Ice On The Dune
If Alanis Morissette had a motto, it would probably be: "But that’s enough about you – let’s talk more about me."
The Canadian singer-songwriter has long been the mistress of musical solipsism and navel-gazing, but her latest offering finds her taking self-absorption and therapy-speak to a whole new level.
Ever since agenda-setting mid-Nineties debut Jagged Little Pill, Alanis’s signature note has always been earnest dissection of the state of her psyche, and Havoc And Bright Lights sees her return yet again to her favourite subject matter. Typical is Numb, with its cheery opening line: “I feel smothered, and encumbered, and defeated…”
Let it not be said that Alanis is afraid of stating the bleedin’ obvious. The anti-misogyny diatribe Woman Down enquires, a tad primly: “Calling all lady haters, why must you vilify us?” while Celebrity postulates the not-terribly-original theory that the pursuit of fame per se is a tad meaningless.
She gets away with it, just, because she knows her way around a lovely melody – Magical Child, in particular, is gorgeous – and still sings like a broken-down angel. But five albums in, it really is time that Alanis Morissette found a new lyrical topic.