Last time round it was ‘Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie’; now it’s
‘Under Rug Swept’. When you’re a creative spirit, yearning and striving to be healed and
empowered through life experience, syntax is obviously just another sign of
The idea that mining your psyche instantly makes you a fascinating
person is one of the greatest misapprehensions left over from last
century. This record moves way beyond armchair psychology – in fact,
there are armchairs that have a cannier grasp of the mind. It could send the sensitive on a
nailgun rampage round Waterstone’s self-help section.
Musically, it often sounds like REM‘s ‘Me In Honey’ – hardly a great
moment in pop history – played at different speeds, overwrought folk-
rock like ‘Surrendering’ and ‘Hands Clean’ destined for a thousand
organic juice bars. Lyrically, it’s often hilarious.
Ultimately, you really have to wonder – about her success, about the music
industry, about the record-buying public. But never, ever about Alanis
herself. Because, for all her earnest efforts, ‘Under Rug Swept’ a
tedious album is.