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18 of 18 found the following review helpful:
Alanis Unplugged Is A Unique Experience! Sep 12, 2003
By Busy Body
I'll first start by saying that I am an enormous fan of Alanis Morissette. She is one the greatest female singers of all time, her songs are superbly melodic, her vocals are brilliant and she produces thought-provoking songs that touch me in no way any other artist has.
I have owned "Jagged Little Pill" for almost a year now. It instantly became my favourite album ever, and nothing is going to change that anytime soon. I'm not exaggerating when I say I must've listened to it more than a thousand times - and that's quite a lot in the space of a year! I'm also confident that after this I will continue to listen to it for the rest of my life. I avoided buying "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie" for a while as I had read some reviews that said it was nothing like Jagged Little Pill. I resisted for a while but I needed more material from Alanis so I bought the album in June earlier this year. I wasn't too keen at first, but I listened to it more and, well - let's just say I was in a state of musical bliss for months on end! It was totally euphoric, and I love the record to bits. "Under Rug Swept" is yet another superb album from Alanis, but it's not a patch on her first two albums. I now have all of Alanis' main studio albums and recently read that she is working on some new material. Which brings me to this review...
I had bought all three of Alanis' major albums, so I decided to buy "Alanis Unplugged." I didn't expect much, as I had heard all the songs before on the albums, but to my surprise yet again, I love this CD more than I expected! Alanis sings with such honesty and emotion when live. It's just herself and her microphone, along with hardcore fans taking in the energy surrounding them. It's very inspiring. The set kicks off in wonderful style with the song "You Learn." From the Jagged Little Pill album, this song was a huge hit all over the world and one of the most-played radio hits of the 90's. Alanis is superb on it, and things get better with her powerful performance of "Joining You" from the Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie album.
Alanis then sings a new song, "No Pressure Over Cappuccino," said to be inspire about her brother and his sexual orientation. It's a great song, which is followed by "That I Would Be Good" and "Head Over Feet." Another new song, "Princes Familiar," is debuted next. It's the best 'new' song on the album, and it has the melodic excellence to rival anything from the Under Rug Swept album. Next comes a great performance of "I Was Hoping" and a high-pitched sunlit version of "Ironic." Another new song comes along in the form of "These R The Thoughts," which is followed by a cover-version of "King Of Pain." The crowd goes wild for it, and so will the listener! Next comes a wonderfully diverse performance of Alanis' trademark hit "You Oughta Know." The audience goes wild with excitement, and are then treated to the fabulous "Uninvited."
OVERALL GRADE: 9/10
Out of all Alanis Morissette's albums, I'd say that "Alanis Unplugged" is probably the least important. If you want to get into her music, you should be buying Jagged Little Pill, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie and Under Rug Swept. Three essential albums. This CD is essential for hardcore fans, however, and we get to see the real Alanis. She jokes about spilling water over herself and thanks the audience at the end by saying, "Thank you. Very much. It's been such a pleasure. I love you." She proves she isn't afraid of small spaces and groups of people, but most importantly, she proves that she is just human like the rest of us which has to be one of the most gifted and special parts of being a huge celebrity - remaining grounded and focused on the important things in life.
13 of 13 found the following review helpful:
Nearly A religious Experience Jan 09, 2000
Alanis Morissette has an unique ability that I have seldom ever seen before. There are three aspects of her all over style that must be addressed. Firstly, her voice. Yes, some say she is a screamer, and granted, she has been known to scream alittle in her earlier work on Jagged Little Pill, although whenever she would screech, it was mirroring the emotions the song was written about. She would wail when she was singing about lost love, sexism and pain. In this album, as in Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, she doesnt scream at all. In Unplugged especially, she has a much mellower version of all her songs. Her voice flows easilly, and she has a relaxed way of approaching them all.
Secondally, the lyrics. Alanis is a truely wonderful writer. She has insight and perceptiveness about everything she writes about. Of all the twelve songs on Unplugged, only one is not her own, "King Of Pain" written and composed by "Sting" but she brings a fresh depth and exhuberance to it. The other eleven are a mixture of classics, and three exciting 'new' tracks. All of her classics are revamped, in a delicate, precise way that shows a braveness on her part, because she is so going against what made her famous in the first place, yet brilliantly suceeding, even with a very different style. Noteably, her rendition of "Ironic" and "Joining You" are particually wonderful in thier total difference from the origional versions. The three 'new' tracks are wonderful too. "No Pressure Over cappuccino" is especailly Lyrically rich, with lyrics that are not only catchy, but deep and rich in meaning, both hidden and obvious.
And lastly, the music. Alanis herself plays the harmonica, the guitar and the flute, and probably a few more that she doesnt flaunt as of yet. She has supreme control on all her instruments, so much so that in the flute melody at the end of "That I Would Be Good" I am always drawn to tears by the somewhat eerie meaning that transends her flute playing. Her general music style is always wonderful, mirroring what she is singing about.
All in all, this CD is an absolute marvel. I will not be putting this away for some time. She is so talented, she can sing, write and compose better than anyone I have ever come across. If you want to be immersed by the talent that is alanis, buy this CD.
11 of 12 found the following review helpful:
Despite Jaan's editorial, this album is very good. Dec 21, 1999
By Evan Bernier
Of course, that's only my opinion. But there are a lot of good things to say about this album. First of all, The Police's "King of Pain" is a beautiful song, and it's fitting that Alanis Morissette should do a cover of it. It suits her vocal style, and it's very moving. "Princes Familiar" is actually one of my favourite songs on this album -- it's hardly "left out for good reason." Of course, the reason for my liking it is simply that I'm a lot of the things she sings about (philosophical, tapped into feminity, etc.). But if I can identify with it on an emotional level, it's okay so far as I'm concerned. The new version of "You Oughta Know" is possibly better than the original. She's dropped the fiercely angry, harsh voice for one that's more vulnerable and sad -- and I love the sound of violins, which have been added. It's still an "angry song" because of the lyrics, but it's now a more futile, desperate anger. The most moving song on the album. It was a wonderful decision, because it makes one look at that song in a whole new, fresh light; and it's just as, if not more, emotionally effective, though in an entirely less aggressive way. My only real complaint is "These R The Thoughts" -- but even this song is not that bad. Good job, Alanis! If any artist should do an unplugged album, it should be you -- and, hey, you did! ;)
9 of 10 found the following review helpful:
THE UNFILTERED SIDE OF ALANIS Dec 13, 1999
First off, the "Unplugged" TV special on MTV only proceeded to excite us Alanis fans even more for the album release. Way before MTV viewers and non-fans knew about "Unplugged", we had been finding out top secret info. Such as, the new songs Morissette performed. "No Pressure Over Cappuccino", a not-quite brand new song that she had only performed on her first tour; "These R The Thoughts", originally a single b-side; "King of Pain", the Police cover; and "Princes Familiar", a song rumored to be the song written for her father, who is supposedly passing away.
Basically, to summarize UNPLUGGED, you get to see the toned down Alanis Morissette some never knew before. "You Oughta Know" has been stripped of its bitterness and anger and transformed into an orchestral array of emotion. "You Learn" is changed into an almost-cheery acoustic version that almost makes you wonder why the original lyrics are still intact. On other hands, some songs remain the same. The newest single, "That I Would Be Good" remains a unique ballad with that same breathy and beautiful flute solo by Alanis at the end. "Head Over Feet" also proves it probably will never lose it's happiness and gratituity. What's most exciting is Alanis's cover of the Police song "King of Pain", which gives her keyboardist Derron Johnson his 4 minutes of singing fame. To add icing to the cake in my opinion is "Princes Familiar", a fantastic song for Alanis's father, who is rumored to be passing away from cancer. MTV UNPLUGGED is an astonishing effort from Alanis Morissette, and even some non-fans may get some enjoyment out of this one.
8 of 9 found the following review helpful:
Poetically magical & intelectual! Jan 21, 2000
In my humble opinion, this is the best album of 1999, a must buy CD. ;) Alanis sounds better performing live, she transmited us all her feelings that make her wrote her songs, I mostly buy albums from artist that writes their own songs, that's why she's my favorite singer, song writer and composer. She not only sings beatiful melodies, but also writes the most deep lyrics, she makes us feel and think. This album bring us 3 unrealeased songs, the rest of the songs sounds different than their original versions, but they still great! Her music is so addictived! 1. YOU LEARN, sounds great in any version, but this one sounds even better than the JLP version, she's not like all those artist that always play their songs in the same way. 2. JOINING YOU, a melancollic version. This song was not on Tv. 3. NO PRESSURE OVER CAPPUCCINO, finally she decided to put it on this album, I only had to conform to listten to it on the net before this CD came out. Is a sweet song inspired by her twin brother. 4.THAT I WOULD BE GOOD, I know many people that now are fans since they first heard this song. 5.HEAD OVER FEED, This sounds better that the original version from JLP. 6.PRINCES FAMILIAR, a new song, this is my favorite one. What a voice! This song rocks! 7.I WAS HOPPING, wonderful. This song was not on Tv. 8. IRONIC, sounds great with the piano! I became a fan since I first listtened to this song back in 1995. 9. THESE R THE THOUGHTS, what a great song! great lyrics. It's a ballad, However I preffer the studio version, if U want to listten to the studio version you should get the "Joining you" single, there are many. This song was not on Tv. 10. KING OF PAIN, a cover from The police, I have their album: Every breath you take, To tell U the truth, It wasn't my favorite song on that album, but this new version rocks! Sting: don't get mad, Alanis has took this song out of the freezer and she has unfrozen it with her warm voice. There isn't a little black spot on the sun today anymore! 11. YOU OUGHTA KNOW, sounds like the grammy's version. 12. UNINVITED, what? do I have to tell you all about this album? What are you waiting for? go to the nearest store or buy it wherever you want! This album is not going to let you down. Believe me, this CD is going to be your favorite! She has her own website, with her personal touch. The lyrics for the new songs are there. You can fell that maybe her songs where written about yourself, things that almost nobody feels so open to write about. This album is for the ones that still believes in magic.
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