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Alanis Morissette Such Pretty Forks in the Road Epiphany Music

Alanis Morisette has had a more diverse career than most. From her beginnings on Canadian children’s TV to releasing one of the biggest blockbuster pop-rock singer-songwriter albums of all time (Jagged Little Pill turns 25 this year, if you can believe it), across the years, Morissette has proven herself to be the ultimate Gen X crossover story. And like many artists her age who cut their teeth in the slacker chic 90s, she now finds herself confronted with the spectre of middle age; a bustling family life, figuring out how to growing up without growing old – all themes that permeate her new album, Such Pretty Forks in the Road, to its core.

Morissette’s signature songwriting style exhibits two distinct pillars: firstly, confessional lyrics that feel almost scary in their vulnerability, and secondly, a “more is more” approach to advanced vocabulary, stuffing as many words as possible into her verses. Both of these qualities are present in lead single Reasons I Drink, where Morissette examines her relationship with alcohol. It’s frank and stark, buoyed by a catchy piano riff, and a bold choice for a comeback single from a 46-year-old mother of three. It feels like old Alanis—her voice is still immaculate, if not better, clearer.

The flipside to Such Pretty Forks, unfortunately, is that so much of the edge that made Morissette such an intriguing mainstream rock star has mostly evaporated. Even on Sandbox Love, a story for reconnection with a childhood flame, a chorus deeming the encounter “awkward as fuck” feels particularly try-hard. It’s not an irredeemable flaw, but for an artist who has made magical music around forcing you to gaze into the messiness of her life, it’s a tough pill to swallow.