Haiqeem's list of 10 Best Alanis Morissette Single's

Haiqeem's list of 10 Best Alanis Morissette Single's


Although I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Alanis Morissette; I still think of her as a childhood teacher that still drops a lesson or two during my adulthood.  I came to recognize her distinctive alterna pop/rock tracks when I was around 6 or 7 and tore through her musical catalogue pre and post her multi platinum smash- jagged little pill in high school. Seeing her on the VMA's last year duetting the now very prestigious 'you oughta know' with powerhouse vocalist Demi Lovato had me pondering what her best songs where- for me this is always changing from the likes of "sympathetic character" to "citizen of the planet" over to "tapes" nonetheless- I decided to compile a list of my favorite commercial singles from her discography. Comments are welcome;

01.  Ironic

Ironic for me is a childhood anthem that stuck with me since around age three until high school where it became the 'butt of a joke' among friends. "Isn't that ironic? Don't you think? No I really do think." This song never gets old as it's a timeless classic and I periodically reenact the music video in my car on a long stretch of road- sometimes.

02. Underneath

This gilded anthem is one of those 'tell the truth'tracks- "there is no difference of what we're doing in here that doesn't show up as bigger symptoms out there" that means "you can't change the world if you can't change yourself"; I play this adult alternative rock track when traveling abroad on my iPhone while waiting to be served dinner... (Or that always seems to be playing then...)

03.  Everything

For me this song is a 'count your blessings' foray into adult alternative "you see everything you see every part, you see all my light and you love my dark"- powerful lyrics Indeed that have me trying to replicate such mastery and command over language in my own songwriting. 04.  Hands Clean

I was in third grade when this was a smash, true I was way into Britney Spears back then (as I had weighed the prospects of our future marriage.)- However this is the song I always cranked up on the radio. I do have a copy of 2002's "Under Rug Swept" in my car's CD player at this moment.

05.  Guardian

This track puts her into "dude your mom is so awesome" category of the likes of Madonna and Beyoncé who too have dedicated tracks to their children as well. The backing vocals on this track are superb as Alanis has an enviable range and agility that can do musical 'tricks' other female Rock musicians have yet to be able to replicate.

06.  Precious Illusions

This here is one of my favorite songs, grocery stores here in Dallas still give it a spin every couple of weeks. "I want to decide between survival and bliss"- so I haven't seen Mrs. Morissette-Treadway perform this song since like 2003- as she obviously no longer 'lives like that' and let's go of residual 'baggage' .

07.  You Learn

Track 7, like on the album! Light Rock radio is still playing life out of this number that shows that Alanis can 'sang'; there's not many songs like it but it vaguely reminds me of a cross between Patti Labelle and Janis Joplin. It makes you want to head bop with that hip-hopish drum track lacing the track and a wise lesson indeed "you live you learn" 08. You Oughta Know

Despite the fact that she 'went down on you in a theatre' and wants to know of you're 'thinking of me when you fuck her' the musicality and wrath of this track obviously help inspire the musical direction of my own song "Don't Give A Damn"- Alanis herself knows nobody should ever get this angry but it is fun to watch her do this back in 1995 VMA's and 'Live n' Loud' before this song cooled into the Sarah McGalughlin esque ballad she plays it like today. Even that duet with Demi Lovato didn't bring back the 'rage' but it's still fun to watch her perform this uncensored.

09.  Thank U

The level of gratitude this woman can teach started directly back in 1998; "thank u India, thank u frailty, thank u disillusionment"- you've gotta be thankful and acknowledge where you are for the universe to conspire in your favor. This shows some people are excruciatingly wise at a young age. I think she was 24 or 25 performing this; which is around the same age that I am now. Maybe girls are smarter than boys after all? As in the video below she totally pulls off nudity in a form of wisdom and exposure to ‘fame-ity’ rather then having some erotic connotation. 10. Too Hot

True this came out before I was born and was only a hit in Canada but I still love this track which is about and indecisive male who can't seem to make up his mind. "Always too hot never too cold, you make your best shot too hot to hold, never too young never too old, you've gotta go for gold"- it's fun, inspirational, childish song writing; although dance pop- I can hear the foreshadowing post-grunge. This is on my work out playlist. I eventually find myself doing the 'running man' to this track in the front of a floor length mirror at the gym, still pretending it's 1991 and Janet Jackson doesn't want her style back.

I know i said 10 best, however there is always room for one more track that is currently being killed by light rock radio still 20 plus years later... Head Over Feet This one I always find myself goofy-smiling to myself wondering who else knows there lyrics to the “you’ve already won me over in spite of me...” I guess 75% of the word? haha Jagged Little Pill has sold more than 30 Million copies

I hear Alanis Morissette-Treadway still has a ton of songs to be released and as usual I’ll be one of the first to have it; as she and her musicality have been a very valid influence in my own musical career.



Writing "Don't Give A Damn"

Writing the song “Don’t Give A Damn”; as vapid and angst ridden as that may sound right off the bat is not a ‘mantra of apathy’ rather a slogan of empowerment. As one should know when it comes to having healthy thoughts someone else’s 'opinion’ is 'none of your business’ as in 'Don’t Give A Damn’.

The inspiration of such is the fact that I unknowingly had put myself in an overtly toxic environment for the sake of a college degree that has little or no use in my profession of choice.  

Long story short, as a minority in the South- Dallas to be specific I, having grown up in a smack-dab middle class, public school, multi-cultural upbringing- I had no idea that moving from the suburb of Arlington into the big city of ‘Dallas’ for me at least was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

Whilst in college, I was informed that my chances of ‘being shot’ where higher then anyone else in class- and needless to mention this place was one of the headquarters for the now non-centralized Ku Klux Klan. Even though growing up in Arlington, once again that was named after Robert E. Lee -A giant statue of him a few blocks from here kind of should have solidified my ‘moving out of here’; but like any doe-eyed 21 year old pursuing an irrelevant college degree at an irrelevant school of haters (look them up) in the styx as a theatre major to even my prospects of becoming a ‘singer’ I stayed instead of running away to Hollywood like anyone else who was serious about their career in ‘mainstream’ entertainment. 

Long story short, I was working retail at the time when I was finishing up my third record on the indie side when I struck ill, where the effects of discrimination solidified. 

When I worked retail, while in college quickly garnered a three year tenure where I continuously received praise and bonus’s from corporate only to be superseded by new hire’s specifically people I trained, needless to mention I was given 37-38.5 hours a week instead of 40 so I could be considered a ‘part time’ associate instead of full time so the company would not have to offer me health benefits; at the discretion of certain pallid management material of which not one of them was a minority of any kind and may as well have been from the same clan, if you catch my drift.

So I lost a limb, ended up in the hospital and the employer at the time didn’t give two shits about me. I unsuccessfully tried to sue; how ever the ‘good ol’ boys’ won out on that.

Reeling on the edge of fury and seeing red, I wrote “Don’t Give A Damn”. Having felt that in a screwy town, in a screwy society I began “These are my words of choice, neglect you not take them in vein”; as I’m not the kind of person who will be silenced by evil.