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The New Oldies: #7 Album of the Year 2020: Alanis Morissette – Such Pretty Forks in the Road

Something seems to be missing these days. It seems that record companies, radio stations, and streaming services are pushing some the great established musicians to the background. As a result these veteran artists are not getting the attention they deserve. Enter the Top 10 Album Countdown: The New Oldies. The main point is simple – to make this list you must have at least 20 years of producing established music. The album by the artist must have been released between November 1st, 2019 and October 31st, 2020.

#7 Alanis Morissette Such Pretty Forks in the Road

Alanis Morissette’s Such Pretty Forks in the Road, Morissette’s first album in eight years is the #7 New Oldies Album of the Year.

Morissette seems to be following a pattern by just about every album we have announced thus far, coming back after a long hiatus. Since her 2012 release Havoc and Bright Lights, Morissette has expanded her family having two more children (she already had one at the time of “Havoc”) and focusing on that aspect of her life.

It’s 25 years since the Morissette delivered an angry commentary on the legendary Jagged Little Pill album. We really have not seen that level of anger resurface on any subsequent album. Instead, what Such Pretty Forks in the Road delivers is a set of power, somewhat-orchestral styled ballads. The songs are reflective of a 40-something woman with a family. Dave Burck reviewed the opening track Smiling – which he says “This track harkens back to the vocal power, musical mastery and lyrical depth that made Alanis an icon in the 90s. Guitars, percussion, strings and her telltale vocal delivery give the track a foreboding energy”. Not only does Dave nail this for Smiling, but I can make an argument this applies to a good chunk of this album. I’ll add the piano to the instruments Dave mentions – we see this instrument multiple times augment the message behind each song it is featured – especially on “Her” and “Pedestal“.

Some of the songs seem to be a response to judgement passed on Morissette. This is reflected on tracks such as Reasons Why I Drink, Diagnosis, and Reckoning.

One pattern that I could say to just about every track is each time I listened to it, I got something more out of it – whether musically or lyrically.

Alanis Morissette warrants Rock and Roll Hall of Fame consideration. This album in my opinion solidifies why she deserves a nomination.

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