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Under Rug Swept
our score: 4.5 out of 5.0
The only down side about Alanis Morissette is that she has a really nasty habit of leaving an eternity between releasing albums. After rocking the music world with the angry and confessional Jagged Little Pill in 1995, it was three years before the even better follow-up Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie.
Nearly four years later, cue Under Rug Swept. With the first single, "Hands Clean," lacking the punch, bite and power fans are accustomed to, there were worries that Under Rug Swept would bring to an end her alarming run of captivating CDs.
Fear not. While lacking the completeness of its predecessor, this is yet another collection of mature, insightful and addictive tracks that confirm Morissette's growing stature. I can't think of a female singer-songwriter who puts out records of this quality time and time again, and I know that even Madonna has never released a studio album that has anything like the depth and genius of a Morissette long-player.
Under Rug Swept follows a similar pattern to her first two, meaningful and courageous songs about personal subjects, performed with crazy, powerful vigour and penned with one eye on her diary and the other on the poetry books. Many of Morissette's songs have the feel of a female Morrissey, so personal are they, so full of realism, reflection and sheer talent.
The flagship of Under Rug Swept is undoubtedly "21 Things I Want In A Lover," a rock-based poetic list of romantic criteria, but "Narcissus," which features her trademark spoken verse and wild chorus, comes close to it.
There are also a few ballads among the 11 tracks, the best being "Flinch" as it describes the lingering ghosts of a teenage relationship with lyrics like "How long can a girl stay haunted by you\Soon I'll grow up and I won't even flinch at your name."
"Surrendering" is a powerful, relentless song sung tremendously well, "You Owe Me Nothing In Return" an interesting perspective of obsession, and "Utopia" a sweet, gentle finale oozing warmth.
There are no obvious dud tracks on Under Rug Swept, it's all strong stuff and marks another landmark in a career that has gotten off to an explosive start.
26-Feb-2002 10:09 AM
If you liked Under Rug Swept...
1. 21 Things I Want in a Lover
3. Hands Clean
5. So Unsexy
6. Precious Illusions
7. That Particular Time
8. A Man
9. You Owe Me Nothing in Return