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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Alanis Morissette: Feast On Scraps


1) Fear Of Bliss; 2) Bent For You; 3) Sorry To Myself; 4) Sister Blister; 5) Offer; 6) Unprodigal Daughter; 7) Simple Together; 8) Purgatorying; 9) Hands Clean (acoustic).

This is a very short album-addendum; actually, a bonus EP (yes, today 40 minutes worth of music is supposed to re­pre­sent the length of an EP — so much to say, so little to learn) that accompanies Alanis' live DVD of a performance in Rotterdam from her latest tour. It may be available separa­tely, but if you are a fan, you will want the DVD anyway, and if you are not a fan, you will want to donate to the poor instead.

As the title explicitly states, these are «scraps» — outtakes — from the Under Rug Swept ses­sions, and this pretty much says it all. The songs mostly sound the same, convey the same fee­lings, press forward the same points, yet are generally worse written. Overall, a little bleaker, with a bit more emphasis on Alanis' Eastern fetish, bringing back dots of memories of Junkie, which is not always a bad thing (the tricky polyphonic arrangements on 'Purgatorying', for ins­stance, are just about the most musically complex thing you will ever encounter on an Alanis album, for instance).

But out of the eight new songs (the ninth one is an acoustic version of 'Hands Clean'), I have only latched on to 'Sister Blister', whose catchy chorus slightly transcends the clichés of alt-rock — only slightly — and 'Offer', a pretty country-pop ballad that could have been a delicate lowlight on a James Taylor album, or a smash hit on American Idol if the accompanying tits and ass were of sympathetic shape. But Alanis is no James Taylor, and as for T&A, those were out of the picture since 1992, so let dogs lie.

I have not watched the DVD myself — it must be a good treat for the fans, with a decent selec­tion of hits and rarities from the good years. Without the DVD, the «EP» on its own predictably gets a thumbs down — bear with me, fans and neighbors, no good man is entitled to deriving joy out of an album of outtakes by Alanis Morissette, and songs like 'Sorry To Myself' elevate her logorrhoea problem to brand new snow-covered heights of oxygen deprivation.

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