How would a millennial react to hearing a classic album like it’s something brand new? We believe that music discovery isn’t just about up-and-comers—new music is any music that’s new to you—so we decided to find out. Today is the anniversary of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, released June 13, 1995. Here’s what she said.
Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill is an album that screeches around corners, careening in and out of themes like soulmates, love, and most of all, the angst of those aforementioned experiences. What a perfect album for a wannabe ’90s teen like me.
Maybe it’s because my only exposure (besides being born in ‘98) to the ’90s was watching My So Called Life and Felicity (both shows with strong female leads, woo!), this album could easily be the soundtrack to every episode of those shows. With grungy pop sounds and stinging vocals, Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill encapsulates the frustration but also freedom of adolescence, like tinnitus in your ears.
On the first track, All I Really Want, Morissette doesn’t quite croon, but instead yells, “Do I stress you out / My sweater is on backwards and inside out / And you say how appropriate.” There are plenty of lyrics in the album that reflect similar sentiments.
In Jagged Little Pill, Morrisette gets at something a lot of teens (including me) can relate to but not quite put their finger on. It’s that weird loneliness of young adulthood and how your experiences feel so charged and so important all the time. It gets mad tiring, and Alanis Morrisette knows this.
The album charges forward for the first couple songs and then takes a slower, calmer turn on songs like You Learn and Head Over Feet. Yet, the sentiment of not being satisfied continues on. In Head Over Feet, Morrisette becomes a true crooner. She belts, “I can’t help it/baby, it’s all your fault.”
The album grows in its passionate frustration, much like a teenager does, much like I have myself. The expression of angst doesn’t always have to be fast and pounding like Morissette’s voice in those first couple songs, it can also adapt to the situation it is in and find release — the croon.
Jagged Little Pill is a suitable album for finishing off the school year, especially for seniors entering their last summer at home. On its original June 1995 release date, I can imagine someone like me listening to these songs in the car on a sunny day with the window rolled down, screaming at the top of their lungs that they are done, finally done! On first listen, I knew that Morissette’s album might just be the album to accompany me for that ride.
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