Alanis Morissette | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Alanis Morissette 

"You see me as a sweet back-loaded puppet / And you've got a meal-ticket taste." With those artless words, Alanis Morissette nicely captures the story behind the all-too-temporary fame she's now experiencing. Alternative rock's latest one-hit wonder, a 20-year-old Canadian poseur, is riding on the swell of her vulgar piece of soft-porn attitudinizing, "You Oughtta Know." The accompanying album--one-hit wonders always insist on putting out albums--is a riot of unoriginality. The starter is "All I Really Want," a heavily programmed rave-up full of low-budget Bono- and Edge-isms. Following are a slough of lazily constructed songs filled with banal litanies ("I'm short but I'm healthy / I'm high but I'm grounded"), balanced by what sounds like a cut from a mysteriously unproduced Andrew Lloyd Webber musical ("Forgiven") and an outtake from a lost Cyndi Lauper album ("You Learn"). Morissette's uncontrolled singing is the rock 'n' roll equivalent of Kevin Costner's British accent in Robin Hood: is that a twang or a snarl or a drawl? But again, a thoroughgoing vulgarity marks the record. Brought word that Liz Phair said "fuck" in a song, Morissette got right on the job. Here's a sample of her lyrical subtlety on the subject of male-female relations: "You took me out to wine dine 69 me / But didn't hear a damn word I said." Hey, Alanis--at least you got head in the deal. How soon we forget the strides previous generations have made. Wednesday, 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-4140.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/John Patrick Salisbury.

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