Album Review: Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette


Hannah Whitehead, Staff Writer

Alanis Morissette is a Canadian musician who was born June 1st, 1974. She was most known in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Her sound is very unique and she plays around with her range a lot. I was recommended the album Jagged Little Pill by a friend, and this was my first impression. Since this was my first time listening, I didn’t analyze it as much as I’ve done to other albums in my previous articles. 


“All I Really Want”

This song is a really good start to the album. Morissette’s style of singing reminds me of a better version of Avril Lavigne. The way she layers her vocals really thickens the vocal aspect of this song.  Morissette plays around with her range and it really highlights how amazing of a vocalist she is. The best part of this song is when it goes silent, and she comes back in with this really unique enunciation of her words. As the song goes on she’s getting more upset, and I really like that. I really dislike the harmonica and I think it ruins the song for me as a whole.


“You Oughta Know”

Let me start by saying that the featured artists in this song are insanely good musicians. The song features Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass, Dave Navarro from Jane’s Addiction on guitar, and Taylor Hawkins from The Foo Fighters playing the drums. The song starts off really breathy and then cuts into this really funky bass line that I’m absolutely in love with. Flea’s bass riff after the first chorus is also really nice. I’m glad that the bass makes more of an impact than the guitar, but that’s just a personal preference. The guitar gets a little overbearing during the chorus, but that’s not necessarily bad because that’s just the style of the song. I’m sure most people know this song they just aren’t aware of the title. Overall, this song is iconic and will forever be a favorite of mine. 



I really like the beginning of this song. The simple guitar line compliments her so well. She’s slowly getting more aggressive with the strength in her voice as the song goes on. It really helps show the emotion on such a deeper level. I see this song as her hating someone that pushed her and made her feel like nothing she did was ever enough. I think this is the one song I relate to the most on the album. She has to be something amazing constantly, and she can never be enough for anyone. At the end of the song she comes back down to a really soft and sad tone. It’s as if she realized there’s nothing that can be done, and she just has to suck it up and get over the fact that she will never be enough. 


“Hand in my Pocket”:

I’m not the biggest fan of the lyrics. The song is full of contradictions and it gets repetitive. The bass line is really nice though it’s by far the best element of the song. Again, the harmonica solo is so unbearable to me. It sort of fits with the song, yet I can’t get over how out of place and weird it sounds. I really hope she doesn’t use the harmonica throughout this whole album because it’s not a good element. I love the fact that Morissette plays around with her range. Overall, the song is nice, but I’m not too crazy about it. 


“Right Through You”:

I really like how she starts the song fairly weak, and then, when the bass comes in, it gets really powerful. I see this song as a guy taking her for granted and just completely ignoring her existence as a whole. The little guitar riff after the chorus helps it come back down from the very overwhelming and eccentric chorus. If her voice wasn’t so unique, I probably wouldn’t enjoy this album as much to be honest. 



I really love this song. The pain in her voice is very prominent and adds to the overall feeling. I have no complaints about this song other than the really out of place piano notes at the end. Her voice breaks a lot and there is a part from 3:06-3:29 that feels so raw and real. This is the second best song on this album.


“You Learn”:

I see this song as her telling her audience to go through life and learn from every experience whether or not it’s good or bad. The song feels very simplistic and as always, has a very nice bass line. Surprisingly, the guitar is not as overbearing as it usually is in other songs. Morissette layers her vocals and that mixed with her really weird vocal style draws you in and sort of has an entrancing effect. Honestly, there are no complaints with this song.


“Head Over Feet”:

This song is very slow and smooth. In the other songs, her voice is very short and rough, but in this song it really highlights how she can go lower and smoother. This song helps prove to people that she really is a good artist. I absolutely despise the harmonica in these songs. I really wish she wouldn’t add the out of tune harmonica solos. In my personal opinion, it ruins the song. The fading out at the end fits with the other elements of the song, besides that harmonica. 


“Mary Jane”: 

This is by far the best song on the album. It sounds like it was recorded in an empty stadium and the style is so nice. I wish she would sing like she did in this song more often. Her voice is so emotional and powerful. It’s very melodic and artistic rather than what she usually does. She hits this A# during the chorus and it gives me the chills. There’s a part in the song where it goes from really lyrical to really strong and powerful emotion. I think this part really brings out a nice element in the song. Going back and forth between loud and quiet vocals makes this whole song a really good experience. The guitar added with her soft yet powerful voice is an insanely beautiful ending to this masterpiece. 



The acoustic in the beginning of the song is very nice on the ears. This song used to be really popular in the early 2010’s so most people probably know the chorus. The range she’s singing in suits her voice really nicely. The song cuts to this completely different section and it sounds so good, and it adds something really amazing to the song. The song is very catchy, it reminds me of You Oughta Know.


“Not the Doctor”:

The beginning of the song is rough and not in a good way. I really like the lyrics just not any other elements. The instruments by themselves are very nice, but when they come together it’s just messy and sounds like mush. Again, the lyrics are very nice, a little repetitive, but nice nonetheless. I’m sure this song would grow on me if i listened to it more, but so far it’s not my favorite. I think this is my least favorite song on the album. This ends really weirdly and the instruments just come together in a really bad way. 


“Wake Up”:

It’s a good switch from the last song. The guitar is really nice in the beginning, I love the ascending and descending pattern. Her voice is very neutral in this song, I wish she would sing this way in most of her other songs. Like always, the bass line is amazing. The bass comes in sometimes and adds this really dark and hateful vibe to the song that I thoroughly enjoy. 


“Your House”:

Her voice is so nice by itself and the lack of instruments really highlights her skill as a singer. It’s very repetitive, but unlike her other songs, I really like the repetition in this. This song is so emotional and it feels very intense, yet the style isn’t intense whatsoever. I wish she would have put out more songs like this because she doesn’t need constant overbearing guitar to tell a story and create a really good song.




1.) Mary Jane

2.) Forgiven

3.) Your House

4.) You Oughta Know

5.) Perfect

6.) All I Really Want

7.) Wake Up


9.) Head Over Feet

10.) Right Through You

11.) Hand In My Pocket

12.) You Learn

13.) Not the Doctor