Katherine's Top 5 Albums 1 of 5
Alanis Morrisette - Jagged Little Pill
With the Rock Hall inductions taking place last weekend, and Record Store Day coming up on Saturday, we've all got music on the brain. Read along as Katherine Epstein names her top five albums.
Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill is an honest album that has been one of my favorites since its 1995 release. Even though it was her breakthrough record, the album’s scathing message was a pill that I couldn’t swallow at the time. I was only 10 when it debuted. I was into its gritty sound, but it was difficult for me to understand how a 21-year-old woman could have experienced this much intense, gut-wrenching heartache at such a young age. But lucky for me, she turned her pain into a raw masterpiece filled with messages about hope that I’ve taken with me during the inevitable hardships in my life.
Jagged Little Pill is my catharsis record in both my happiest and darkest hours. The explicit lyrics like “Are you thinking of me when you $%^& her” in the moody breakup anthem “You Oughta Know” have helped me let out my anger after a brutal split. I rocked out to that song when I was in bedroom alone more times than I care to admit. The kick ass guitar in this song also helped take away some of that bitterness that I felt. When I was 10, I didn’t understand the track “Right Through You” even though it foretold many horrible dates in my 20s. I could replay this lyric to the guy who called me “Kathleen” once after six months of dating: “Wait a minute man/You mispronounced my name/You didn't wait for all the information/Before you turned me away.” It’s a timeless record that I can relate to nearly 20 years later for its positive-themed and less aggressive tracks, too. I’ve listened to “You Learn” and “Hand in My Pocket” while driving my dad’s ’83 Mercedes convertible with the top down when I needed an escape. The upbeat instrumentation on these songs and messages that “hey, life isn’t so bad” free me in times of despair.
The beauty of Jagged Little Pill is that it resonates with me when I feel like I’m the only one in the world going through a tough time. In “Hand in My Pocket,” Alanis sings, “And what it all boils down to/Is that no one’s really got it all figured out just yet.” It’s comforting to know that no matter how many times I’ve played this record when I was by myself, it makes me feel a little less alone.
Image: Maverick Records