Oh, Alanis, you sure have mellowed out. Seventeen years ago, you released Jagged Little Pill, one of the most commercially successful albums of the '90s. Those vindictive songs about heartbreak ("You Oughta Know") were balanced by the Taoist outlooks ("Hand in My Pocket") and not-so-ironic situations ("Ironic"). It was an angsty, flannel-clad masterpiece, influencing women for years to come. Now, five albums later, you're the poster child for adult urban contemporary music. Not that we can blame you — and not that the sunnier, peaceful vibe doesn't suit you just fine. You've always been open to growth. Most forget that Jagged Little Pill actually was your third album, a shift from your Canadian pop-star persona, which certainly would not have caught on in an America shaking off a collective grunge hangover. We're fine with the songs about enlightment and applaud your dedication to yoga, Buddhism, and veganism, but we're looking forward to those Jagged songs too. The mellowed-out you is just fine, Alanis ("You live / You learn"), but we're looking forward to the mean songs, too, the ones that won us over before we knew what "go down on you in a theater" even meant.
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