Album Review: Alanis Morissette - The Collection (2005)


Giu 24 2011, 17:20

Alanis Morissette - The Collection

As I am planning to review all of the albums I own, I see no reason to skip the compilation albums, although it is hard to compare them to the 'normal' studio albums. I bought this album in March of this year (2011) to complete my own collection (!) of Alanis, but I already knew most of the songs. The album consists of 18 songs of which 13 were released on earlier albums, 4 came from soundtracks and other albums and 1 is the cover of Seal's Crazy, which was released as a single. I think it is always difficult to compile a 'best-of' album, especially when an artist have had many hits, like Alanis. According to Alanis (in the booklet) these songs are her favourites, at that time at least. Personally I would have chosen differently, I think.

The album doesn't contain any songs of the time before Jagged Little Pill.

From the album Jagged Little Pill, it contains the following songs:
Head Over Feet
You Learn
You Oughta Know
Hand in My Pocket
These are five of her most recognizable songs and her first international hitsingles. Of course they all belong on this album. I would have liked All I Really Want to be on it as well, as it was also one of her singles and it has a very recognizable sound being the start song of Jagged Little Pill.

From the next album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie only two songs are added:
Thank You
That I Would Be Good
Both songs are very beautiful, two of my favourite songs for sure. Personally I would have added more songs of this album, because it contains so many great songs. What happened to the singles So Pure, Joining You and Unsent? They were maybe not such big hits as the songs of her previous album, but it would have been nice to have one or two of them on it. Especially So Pure is very dear to me.

Then there is one song of the live performance MTV Unplugged:
Princes Familiar
This song was never released as a single, as far as I know but it certainly deserves to be on the best-of album, because it is a great song. Very beautiful! I would have liked King of Pain on it as well. The best cover she ever did.

Of Under Rug Swept only one song is on it:
Hands Clean
Of course this was her greatest hit of that time. But maybe it would have been nice to add another song of this album. Her other single was Precious Illusions, which I think is a lot less strong than Hands Clean but it is beautiful as well.

It is surprising in my opinion that two songs of the (b-sides) bonus disc
Feast on Scraps are on the album:
Simple Together
Sister Blister
I like both songs, but I don't know if they really belong on a best-of album. Of course it doesn't have to consist of greatest hits only, but in that case I would have chosen songs from the other albums instead, like Perfect, I Was Hoping or You Owe Me Nothing in Return, but that is probably a matter of taste.

From the most recent album (at that time) So-Called Chaos two songs are added:
Eight Easy Steps
Of course Everything deserves to be on it, one of her best songs ever! Personally I am not so fond of Eight Easy Steps, same for her other single of this album: Out Is Through. I would have kept it with Everything I think.

Then the other five songs:
Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)
I like the single Crazy, I think it is a very good cover and the dance elements in the song fit very well with her voice. Uninvited, from the City of Angels soundtrack, is one of her greatest songs. This song has certainly grown on me during the past few weeks. Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love) is just so funny, I really like this song. I never heard the original version from 1928 (!), but I really like this version of Alanis, it is so cute. I like to sing it out loud when I'm riding my bike. Still doesn't mean much to me, but it is nice to have it on this album, as it was only released on the Dogma soundtrack. I don't have a clue why Mercy is on it. I really don't like this song. Probably it sounds very good on the original album The Prayer Cycle of Jonathan Elias, but on this album it just doesn't fit. It is a totally different genre and it doesn't get full advantage this way. It would have been nice to have the song Wunderkind on it, from the soundtrack of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. But I think it was not yet released at that time.

About the booklet: one side is nice and purple. I really like that colour. I also like the pictures of the hands, although I think the letters were not written on it, but photo-shopped afterwards. I like it that all of the lyrics are printed, which is usually not the case for a best-of album. The other side of the booklet looks a bit cheap. I don't like the white background. The pictures are put together like a kind of collage, which is nice to give an overview of the past years. Though I think it could have been done in a different way. It gives a bit of cheap feeling now, like she just has thrown a few pictures on it.

Best tracks: Thank You, Head Over Feet, Everything, Crazy, Ironic, Princes Familiar, You Learn, Simple Together, You Oughta Know, That I Would Be Good, Hands Clean, Uninvited, Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love), Hand in My Pocket

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  • MustBeDreaming1

    one more agreement :-) the main "WTF?" about this collection is the way Mercy or Simple Together (which weren't released as singles and don't fit the record) are on the record while Joining You or Precious Illusions are omitted... Crazy is AMAZING, one of my favourite songs. Let's Do It is soooo funny and "mood-boosting" (is there such a word? o_0) :-) Still & Uninvited are good. and Mercy is horrible imo, i'm absolutely not into this religious stuff %) though, generally it's a good collection :-) ps. you ride a bike! cool! :-)))

    Giu 25 2011, 10:14
  • irisvanhoorn

    Yes, exactly what I meant! I also really miss Joining You :-) and I agree Mercy is awful. Mood-boosting is the right term for Let's Do It, nice word :-D PS. Everyone in the Netherlands rides a bike! Just check this: (just an ordinary morning in one of the bigger cities of the Netherlands)

    Giu 25 2011, 12:09
  • MustBeDreaming1

    wow! i definitely should have been born in the Netherlands! so quietly and healthy! in Russia this vehicle is quite unpopular and bike riders just don't feel safe and comfortable on the roads, unappropriated for them. though it seems like the situation is changing - more and more people say goodbye to cars and start riding bicycles, and separated bicycle paths and bicycle parkings start to appear... but this process is very slow and i also fear that with our mentality this perfect result is just unreachable :-( and i don't have a bicycle because i'm not good enough driver for our roads, and i unfortunately have no place to keep it.. but maybe sometimes... :-)

    Giu 25 2011, 14:03
  • irisvanhoorn

    It's a pity it is that way in Russia, but I hope for you (and other people) it will change in time! Maybe you can come to the Netherlands for a holiday (or Denmark or Sweden, I think they have great biking opportunities too). Then you can also practice a bit :-)

    Giu 26 2011, 7:10
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