|1. 21 Things I Want In A Lover|
|3. Hands Clean|
|5. So Unsexy|
|6. Precious Illusions|
|7. That Particular Time|
|8. A Man|
|9. You Owe Me Nothing In Return|
The opener "21 Things I Want in a Lover" finds Morissette ticking off her likes and dislikes before an attention-grabbing explosion of crunching guitar chords and a scratchy hip-hop beat. Swept's emotional flow is navigated by Morissette's vocal queues: her lower register accompanies confrontation and self-proclamation ("Narcissus"); the higher intimates vulnerability and reflection ("Utopia"). Every tone is enlivened by well-blended electronic and acoustic elements.
The snag is that, as with her previous two albums, Under Rug Swept is marred by unabridged stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Her awkward syntax and distorted phrasing disorients music that's melodious and compelling music. She remains acutely self-obsessed, delivering rants aimed at men who are fatally flawed and naturally, irresistibly devastating. For now, her greatest strength as a musician lies in her ear for a powerful melody. Lyrically, she'd be better off keeping her contorted lyrics In Closet Locked. --Beth Massa
This artist has grown, matured and will be in the mind of the rock/pop scene for many years to come. This woman/songwriter/producer/artist --compares nothing more but to the great Madonna---constantly changing, redefining herself--giving a new meaning to the word "music" with every album she unleashes.
Potential Singles: 21 Things I Want in a Lover, Narcissus, Hands Clean, Precious Illusions, You Owe Me Nothing In Return, Surrendering, So Unsexy
Tracks to "Sweep Under the Rug": Flinch, That Particular Time, A Man, Utopia.
If Ms. Morissette plays it right with this album, over half of the album can be released with radio play and heavy rotation (for 7 tracks!!!!!) It could literally meet or surpass Jagged Little Pill.
Did I also mention that she (along with this album ) debut #1 on the Billboard? I can say with confidence that "Alanis is back".
She seems to have gone from anger at all men for being nasty to acceptance of the fact and resignation to it. She's a superb wordsmith, and I love the way she alters rhyme, reason, meter, pronunciation and acceptable accenting of words to fit with the tune.
It starts with "21 Things I Want in a Lover" which to my mind are all perfectly reasonable requests for qualities in a partner for either sex. It's certainly what I've always tried to be.
There follows a song called "Narcissus" which encapsulates many men who I think we all know.
Then it is "Hands Clean" which is agonising in its relentless assault on your feelings for this poor girl remembering being treated so shoddily by a successful and insensitive man. It also goes to show how difficult it is to get over it when love ends.
"Flinch" is simply superb. It shows again just how long it takes anyone to get over love (except, apparently, for the men in this distressed girl's life) and how the longing, and the anger at that longing, stays with you forever. It's simple disbelief that anyone can affect you as much as that.
One of my favourites is "So Unsexy". It bites straight into me as I realise it is just like me with all that tormenting self-doubt; but at least it has hope at the end!
"Precious Illusions" is also devastatingly accurate to all those people entering a relationship and wondering tentatively whether it will be as bad as whatever finished the last one. It's about wondering who you are and who you aren't and I simply love those last two lines!
"That Particular Time" is so beautifully worded, quiet, gentle and broody. It speaks of needing time to marinate in what "us" meant and also the horrific realisation that sometimes staying with a person means betraying oneself.
"A Man" seems to be a general gripe at men's attitudes. It has a lovely quality of rhythm to it. The poor lady certainly seems to have had her share of bad relationships!
And then there's "You Owe Me Nothing In Return". This one makes me cry and feel so understood that there are others out there who feel this way about love.
"Surrendering" again just says it all about those moments of self doubt at the start of a new relationship and the thrill of eventually being trusted and being able to trust.
It ends with "Utopia" sung in a lovely lilting way and probably the best evocation of what heaven and peace on earth could be that I have ever heard.
I like this CD! As I say, it's much more mellow than her other albums. Being a family man in his mid forties I'm probably not the intended audience, but if you have ever loved and lost, or just loved, you will find understanding and solace in the words here.
I'm pleased for Ms. Morrisette that she is able to put down her feelings like this. If any of this is even half true then I think the poor lady would have gone mad without the benefits of this release!
The technical side is excellent too, with gorgeous bass lines (played by one of about six bass players listed on the back!) and superb balance and order.
I'm easily bored but have never been by this CD. That has never happened before.
If you've ever loved someone so much you didn't know how to handle it, buy this CD and hear your feelings expressed in words.
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