For some of us, it's impossible to imagine adolescence — or, hell, life itself — without “Jagged Little Pill.” The stateside debut of singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, which went on to sell 16 million copies in the U.S., is an aural soulmate that is never, ever just angry. It is filled with conversational wisdom (“I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone”), and it navigates a young woman's first moments of adult-level grappling. Is she satisfied with her childhood? Is she happy to have loved and lost? Is she more afraid of being abandoned or being loved? And is there some sort of magnificent, spiritual irony that ties it all together?
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Morissette's Grammy-garnering blockbuster. While I've loved Morissette's subsequent albums, including the daring doggerel of “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie” (especially “Front Row,” “Joining You,” and “I Was Hoping”) and the feminist railings of her most recent disc “Havoc and Bright Lights” (“Woman Down” is a jam!), “Jagged Little Pill” is where we all began with our Alanis fascination. Truly, she is a one-of-a-kind taste that takes a few listens to properly digest, but it's fair to say we all grew to understand and hail her kooky, caterwauling gusto. Let's take a look back at the album that made us realize we really wanted romantic justice, self-possession, and deliverance.