Alanis Morissette: Flavours of Entanglement
The first lady of sensibility –— who never seemed to get carried away by the trappings of stardom nor convention, continues to reign as the queen of soul with her unique, passionate and energetic vocals –— has released her fou
rth album Flavors Of Entanglement. With many of the songs set to a sour and brooding note, one does miss the happy, fun and powerful voice from “Jagged Little Pill”.
The album starts off with a prominently tabla-backed “Citizen of the Planet”. Alanis the poet is at her best and this one is about a migrant’s life; the disconnect and the yearning to belong. “Underneath” follows with its catchy chorus and talks about looking inwards to make a difference to the world. “Straitjacket” is where the content starts going sour, like a bitter rant; yet one continues to listen for the music and her passionate vocals. With words like ‘cruelty’, ‘disrespect’, ‘mental’, ‘skewed’, ‘crazy’, she sure must have ran out of adjectives to describe her bad patch in relationships (she lost her man Ryan Reynolds to the famous Scarlet Johannson). However, the song, set to an electronica synth dance beat, one suddenly feels like they’re in the middle of a Depeche Mode album.
“Versions of Violence” is another scathing, seemingly femininist, take on violence. With just a piano to accompany her on “Not As We”, she sings wistfully of the times when one has to start anew, with more experience but not understanding. “Moratorium” is another bitter-sweet track where Alanis declares ‘a moratorium from all things relationship’, tired of this rat-race of flimsy romances and meaningless words, followed by the personal song “Torch”. The album in all manages to take the listener on Alanis’ personal emotional trip, and a pleasant ride it is.
Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
From the damp, cold climbs of Iceland comes another artiste who defies most genres. Sigur Ros has come out with its fifth album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust literally translated as ‘With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly’.
The band formed in 1994 released its hugely popular album “Takk” in 2005. Perhaps it is the geographical isolation that inspires artistes from this country to produce music that is so different from what we are used to hearing. So different that it can be rarely catalogued as anything but Icelandic.
The band members sing in a language spoken by about 3,20,000 people (Yes, that is the population of the country). Add to that the fact that the lyrics are written in a language created by the band: called Vonlenska (also called Hopelandic) and any citizen of the world could for once be at a loss.
Sigur Ros (means vistory rose) has magnanimously added its first song in English at the album’s end. As usual, the music is beautiful and triggers glacial images in your mind. The album opens with “Gobbledigook” followed by “Innimer” with a breezy folk tune. To compensate for the several short songs, the band launches into two epics in the album in quick succession. It is here we see its trademark style — minimalist beginnings and ending in a lavish ceremony of instruments. As always vocalist Jonsi Birgisson’s delicate falsetto cuts through the air.
The peaceful “Allright” in English is the last on the album. With a grand piano for company, Sigur Ros shows us that it sounds the same whichever language they sing in.
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