Alanis Morissette – Flavors of Entanglement- music review

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Alanis Morissette
Artist: Alanis Morissette
Title: Flavors of Entanglement
Label: Warner Bros.
Rating: 6/10

Corporate line:
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.”

The hits:
“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.

The rest:
“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.
“Moratorium”

Finally:
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.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. I think Alanis has just grown up and her “anger” has evolved into conflict.

    Alanis’ song writing is superb on this album. I was impressed with the wit that conveyed such conflict. The lyrics weave such a vibrant picture and her voice just resounds the pain/triumphant.

    I was touched by the song “Moratorium”. It is a reflection of what we all struggle with, “do I give up”. It’s about moving on and accepting it’s okay to “die” so you can live again.

    The song, “Underneath” has the familiar rhythm Alanis’ music has had in the past and has us inside looking out with potent lyrics like: “Look at us break our bonds in this kitchen; Look at us rallying all our defenses; Look at us waging war in our bedroom; Look at us jumping ship in our dialogues.”

    Never before has Alanis Morissette created such a tribute to the emotions of humanity, our struggles within ourselves, our homes and our world.

    The music is a little bit of everything…hip hop to folk and pure Alanis.

    This album will put Alanis back on the charts with every song having the potential to stand on it’s own.

    It’s definately going to be one album you won’t replace in your cd player anytime soon!

  2. Yeah….this album doesnt fit alanis at all…..

    still jagged little pill is the best ever, i really do wish the ROCK era would be alive again…

    i likes one song that is underneath and i HATE “bring on the taquilla” damn AWFUL SONG

  3. I have to say this record is brilliant. “Citizen of the Planet” begs to be played and re-played over and over again. I adore you Alanis.

  4. this last album finally removed the blindfold from my eyes… The Alanis we met in the 90s is long gone, and she wont be coming back.

    “underneath” sounds like any other song off of “So Called Chaos”, her 2004 album (she released an album after Jagged little Pill?)

    songs like “not as we” and “torch” sound horribly done before if you’ve bothered to listen to her since the auspicious “Supposed former…” which ended up letting down the world and sold nowhere near her 1st home run of 30million albums

    i believe this album was done under the idea that the beats were meant for madonna, she didn’t like them..and so alanis just borrowed them.

    straitjacket is just a vague attempt at a want-to-feel-good-dance-techno song… furthermore it ends up being as impressionalbe as “tapes” and “giggling again for no reason”

    the album is ultimately an amalgamation of identity crisis and poor genre jumping attempts.

    the album may have you dancing, however rare the moment, and crying with her if you listen to the lyrics, but as soon as it ends, you realize it didnt really do anything for you..

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