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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 28 April 2017
A great album and one of her best.
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on 15 November 2014
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VINE VOICEon 27 June 2008
I was born in the same year as Alanis, as such, vapid as it might seem, I feel "we've had this inexplicable connection since our youth". A few weeks into this album, and overall I love it.

"Tapes" is for me Alanis at her most resplendent: vulnerable, self-aware, defiant. Opening with lyrical self-deprecation:

"I am someone easy to leave"

you might be tempted to give her a good shake, yet the chorus crashes in with steely sound:

"All these tapes in my head swirl around
Keeping my vibe down
All these thoughts in my head aren't my own
Wreaking havoc"

OK, you know she's alright really. The song moves from the gentle diary entries of self-pity to the "snap-out-of-it" refrain. Ironically, it's precisely this constant struggle between lack of vibe and havoc that allows her to flourish musically, that enables this, the finest song on the album, to exist.

"Straightjacket" gets closest to that Jagged Little Pill raging, and proves that Alanis still has that unique talent for making anger just sound so damn good.

Other great flavours include the vibrant "Citizen of the Planet", the dark "Versions of Violence", the indulgent, longing "Torch", the decisive "Moratorium" and the pure, happy "Giggling Again for no Reason"

"Underneath"... I'm still on the fence about this one.

As usual it's the slower tracks (for me) that let the album down. "Not as We" looks great in theory, and on paper, but the reality doesn't quite work.

It's also difficult to get enthusiastic about the last track "Incomplete". Alanis just doesn't convince with this "One day I'll find relief/I'll be arrived" and part of me rather selfishly hopes she doesn't ever arrive, lest all her lyrics are relegated to this kind of low-maintenance optimism, with the music nodding and smiling encouragingly.

Equally, it's hard not to do a double take on "In Praise of the Vulnerable Man" when she croons "why won't you lead the rest of your cavalry home"????? Eh?

Still, whilst other bands from my formative years never even made the transition from my CD pile to MP3, Alanis remains one of the few artists whose albums I look forward to AND love to play. She has yet to genuinely disappoint!
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VINE VOICEon 16 June 2008
This is my first Alanis Morissette album I've bought and its made a big impression on me and I've decided to get her back catalogue from this one CD>

Fans of Imogen Heap, Frou Frou, Venus Hum and Mandalay should feel right at home here as Guy Sigworth has produced the album with Alanis and his trademark technological wizardry is very much present. From pop beats to shimmering synths and ethnic fused percussion, each song is full of life and energy. Balancing off that are a few ballad types with the emotion "Not As We" being a particular favourite - just vocal and piano.

The beauty of the album is that despite having many things going on all at once the songs have a base of simplicity and so they are catchy while having a certain depth to them too. The guitars are still present for older listeners and fans but they are washed in all kinds of synthesized fun. The bonus disc contains some of the best works too and so if you can pick up the deluxe version.

A fantastic album and I hope it does well. Stand outs for me being "Citizen of the Planet", "Straitjacket" "Not As We", "Tapes", "Orchid" and "Limbo No More".
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I'd kept an eye out for this release for a while as I've always been a fan of Alanis' unique sound. I quickly changed my order from the standard release to the "DeLuxe" edition as soon as I'd noticed that it existed as I always tend to go for 2-disc releases of albums if they seem good value.

I'm so glad I did, because the second disc, although relatively brief, has a couple of stand-out tracks that are real 5-star items in their own right. For them to feature on a bonus CD instead of the main disc was a pleasant although slightly puzzling discovery. The two tracks I'm referring to are "Orchid" and "Madness". Both are totally stunning in my opinion and I could listen to them over and over. "Orchid" has a harmonious sound with a pleasant flowing nature, tied in by a curious bass line that just seems to fit perfectly. "Madness" is perhaps my favourite track on the entire double disc. It is both gentle and powerful with well-used piano aspects and a quiet, simple drum beat.

Back to the main disc, there are several stand-out tracks for me, namely: "Underneath"; "Moratorium"; "Torch" and "Tapes". Of these tracks "Moratorium" seems perhaps the most far-removed from what I believed Alanis' safe-zone to be, being quite a quick rythmic beat and quite a dark and synthesized sound overall, but it works very well. "Torch" is a track that has parts of it that make your spine tingle if you're in the mood for it, really quite enthusing stuff. "Tapes" perhaps sits alongside "Madness" and "Orchid" as favourite tracks overall. Well lyricised and well-paced to suit the nuances of Alanis' vocals.

The two tracks I felt least-worthy of being on the album were both closing tracks on the discs, namely "Incomplete" and "On the Tequila". Neither seemed to follow the flow of the rest of the disc, coming across as almost randomly cheerful and bright in comparison to the thoughtfulness and intricateness of the rest of the two discs.

But on the whole, who am I to complain? As long as Alanis continues to make beautiful music, so I will continue to listen.

Highly recommended (and make sure you get the 2-disc, not the 1-disc release).
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on 12 June 2008
Alanis Morissette has always caused a mental divide in my own opinions, she produces music that, to me, is good and bad all at the same time. It very much depends on my mood... as sometimes it could prove to bland and over complicated, other times it will refresh and calm providing me with something to think about. After the last record "So-Called Chaos" you wouldn't have been blamed for not really expecting much from this latest effort but let me say right now that this record is leaps and bounds ahead of that, and anything else she has made in the last decade.

Experimentation is where it is all at, her first two international albums ("Jagged Little Pill" & "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie") had her playing around with different styles and each produced something harsh and thought provoking, yet totally different in sound. Unfortunately the years after this had her fall into some unfortunately comfortable territory, and while I understand an artist must find their own sound, that still shouldn't stop you from taking chances and unfortunately Alanis played it a bit too safe.

To my amazement, this latest effort from the sharp tongued Canadian is as funky and chirpy as it is melodic and angry. When it was first announced that this album would be more in the vein of Electronically inspired acts there was a lot of upset and skepticism, luckily for everyone this was almost completely unjustified.

I myself am already a fan of electro, and love acts such as Frou Frou, Ladytron and Goldfrapp so forgive me if this is all just in personal taste but for me this was great news and a very exciting prospect. Some of the tracks are slow, melodic and harp back to the Alanis of old, others are stomping (yes... STOMPING) and as she put it you can "Dance Your Face Off" to them (notably "Straightjacket" and "The Guy Who Leaves").

This album was well worth the wait (for some its been four years, for others its been ten) and the experimental nature of the record definitely pays off, Morissette is now a master of another genre. What baffles me though is why the bonus tracks happen to be some of the best material on this record, do yourself a favour and buy the delxue edition, if for nothing else then so you can hear the surprisingly odd and catchy "On The Tequila"
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on 2 December 2009
I'm not going to go into a track by track rundown, as others have already done it.
All I can say is that this is a brilliant piece of work, although flawed in places, as I don't particularly like the "electronic beats" on most of the tracks, as it isn't anything that interests me, particularly.

I must say it does seem to work mostly, but my favourites are the beautiful ballad "Not as We" (the piano IS supposed to be simple, by the way, anything else would spoil the song!), and "Incomplete" (which seems to be another track some people don't get, which I can't understand). The simplicity of the verses musically, with the joyous melodic chorus, really seems to stand out, for me!

I think the bonus CD is also superb, and it's well worth spending the extra, as 4 out of the 5 tracks on it, deserve to be on the CD "proper". "Orchid" is a particularly beautiful song. I think I prefer the "sweeter" voiced Alanis to the more "abrasive" sounding one, but either way she is an artist who knows the value of "light and shade" in music. I do love this album and can't stop listening to it!

I've been a fan for over a decade, and have most of the CD's, and I think her "unique" way of writing (and singing) lyrics make her an exciting and influential artist, and this album hasn't made me change my mind.

I do however think she is an artist that some people will either "love" or "hate", with not much in between!
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on 2 June 2008
From the first time I ever-heard Alanis on JLP I was immediately hooked. Since then with each subsequent album she's grown and developed as the most intimate singer-songwriter on the planet, constantly wearing her heart on her sometimes apologetic, sometimes serene and often bloody sleeve for all to see.

Most recently Under Rug Swept and So Called Chaos definitely marked a new direction for Alanis' 'sound', being more mainstream than her previous albums they had an arguably lighter tone than found before.

And so it was going to be very interesting to see exactly how Flavors of Entanglement slotted in to the musical treasure trove that has marked Alanis' career thus far.

On first listen you can definitely feel that there is a very different sound in here, more electronica, heavier backing on each track, more produced. This is indeed thanks to one Mr Guy Sigworth; a man responsible for producing Rihanna, Madonna and even Ms Spears' latest albums, and his influence definitely shows.

The songs on this album are without a doubt as good as any previously written and certainly marks a new high point in Alanis' illustrious career. However, I can't help but think many of the songs seem a little TOO produced - 'Incomplete' is the best example of this were, for some reason, over an amazing chorus there is a strange and totally unnecessary pulsating tone that works to effectively drain out Alanis' voice and thus the songs emotional charge. This is total contrast to the (in my mind) total gem of the album 'Not As We' which works just right with merely Alanis and a piano.

What has always been significant about each of Alanis' albums has been the way in which they provide total insight into where she is 'at' within her own life. In this album it is needless to say that much of the material here relates to her much publicised aborted engagement. However, as ever with Alanis post JLP this doesn't simply mean being on a 'I hate men!' tirade, but instead gives a level headed 'Maybe it was me' perspective, most notably in the brilliant song 'Madness' (which is only available on CD2 of the deluxe edition so buy it!).

Overall this is a new sound for Alanis that will hopefully be adored by fans. I may have my hang ups about the unnecessary insertion of artificial ambiance but that won't stop me listing to it and admiring her utterly unique talent.

I'll be on the front row when touring starts. Trust me!
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VINE VOICEon 14 June 2008
"I am a citizen of the planet
My laws are all of attraction
My punishments are consequences
Separating from source the original sin"

(Alanis Morissette - "Citizen of the Planet")

Back when I started reviewing on Amazon.com, I was asked to name my favorite artistes, and without pausing I chose Alanis Morissette and Queen. Well, many years later, Freddy Mercury's unfortunately passed on, but Alanis still reigns. Her music and lyrics are intelligent, thought provoking, honest, and most definitely non-mainstream and anti-karaoke.

The album starts off with "Citizen of the Planet" a track with a Middle Eastern vibe, and a shout out to Kwan Yin, the Buddhist Goddess whose name means "One who hears the cries of the world".

The second track is the first single "Underneath", a mid-tempo track with a soaring chorus about people who aren't communicating effectively. This is emphasized when she sings "Look at us jumping ship in our dialogues". An excellent track by any yardstick.

Other noteworthy tracks are "Straitjacket" (PA lyrics, bass heavy dance beat on the chorus); "Versions of Violence" (one of my favorites, rock beat); "Not As We" (plaintive piano-backed ballad); "Moratorium" (classic Morissette); "Torch" and "Giggling Again for no Reason" (simply beautiful - music, lyrics, everything).

The album closes with the second single "Incomplete", an Alanis-styled ballad and second shortest track, where she seems to describe her career when she sings "Ever unfolding / Ever expanding / Ever adventurous and torturous / But never done"

Another great album, no filler material, and definitely a keeper.

Amanda Richards
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on 5 August 2009
I have loved everything Alanis has released, with the exception of So-Called Chaos, which was a little bland for my tastes. However, I found Flavors of Entanglement an amazing album. After a year, I can still happily listen to the album all the way through.

I wasn't keen on Citizen Of The Planet to begin with, as I found the verses too quiet and dull compared to the strong guitar in the chorus. Now, though, I can appreciate the song for how great it is.

Other standout tracks include Not As We (a beautiful piano ballad), Moratorium (with an awesome epic string outro), Torch (probably the saddest Alanis song), and Incomplete (with some brilliant lyrics)

The tracks I'm not too keen on are Tapes and Giggling Again For No Reason. Everyone seems to love Tapes, but I personally find it a little dull. Giggling is let down by its music, and Alanis' voice seems almost bored in the track. But even these two songs don't let the album down.

The bonus disc just carries on with the brilliance. The Guy Who Leaves sounds a little like Straitjacket, but I think the music works better here than on Straitjacket. Final track On The Tequila is a little iffy, but I just think it is a nice fun song.

All in all, another brilliant album from Alanis, sounding a little bit like each of her albums beforehand, with a little bit of extra electronica mixed in.
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