When you think about Alanis Morissette, you think about Ironic. However, the Canadian artist is definitely not a one-hit wonder at all – between 1995 and 2002, she had six Number 1 singles in her home country – and even her last album, the 2012 Javoc and Bright Lights, made it to the Top 5 in six major music markets. Quite a while since we heart from her – the more I was looking forward to her Such Pretty Forks In The Road, which she released on 31st July 2020 (moved from 1st May 2020 due to Covid-19).
Alanis Morissette – About The Artist
At the day of publishing Such Pretty Forks In The Road, Alanis Nadine Morissette was 45 years old. She was born on 1st June 1974 in Ottawa. Her father and her mother are both teachers, she grew up with two brothers – one of them, Wade, is even her twin and twelve minutes older. After piano lessons, she had her first steps on stage in church. She already recorded demos quite early, at the age of 13. In 1991, Morissette signed a record deal and published her debut album Alanis. It was quite successful in the Canadian charts, were it made it to the Top 30. Some one year later, Now Is the Time made it slightly worse.
Her breakthrough – nationally and internationally – definitely happened with the 1995 Jagged Little Pill, which sold more than 33 million copies and made it to the top spot of national album charts in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA. Furthermore, it lead to six singles, which all had at least some international chart rankings as well. The first song was You Oughta Know, followed by Hand in My Pocket and the famous Ironic. Even though none of the following albums was that successful any more, she still produced some very successful albums, which all had multiple No.1 placements worldwide. After 2012, she just released some compilations, but also did some touring. Such Pretty Forks on The Road is her tenth studio album.
Such Pretty Forks In The Road – Track by Track
The eleven song album lasts 46 minutes.
Okay, that’s Alanis! Her voice is just that unique – and she is that present from the very first moment of the album. The song feels very melancholic, which also makes it feel very deep and impressive.
The electric make this song feel a bit of rocking, but finally, it is a very slow song about love. The track does not catch me too much, honestly:
To my boy, all that energy, so wild Love your hues and your blues in equal measure Your comings and your goings-away My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze
3. Reasons I Drink
Not only because I feel it connects best to the songs by Morissette we likely all have in our mind, Reasons I Drink is one of my favorites of this album. On the other hand, definitely not a song to makes you smile and dance – the album stays on the dark side.
And call it what you want ‘Cause I don’t even care anymore Call me what you need to To make yourself comfortable So I am debilitated I can’t remember where the sentence started When I’m trying to finish it And all of you are so frustrated And everyone around me is tryna help as much as they can
Ironic, You Oughta Know – these times seem to be over for Morissette. Long ago. Chapter closed. Another track, which is just focusing on sad moments. The strings make it even feel deeper. Definitely, this leads to a very intimate and personal atmosphere. Still hope for some smiles during these 46 minutes. Oh, there was Ablaze, at least.
5. Missing The Miracle
Party track? Noooo! Alanis keeps us on the slow side. I have to admit that this song might somehow be great in the lyrics, but from its musical arrangement and presentation, it does not touch me too much. It does have a touch of melody, though.
6. Losing The Plot
Losing The Plot is a very piano-centric song, even thought the arrangement adds other instruments during the song.
‘Cause I am losing the plot, I am grieving the end of superwomaning I have laid down my cape As though I haven’t risen like a phoenix from a thousand deaths As though I have not been reborn to notice that my mission is not dead yet
Overall, I feel that the stories and the lyrics are the key factor in these songs. Losing The Plot is definitely one of my more favorite tracks, though.
The great (especially vocal) talent by the Canadian lead to the situation that the songs are bearable. Otherwise, the atmosphere after seven songs would just be too negative, too sad.
8. Sandbox Love
The title promises some sort of turning back the time. I stopped dreaming of a song which makes me smile like Ironic, but Sandbox Love is at least a track which does not make you wipe your tears away during listening. There is some ease and happiness in it – and I highly appreciate it.
And so I pray to Her today I ask for mercy and I beg for patience Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh She’s coming in hot all like Shakti And coursing through my veins like Liquid Mary Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Okay, there is not a happy ending here (at least: not yet?). We are back in the dark, unhappy world of Alanis Morissette. That’s the kind of music you play in a psychiatric clinic when you need to clean it for Covid-19 treatment.
Change, you are my nemesis Transition, I hold my breath This about-face, I’m excited I’m excited, yet I’m filled with despair, anticipation and dread This metamorphosis closed the door and opened a window
At least, this song has some rage, some power in it. There is also some rhythm and melody. Still, it is melancholic.
The final track of the album starts with
I’m sure you’ve enjoyed the ride, who wouldn’t?
I don’t want to sum-up my thoughts here, but I would not be too optimistic here, Mrs. Morissette. This song comes with a lot of atmosphere, but overall, I am happy that I stood these 46 minutes.
Such Pretty Forks In The Road – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget to Such Pretty Forks In The Road:
Such Pretty Forks In The Road – My View
People are changing. They are making new experiences along their walk of life. Still, I see that young, crazy, sassy girl singing Ironic when I think about Alanis Morissette. These 46 minutes of listening to her 2020 music told me: the story is over. I feel really sad towards her. Eight years after her last album, she is releasing an album full of negative atmosphere and melancholy. It is well produced – and doing it like that is somehow producing some new music on the safe side. But I struggle too much with Such Pretty Forks In The Road finally. Sorry!