Alternative Rock, 2004
So Called Chaos, Alanis Morissette’s latest absolutely tune-free, hook-free CD is strictly for die-hard fans or people so in love with Ms Morissette’s voice (and her use of long-winded sentences) that they will have fun listening to her sing-speak her way through ten songs that sound the same.
I understand that Ms Morissette’s experience in India or Nepal or wherever it is she went for enlightenment had touched her deeply, but that doesn’t excuse her taking a basic background track, make small variations to give ten different tracks, and then ramble-babble her way through the songs. She’s so in love with her voice this time around that she’s trying to cram as many words as she can into a single line of song. And it’s not as if she has anything to say.
She delights in throwing what she imagines to be ingenuous paradoxes or ironies at the listener. Ooh, is she problematic? Is she agreeable? Is she hot? Is she cold? Is she beautiful? Is she ugly? Is she a hypocrite? Is she honest? Ten songs of such needy and neurotic ramblings is too much for me to take. Ms Morissette comes off a severely indecisive narcissist demanding that her listener shower her with platitudes.
Every song is about her indecisiveness or insecurities. When the songs are barely distinguishable with no hook or melody to make it worth the listener’s time to listen to her whine, she comes off as a selfish performer who charges her listeners while using them as her unpaid shrink. Get a grip already, woman, and go get a new haircut or something.
When Avril Lavigne’s lastest release is more listenable and is different from Ms Morissette’s supposedly more “mature” music only by virtue of Ms Morissette using words that Ms Lavigne will need a dictionary to sort out – if Ms Lavigne knows how to use a dictionary, that is – that’s when So Called Chaos is in really deep trouble. The next time Alanis Morrissette needs to unload her issues, I’d suggest that she does it in the privacy of her shrink’s office. I did not pay money just to listen to this self-indulgent, tune-free time-waster.