Nothing like her 90s sound, but that isn't bad! Morissette is back with a mature sound that'll get stuck in your head in no time.
When thinking about the late 90s and empowering women in the music scene, Alanis Morissette is definitely one that sticks out. Her fuse of rock and pop with her bitter-sweet lyrics have always been amazing. She’s pretty much the original Adele. The Canadian singer-songwriter is back with her 7th album Such Pretty Forks in the Road. Many may hope that this album will be like her Jagged Little Pill era and whilst that is such an iconic staple from the 90s, Morissette’s newest album is a completely new sound.
Although some may wish Morissette to return to her ‘original’ sound from the 90s, where she oozes ‘I don’t give a damn what you think about me’ vibe, the darker sound of Such Pretty Forks in the Road is so refreshing. Artists grow both personally as people and professionally as musicians; it’s natural. For long time Morissette fans, this is honestly a pleasant album, sure to please your ears. It’s so clean and minimal, allowing Morissette to show off her talent with her vocal runs, harmonisation with the backing singers and her incredible ability to vocally compliment the orchestral melody that flows throughout the album.
At 46, this is Morissette’s darkest album yet. From the hauntingly beautiful vocal runs of her mezzo-soprano voice on ‘The Missing Miracle’, to the funky interaction of her vocals with the music in ‘Reasons I Drink’, her emotions are right at the forefront of the record. As she has grown as a person and artist throughout the years, the subject matters of her music have changed. Of course, Jagged Little Pill is her most famous album; it’s a staple album in anyone’s life for those post-breakup emotional moments. She is why breakup albums are popular. Now, Morissette has shedded that perceived notion of who she is as an artist, especially with her 6th album Havoc and Bright Lights (2012) and this latest release.
Her life events have influenced her music and as listeners; this is especially clear in ‘The Missing Miracle’. This song in particular centres on the difference in people’s perspectives. Instead of shutting down the other person, Morissette embraces their views on life and allows the relationship between them to be something that she’s always been looking for. It’s this type of message that more artists should be putting out to their fans; the world we live in always needs more positivity. Furthermore, the subject matter that Morissette takes on in this song isn’t a common one in the music industry currently. This just goes to show that there is so much to life that we can embrace.
Likewise, ‘Losing The Plot’ deals with darker themes than what is typical to her work, and is probably the darkest song on the album by far. There are times in life where things just don’t go right, this frustrated upset feeling is summed up in this tune perfectly. The interaction between her voice and the build up, as well as the rise and fall of the melody, helps paint the struggles that Morissette depicts in the song. It’s incredibly powerful; you can easily see the story she is telling when you close your eyes. It’s just another powerful way in which Morissette crafts her skills as a singer-songwriter.
‘Sandbox Love’ is a funky tune that uses a lot of guitar riffs usually associated with newer acts like HAIM, Pale Waves and The 1975. With the indie vibe, Morissette is onto what is very trendy in the current music scene. It’s a perfect anthem for summer. For those summer romances or chilling in lockdown in your garden, this has the right balance between upbeat vibes with the guitar riffs and softness with the combination of Morissette’s voice and the building orchestral elements. It’s a perfect song for the mood of this year’s summer season.
Morissette has grown, she has loved and lost, but she’s not as angry as she once was. This is a very refreshing taste from her earlier music and although the bitterness in ‘Nemisis’ is present, her lyrics are definitely unique to the music that is currently out there, both in terms of musicality and the topics it focuses on. She may have been around for over 20 years, but she definitely still has it!
Such Pretty Forks in The Road is out on the 31st of July via Sony Music. Check out ‘Reasons I Drink’ now down below.
Correction: Previously, the article said this was Morissette’s 6th album but has now been corrected.