Jagged Little Pill (Maverick/Reprise)
Hands down, my favorite album of all time is Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. Of course there are other albums that have influenced me as a songwriter and as a person (I could listen to Adele’s 21 for days on end with a box of tissues and some wine and be perfectly content), but nothing has struck a chord as deep as Jagged Little Pill. When it first came out, I was on the verge of teendom and grappling with all of these newfound emotions. Alanis was the voice I needed; the voice I felt inside myself but didn’t yet know how to unleash. I may not have understood the heartache from a romantic standpoint, but I definitely connected with the raw emotions she expresses so vividly. I knew those feelings all too well, and to see someone, a woman, express that kind of vulnerability so openly felt like a breath of fresh air.
I remember playing the album on repeat on my portable CD player, feeling like a rebel while my mom watched on, blissfully unaware of any inappropriate lyrical content; only seeing how consumed I was by each aching note. Alanis Morissette bares her heart and soul throughout the entire album; it’s hard not to get pulled in. The unapologetic passion, honest lyrics, and powerful vocals completely captured me from the moment I pressed play. It transported me to a world I never wanted to leave; a world where you could lay it all out on the line, and still come out the other side standing; where you could be fierce, hurt, sad, angry, playful, vulnerable, and strong, all at the same time. I may have only been a pre-teen, but I saw myself in Alanis Morissette when this album came out, and still find bits and pieces of her sprinkled throughout my songwriting today.
Natalie Duque’s single “Solid Ground” is out January 29.