Alanis Morissette – Such Pretty Forks in the Road
Vulnerable and soft-spoken, Such Pretty Forks in the Road by Alanis Morissette is dull to the spark of her previous records. Still, she remains a powerhouse when it comes to emotional allure. While her earlier records capture the frustration and confusion she once had as a young artist, this record features anthems of maturity, understanding and the struggles that come with growth.
Smiling marks the record as a Morissette product. It hums 80s-inspired rhythm with slow rock building up to a crashing crescendo. As far as opening tracks go, it offers nothing too groundbreaking. Ablaze, a song written for her children, follows with soft alternative and a steady tempo. It’s light and charming with lessons to be told. Reasons I Drink is an understandable lead single; representative of her sound, it’s one of the few songs within this record to retain that untamed musical ingenuity she had in her earlier works, yet still relate to her new experiences and perspective.
Missing the Miracle is a mellow and sombre track with lyrical contrasts and juxtapositions. The production is minimal but the harmonies and instruments build it up to something quite heavy. This showcases Morisette’s versatility in her simplicity. Losing the Plot is another track heavily carried by its lyricism. The electric guitar and piano elevate the metaphors and references found in the lyrics. From the latter half of the album, a highlight is Sandbox Love. The song is an immersive look back at past immature romances through a mature lens. The lyrics express well a fond look into what once was had, and the happiness that exists now.
Pedestal is a good enough closer, a haunting ballad very much reflective of its own lyrics. Airing a sense of finality, it calls back to the journeys of the rest of the album’s tracks. In this song she trades vibrancy for vindication, and alternative nostalgia for begrudging new beginnings.
With Morissette, old habits die hard; while at points her vocal tics and runs are as endearing as ever, it tires as we enter into a new decade. She has also lost a lot of the rough edges that made her music fresh and exciting. Her lyrical prowess, however, is still a timeless echo, one that calls back to her previous songs but remain relevant to her new experiences.
Photo: Shelby Duncan
Such Pretty Forks in the Road is released on 31st July 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Alanis Morissette’s website here.
Watch the video for Reasons I Drink here: