Alanis Morissette Documentary Controversy: ‘Jagged’ Review

Few songs recall the 1990s better than “Hand In My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette. Released in the second half of the decade, it is a blend of handled drum rings and grungey guitar encapsulating the various musical motifs of the era and a lyrical interweaving of self-doubt and optimism. resigned to showing all the clichés about Gen X thinking. The song appeared on Tooth drops, Morissette’s third album, but her U.S. debut would sell 33 million copies worldwide. The making of the album and its impact are the subject of Saw, the second season of HBO’s Music Box documentary series, and is directed by Alison Klayman.

Born in Ottawa, Canada, in 1974, Alanis Morissette’s path to success has more in common with today’s singer-songwriters than with those of his predecessors. She grew up in a loving home that encouraged her to pursue art, starting with children’s television, releasing a few albums before finding her true voice and making a splash. Traditional music journalism. Like many female artists and music pioneers, she fought to the teeth for opportunity, independence, and respect. It leaves scars. While seemingly happy and healthy in her midlife, there’s still a bit of melancholy as she recounts her beginnings in the entertainment industry and the landmark album she wrote as a teenager. year.

Morissette was 14 years old when he signed with MCA Canada. Her first two albums sounded more like Janet Jackson’s dance pop than alternative rock in her breakthrough. As her career progressed, her parents trusting others to keep an eye on her, which wasn’t the best idea for an attractive young teen to pursue a music business. She started dating at the age of 15, usually with older men. The industry’s pressure on her weight and appearance led to an eating disorder. As she began to flex her creative muscles, she plunged into management and was eventually eliminated.

Looking for a fresh start, Morissette moved to Los Angeles and began writing songs with acclaimed producer and songwriter Glen Ballard. “She was 19 years old, didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do, but she knew what she didn’t want to do,” Ballard said. Ballard encourages her to write about herself and for herself. During a year, they will demo Tooth drops. After several rejections, she signed with Madonna’s Maverick Records.

Music box - Serrated
Photo: HBO Max

Tooth drops didn’t premiere for a month when “You Ougha Know” aired on the radio. It captivates listeners with its lyrical lyrics, but what resonates is the emotional outrage in Morissette’s voice. To tour behind the album, she assembled a band of hardline supporters, including future Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who appeared in the film. Despite boss stories about female empowerment, Hawkins said the boys in the band played hard as Guns N’ Roses and tried to “fuck as many chicks as possible”. Their behavior infuriated Morissette but she felt powerless to change it and saw no reason in replacing them with “five other men who would do the same thing and wouldn’t sound great. ?”

Six hit singles were released on the album. As sales skyrocketed and concert venues grew larger, Morissette suffered a backlash. Some pointed to her and Ballard’s past pop history and suggested that she was a produced pop star. Others belittled her ability to compose, accused her of creating hostility towards women and asked why she didn’t make more of an effort to dress better. Despite her passing 25 years as an artist, these are issues that countless female artists still face today.

Of course, anger is just one of many emotions discovered through Tooth drops12 songs, although Morissette has good reason to be angry. Towards the end of the film, she alludes to the sexual inadequacy she endured early in her career. Without going into too much detail, she looks back at the relationships she found at the age of 15 and thinks, “They’re all pedophiles. It’s all statutory rape.” She said she told people about it at the time but it “fell on deaf ears.”

It is generally assumed that these revelations are what prompted Morissette to garner her support for the film following its release this past September. “This is not a story I have agreed to tell,” Morissette said in a statement to LA time, added, “I was lulled into a false sense of security and their splendid agenda became immediately apparent when I watched the first segment of the film.” Morissette said that she was interviewed for the film “during a very vulnerable time,” while suffering from postpartum depression and in isolation. Viewed objectively, the film barely makes Morissette’s abuse a popular story, however, its third act reveal seems to be carefully engineered for effect. thrilling.

Tooth drops remains one of the best-selling albums of all time, and Morissette’s notion of being single will serve as a model for the next generation of female artists, from Taylor Swift to Olivia Rodrigo. Like a movie, Saw deftly provides a thorough examination of her personal and artistic development. “Many people will say, “Well, you are brave, you are so strong, you are so strong,” Morrissette says at the beginning of the film and adds, “I couldn’t have written all of these songs without it. clearly disqualified. I mean, half of these songs are about trying to be powerful. “

Benjamin H. Smith is a New York-based writer, producer, and musician. Follow him on Twitter: @BHSmithNYC.

Clock Saw on HBO Max Alanis Morissette Documentary Controversy: ‘Jagged’ Review


TaraSubramaniam is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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