Monday, 23 May 2011

Well, That's an Odd Thing to Say

So, I've been thinking a lot about Alanis, recently (see blog title, above).

She's of my generation, and of my city, but removed. That is, she went to high school with some of my friends, and that was my link to her. I heard that she sang at every talent show. I didn't see her stint on You Can't Do That on Television (somehow; I must have seen every other episode), I didn't get or like "Never Too Cold", or whatever song that was, didn't think she was that special, and, frankly, was horrified that she was chosen to play God in Dogma.*

Once, in university, in the middle of the day, four of us drove to the Hershey factory, and Adam, who was sitting in the back seat, said, "I'm the Alanis in the green sweater!" We all laughed like maniacs.

I took some yoga classes from her mother, which was kind of cool to say, and I knew that she had bought a condo in a new highrise, which I called "the Alanis building" (later to be rebranded "the Belinda Stronach building" when US-worthy political scandal occurred). I also followed, with some interest, her engagement to Ryan Reynolds, and pictures of her on a beach with Matthew McConnaughey.**

All this to say is that she had some relevance, some kind of background presence throughout my teen-and-university-and-beyond years, but nothing of much admiration.

So, nobody was more caught off guard than me that I wanted her "new" Jagged Little Pill album. I had bought her original album way back during the BMI years, and it was probably a last-minute-I-need-an-eleventh-album choice. But I was surprised at how much I liked it, and how it's stood up to the test of time, in my playlist, anyway.

Ok, give me some rope here. If I may, I'd like to call it one of the defining albums of my generation - it has soul, it has history, it's catchy, it's raw, and it's relatable, despite its being allegedly inspired by a relationship to Dave Coulier.***

However.

What kind of delusional self-importance could she possibly have, to release the exact same songs, only ten years later -- but this time played acoustically! -- and expect people to pay for them?

And what kind of chump am I to have walked into her little trap?

The kind with a gift card, of course.

Despite all that, I have to admit that I LOVE it. The songs, the lyrics, the sounds still resonate with me. It's a brilliant re-imaging of her earlier work, and it comes across as sadder, wiser, but still torn inside. It's beautiful.

And to me, that's ironic, don't you think?****



* Really? Of everyone on the planet, they chose Alanis? Really?

** Note to self: never get photographed in a bathing suit beside Matthew McConnaughey. There is nobody that could look good standing beside that man.

*** Really? Dave Coulier? Really?

**** Well, more ironic than Ironic, anyway.

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