ARTIST: Alanis Morissette
TITLE: Flavors of Entanglement
RELEASE DATE: June 10, 2008
WEB DEBUT: May 22, 2008
ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: There’s really no getting around it: This album is spectacularly bad.
The music itself is a hodge-podge of various ethnic styles and Eurodance beats that seems to have been cobbled together from various albums recommended by NPR over the last few years. And the lyrics… oh, the lyrics! “Giggling Again For No Reason” features the couplet “I’m driving my car up Highway 1/I left L.A. without telling anyone,” followed by something how her bones are smiling inside her body after her friends have developed new levels of fun.
Maybe I just haven’t reached the state of consciousness that Alanis has (possible), but a number of the lyrics made me turn my head inside-out as I tried to figure out what on earth she was talking about. It’s not even worth trying to explain or analyze “In Praise Of The Vulnerable Man” and its tragically sweet, synthesized-string-laden ode to the male contingent of Oprah’s viewing audience. I’m sure “I declare a respite from liasons…I declare a full time out from all things commitment” (from “Moratorium”) sounded clever when she first wrote it down, but it’s absurd to insulting when sung over the leftover beats from the last Frou Frou disc.
I can only assume that Alanis figures the fans who purchased her bitter kiss-off album back in the late ’90s might have grown up and started taking Pilates classes, and they’re looking for an album that isn’t terribly challenging, but seems slightly more empowering than Leona Lewis’ Spirit. But Entanglement comes off like a pretentious acquaintance who enjoys flavor of the month watered-down interpretations of ethnic music and somehow manages to ruin every party with stories of how she’s finally moved on from the guy who was living with her for the last few years. You’re not going to invite her back to your house if you can help it, and you hope someone doesn’t drag her along. Meanwhile, to prevent this album from being invited back into my iTunes playlist, I’m dragging it to my trash bin right away.