Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bursting With Flavor

Warner Bros. Records sent me an advance copy of Alanis Morissette's new album Flavors of Entanglement, which I have been listening to for the past couple of days, and altho I don't normally do CD reviews, I do feel compelled to blog about my initial reactions to the album:

Because Alanis has a reputation for channeling all her negative energy into her art, I was kind of expecting an album full of miserable and sad/angry songs directed towards her ex-fiancée Ryan Reynolds who broke off their engagement last year and recently got engaged to Scarlett Johansson. I wouldn't have been surprised if Alanis hit back with another You Outta Know in retaliation. Actually, Flavors is a generally up-beat album with bits of electronica worked into her songwriting. Her usual enunciation is kept in tact but the faster tempo of the songs lend Alanis a new voice that I'm not all that used to. I like it tho, I really like the whole album. Only the songs Torch (I miss your smell/And Your Style/And your pure abiding way/Miss your approach to life/And your body in my bed) and Not As We (Day one, day one start over again/Step one, step one I'm barely making sense/For now I'm faking it 'til I'm pseudo making it/From scratch, begin again but this time I as I and not as We) seem to address the breakup with Ryan (Torch is especially heartbreakingly poignant -- a poignancy that I haven't heard since the demo version of her song Unsent from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie). Giggling for No Reason seems to show that she's doing OK since the breakup (I can feel the bones are smiling in my body) but, in Moratorium she makes it kinda clear that she is not really looking to get into another relationship right away (I declare a moratorium on things relationship/I declare a respite from the toils of liaison/I do need a breather from the flavors of entanglement/I declare a full time-out from all things commitment). It'll take me a few more listens to form a full opinion of the album but I have to say, I'm happy that Alanis is back with some new tunes. I've not enjoyed an entire album like this in some time ... and that says a lot. Flavors is due for release on June 10. [Source]