and energies". Let's hope Alanis continues to evolve, bringing us new modes of artistic expression to entertain and enlighten fans in her next decade.

- Ashlin Simpson

An Alanis Morissette retrospective album could not have come at a better time. It's been 10 years since Alanis hit the world with Jagged Little Pill and everyone and their mothers knew the words to "Hand in my Pocket". Having just entered into the unfamiliar awkward period of adolescence, Alanis' music became something of an anthem for me After 10 years, Jagged Little Pill still has as much appeal to my 14-year-old sister as it does to me. I can still relate to the rawness of its lyrics.

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