God. Alanis Morrissette.
Her album Jagged Little Pill (1995) was a staple in my 9-year-old life. My older sister was a senior in high school, and she had an Alanis poster on her bedroom wall. Here I was, pumping her cassette tape in my walkman, which was perpetually on my hip (it had one of those belt clips – baller), singing awkwardly to songs while making up the words I didn’t understand. I think my family threatened to leave me on the curb during our family road trip to Alaska. I looked like Taylor Hanson. But, you know, the nine-year-old version.
This album resurfaced for me in college, when I started getting more into Woman Rock. I cursed the universe that Lilith Fair no longer existed. (But it has returned! Who wants to go with me this summer!) There was a period of time in college when every time I got into my boyfriend’s car to drive to his house I would automatically reach for his zune (I know!) and put on Jagged Little Pill. And I sang. I know that Alanis Morrissette is like, cliché feminist chick rock music, but it feels so good. It feels so good to turn it up and belt it out. Who cares if you can’t yodel like Alanis. And I mean, come on, look at her. That long hair – that long jacket. Its so 90’s and its fucking awesome.
The song “Right Through You” is one of my total faves – and I love this song because it so embodies and brought to mainstream the attitudes and sentiments of the riot grrl movement (those crazy third-wavers) – bands like Bikini Kill and Bratmobile. “Right Through You” is such a power ballad. It’s filled with all the tingly goodness of hurt, vulgarity, confrontation, and vindication – everything that embodied 90’s alternative music. so. satisfying.