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Alanis Morissette (b. June 1, 1974) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and the winner of seven Grammy awards. She began her path to fame by being on You Can't Do That on Television, and then going to New York City to compete in Star Search. Her first two albums were chock-full of horribly-produced, cheesy dance-pop with lame lyrics. She was the opening act for Vanilla Ice, too. She gained real international fame with the New Sound Album Jagged Little Pill and its follow-up Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, which were vast improvements over her previous material and introduced her Signature Style of catchy pop-rock combined with Motor Mouthy, really wordy introspective lyrics.
Also, she doesn't understand the meaning of the word "ironic." Even if irony was simply any "amusing coincidence" (which is overly generous), most of the lines in the song are not - each one is either tragic, annoying, or inconvenient, but not ironic. The Irish comedian Ed Byrne did once describe some qualifiers which would MAKE certain lines ironic (such as the line about rain on your wedding day -- ironic if you're the weatherman). As American comedian George Carlin put this in one of his books:
"If a diabetic, on his way to buy insulin, is hit and killed by a truck, that is an accident. If the truck was carrying sugar, then he is the victim of an oddly poetic coincidence. But if the truck that hit him was carrying insulin, then he is the victim of irony."
- Alanis (1991)
- Now Is the Time (1992)
- Jagged Little Pill (1995)
- Space Cakes (1995) (an acoustic EP released only in Japan)
- The Singles Box (1997) (a box set released only in Australia containing five Jagged Little Pill singles and a bunch of live tracks)
- Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (1998)
- Alanis Unplugged (1999) (a live album recorded from Alanis' appearance on MTV Unplugged)
- Under Rug Swept (2002)
- Feast on Scraps (2002) (a combined CD/DVD release; the CD has nine previously unreleased songs that didn't make her other albums, and the DVD was filmed at a concert in Rotterdam)
- So-Called Chaos (2004)
- Jagged Little Pill Acoustic (2005) (an acoustic remake of Jagged Little Pill)
- Alanis Morissette: The Collection (2005)
- Flavors of Entanglement (2008)
- Havoc and Bright Lights (2012)
Also worth mentioning is "Uninvited," one of the major singles from the soundtrack of the film City of Angels. It's never been released on any of her albums.
"You Oughta Know" is featured in Rock Band 2, with "Ironic" and "Head Over Feet" available as DLC. All songs are on the old platform (guitar, bass, pro drums, one vocal part).
- Abusive Parents: "Perfect" is about parents who live vicariously through their kids and humiliate and berate them for not meeting expectations.
We love you just the way you are / If you're perfect
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle:
- "Uninvited" does this quite a few times. "I am flattered by your fascination with me"... "an unfortunate slight"... "must be somewhat heartening"...
- She does it in "Everything" as well: "I am the wisEST woMAN you've ever met...I am the kindEST soul with whom you've CONnected..."
- Acting for Four: The music video clip for "Ironic".
- Album Title Drop:
- Jagged Little Pill comes from a line in "You Learn".
- Under Rug Swept is a line from "Hands Clean".
- And Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie can be found in "So Pure".
- Award Bait Song: "Wunderkind" from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, and "I Remain" from Prince of Persia the Sands of Time.
- Bowdlerise: "You Oughta Know" is a classic case of Bowdlerization not working. The song was very popular among teens, but of course, there's an F-bomb in it. At school dances and similar functions, the radio edit version would play where the offending word was simply muted. So what would happen when that spot in the song came up? Everyone in the room would shout out the offending word at the muted point.
- To be fair, most radio stations played it such that it went, "When you ffffff- her." Which actually sounded good too.
- Break Up Song: "You Oughta Know" is the most famous one, but there's also "Are You Still Mad" and "Hands Clean".
- Canada, Eh?
- Canon Dis Continuity/Fanon Discontinuity: Her first two albums.
- Catholic School Girls Rule
- Cerebus Syndrome
- Friends with Benefits: "Head Over Feet" is the Trope Namer.
- Godiva Hair: The music video of "Thank You".
- In the Style Of: The Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps" as a slow ballad. Also qualifies as a Funny Moments.
- Isn't It Ironic?: The Trope Namer, though not an example.
- Mood Whiplash: Jagged Little Pill can induce this, as the themes and moods shift drastically from song to song.
- Motor Mouth: She has this obsession with fitting as many syllables as possible into a line...
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Starting with Junkie, Alanis incorporated electronic and world influences into her music. Which is not to say Jagged Little Pill wasn't already pretty genre-fusiony, with its combination of lots of drumloops and electronics filched from Beck with Post-Grunge guitars.
- New Sound Album: Both Jagged Little Pill and Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie; the latter was an even larger departure.
- Pass the Popcorn: "Front Row" makes a reference to this in the song's chorus:
"I'm in the front row/the front row/with popcorn/I get to see you see you close up."
- Parody Retcon: Her infamous song "Ironic".
- Precision F-Strike: "You Oughta Know." Although the song has a number of sex references, none are as blatant as the line "Are you thinking of me when you fuck her?"
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Just look at that page picture!
- Short, Dark, And Bishoujo
- Signature Song: "You Oughta Know" and "Ironic".
- Stage Mom: "Perfect" is about this trope.
- Stalker with a Crush: "Your House", the Hidden Track at the end of Jagged Little Pill. It's a song about sneaking into her ex-boyfriend's house and smelling his clothes. And now you know why men get scared when they hear Alanis' voice or find out that their girlfriends listen to her music.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Alanis, in a show of support, altered the lyrics of her song "Ironic" to:
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife,
It's like meeting the man of my dreams... and meeting his beautiful husband
- What would be rhyming couplets in the chorus for "Hand In My Pocket" are instead jumbled so that the second line from couplet A is instead the second line in couplet B, and so forth.
- Surreal Music Video: "You Learn".
- Teen Idol: (Where did you get that idea?)
- Unplugged Version: Jagged Little Pill Acoustic
- Word Salad Lyrics: While there might be a meaning behind it, "Thank U" has verses that qualify in this trope:
How 'bout gettin' off of these antibiotics?
How 'bout stoppin' eatin' when I'm full up?
How 'bout them transparent danglin' carrots?
How 'bout that ever-elusive kudo?