Alanis Morissette’s new album “Flavors of Entanglement” is co-written and produced by Guy Sigsworth (Bjork, Imogen Heap), the album is Morissette’s first original studio release in four years.
While hewing to a familiar process – creating songs as snapshots of her life – Morissette found cathartic support during a big transition in her life. “I often write in retrospect, but this was written in real time,” she says. “This record helped me through some fragile moments. Every song was like a life raft.”
Morissette’s penchant for eclecticism, whether musical, spiritual or otherwise, brought new sounds and styles into this latest effort, which she previewed for fans during her recent tour with Matchbox Twenty. Among the new songs included in her electrifying live set were lead single “Underneath,” which reflects Mahatma Gandhi’s notion that “You must be the change you want to see in the world”; “Versions of Violence,” a jarring deconstruction of human behavior, and “Citizen of the Planet,” a poetic narrative of her life story and transnational perspective set against a backdrop blending Eastern percussion, strings and electronic hues.
“Flavors of Entanglement” offers a plethora of highlights, including the hauntingly beautiful lost-love lament of “Torch,” the clear declaration of “Moratorium,” the hypnotic ebb and flow of “Tapes” and the aspirational “In Praise of the Vulnerable Man.” Morissette also explores the often cyclical nature of learning in the pensive, rock bottom-capturing “Not As We” and the ecstatic freedom of “Giggling Again For No Reason,” before wrapping with the Phoenix-rising closure of “Incomplete.”
“There’s not another artist-male or female-who can take you on the kind of emotional journey that Alanis can,” says Sigsworth. “She has this ginormous, super-massive, planet-eating emotional range. She goes all the way-10 on the Richter Scale-and we’re at the epicenter with her as she sings whole worlds into existence. She can be raging and hostile, distraught and desolately heartbroken, glowingly nostalgic, sensual, breezy and self-deprecating-all in one album.”
“Underneath” – This isn’t so easy to put into the hits category. It’s slightly above average as a single. It’s not great and barely compares to the brilliance of her first album.
“In Praise Of The Vulnerable Man” – With a title like this you’d never expect it to be so good. It makes you wonder what that genius, get the sarcasm please , Ryan Reynolds was thinking.
“Torch” – Simple, raw and emotional. This is Alanis giving her vulnerabilities to fans.
“Versions of Violence” – The song and the beats don’t mesh into anything great. There are ingredients missing here–and his name is Glen Ballard.
“Citizen of the Planet” – It’s bizarre. A song with a gorgeous hook and verses and yet the lyrics are awful. Usually Alanis writes writing great lyrics. Here she falters.
“Straitjacket” – This sounds like a bad song written for Britney Spears–and trust me Alanis doesn’t sell it any better. The beats don’t fit her style at all.
I love Alanis–just read our previous reviews and interview. But “Flavors of Entanglement” just doesn’t it do it for me. The Nine Inch Nails beats and her beautiful voice is better suited singing big hooks. These twoingredients are oil and water. The songs are a better fit for Madonna than Alanis. I’d say Ryan Reynolds got off easy–easier than the guy from “You Oughta Know.”
Watch the video for “Underneath.”