CD: Alanis Morissette, So-Called Chaos

(Maverick)

The "metaphorical wound" that inspired complaint-rock staples such as Ironic no longer dominates Alanis Morissette's life, she says. Now in a happy relationship, she has become prone to improbable spasms of humour that will unsettle fans who have been with her since 1995's angst-loaded Jagged Little Pill.

Her fourth album is speckled with rather laboured evidence of wit and affection ("You make the knees of my bees squeak"), sung in her crooniest tones yet. But all is not lost.

You can take the girl out of therapy, but you can't erase her need to analyse everything to death. Even the most lovesick odes - try This Grudge for goo - are staggeringly wordy. So in effect it's business as usual, down to the crunchy (and pretty good) arena-rock that counterpoints the lyrics.

The distortion-heavy Eight Easy Steps is especially nifty, and bettered only by the title track's Nine Inch Nail-like metallic rage.

Contributor

Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

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