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5 Reasons Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill is the Best

It's the 20th annivesary of Alanis Morissette's album, Jagged Little Pill, which is up there with the most important albums of our lives. Here's why.
By Courtney Sanders, 02 Mar 2015
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5 Reasons Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill is the Best
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I remember the day Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill came out: I was at my incredibly hip friend's house (yes people can be hip when they're nine), where four or five of us sat in silence listening to all the rude, empowering lyrics while poring over the liner notes to learn how said words were spelled. We had entered a new, previously contraband world: here, away from the rise of manufactured girl pop groups and Britney Spears' confusing virginity status, we could be whoever we wanted to be, say whatever we wanted, and drive a car without really paying any attention to the road.

The album has totally stood the test of time, too. I'm 29 years-old, so I was nine when Jagged Little Pill was released. Which means I have been listening to it at least once a week for twenty years. Which means I have been singing You Oughta Know at karaoke at least once a month for the past ten years. Which is probably the same as you. Which is to say that Jagged Little Pill is an incredibly important album to all women who grew up in the '90s. Therefore, and without further ado, here are the reasons I – and hopefully you – really really love it.

1) The lyrics of You Oughta Know
The line "would she go down on you in a theatre" was very confusing, and, moreover, INTRIGUING for a nine year old with zero oral sex experience. I found out what it was and revelled in explaining, to my less clued-in friends, what the seemingly-mundane phrase meant. As an adult, I listen to You Oughta Know to remind myself that hating dudes who treat you like shit is totally normal, and can result in critically-acclaimed, global pop hits.


2) The pre-emptive misuse of the word Ironic
The Internet and Generation Y have wreaked havoc on the English language to the point where we're now using tiny little pictures instead of actual words to describe things. The misappropriation of the words ironic and literally is another generational advent, but Alanis Morissette was already doing it with the former way back in '95. The NY Times points out that if it rains on your wedding day it is, in fact, just really bad luck and not irony. I originally thought that a song called Ironic that contains no irony is ironic in itself, but apparently that's not the case either. Oh well, red beanies and '90s video clips are still the best. And even if it's not ironic, it's incredibly annoying when there's 10, 000 spoons when all you need is a knife:


3) This awesome Rolling Stone cover
So it's not strictly from Jagged Little Pill, but if Jagged Little Pill didn't become the phenomenon that it did, Alanis Morissette probably wouldn't have appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, and Rolling Stone wouldn't have had the opportunity to write the cover line, Angry White Female, which I'm really glad they did:

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4) Her epic white-on-white outfit and general killer style
You thought your white rib crop tank, coupled with your white denim Mom jeans, coupled with your white New Balance sneakers made you so hot right now? Wrong. It makes you so hot twenty years too late (although, maybe that makes you hot again, today, which is not ironic, I don't think). Take a look at Alanis Morissette being a magical white-on-white babe back in the '90s, in the video for You Oughta Know (watch above). Also, she can wear a mens' shirt like only the best of them (Patti Smith) can:

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5) Jagged Little Pill is about a young woman having an existential crisis, which I can relate to
Alanis Morissette is 40 years old, which means she was 20 years old when she released Jagged Little Pill, which means she was around the perfect age to be having a quarter-life-crisis. Quarter-life-crisis' seem to occur a little later these days, so Jagged Little Pill is, right now, providing perfect accompaniment to my belief that the world is totally screwed and there's really nothing we can do about it. But, you know:


Liked this? Read these other features with female musicians who are awesome:

1) Talking Vulnerability and Women in Music with Rosie Lowe

2) Purity Ring's Megan James on Being Creative and Dealing with First Album Hype

3) Annabel Liddell AKA Miss June Talks Alt. Rock, Riot Grrrl and Feminism

4) Ecca Vandal Talks A$AP Rocky, Deftones, and Her Favourite Love Songs


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