Picks and Pans Review: Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
With her vocal wailing and gnashing-of-guitars sound, Morissette had legions of fans singing along with the frankly sexual, girl-empowering songs on her 13-million-selling 1995 album Jagged Little Pill. Now comes the much anticipated follow-up, which finds the 24-year-old Morissette, reportedly inspired by a post-Pill journey to India, in the throes of spiritual, not sexual, transformation. "Give me strength, All-Knowing One," she sings on "Baba." Relying on repetitive, mantralike vocals, Morissette means to mesmerize but more often merely annoys. With little use for rhyme or imagery, she makes these 17 tracks sound more like journal entries than songs. And when she deems herself okay "...even if I gained 10 pounds...even if I was clingy," she sounds like Al Franken's comic self-help guru Stuart Smalley.
Bottom Line: More often stupefying than entrancing