Reflecting on Jagged Little Pill

MAY 17, 2018

Released in 1995, Alanis Morissette’s album has served as a source of healing, empowerment, and inspiration for a generation of listeners and rising artists. Here, artists who have developed work at A.R.T. share some of the ways Jagged Little Pill impacted them personally and professionally.

Tom Kitt

Music Supervision, Orchestrations & Arrangements, Jagged Little Pill

I’ll never forget the moment I first heard Alanis Morissette’s music. And I would venture to say that, in that moment, I felt a sensation shared by many: the feeling that a force had been unleashed on the world, bringing with it an emotional authenticity and power that was undeniable. Alanis’ gifts—the fearlessness in her writing and her ability to speak so honestly about important human issues, all set to music that is both propulsive and achingly beautiful—have changed the face of music and the lives of the people who experience it. Alanis’ writing has had a profound effect on my own work in that she challenges me to dig deeper and to never be afraid to bare my sound. And now, to call her a collaborator and a friend is an honor indeed.

Sara Bareilles

Music & Lyrics, Waitress

Alanis Morissette has always been one of the female artists I have looked up to and learned from. Jagged Little Pill was one of the records I listened to the most growing up, and it remains one of my favorites. I am awe-struck at how she handled dark emotions with such grace and power, and gave them a voice with no apology or shame. I found her to be an incredible force that was fearless in her authenticity at a time when that was not the “norm.” She’s a true badass.

Brett Moses

Music, Burn All Night

In 1995, I was 8 years old and worshipped my older brother, who introduced me to the music that mattered. That year smelled like sunscreen and Polo Sport, and it sounded like Folds, Duritz, and—most of all—Morissette. My brother and I listened to Jagged Little Pill in secret, certain that Alanis’ wicked candor would piss o our folks, but her music was too explosive to contain. That record tore across the manicured lawns of Fort Worth, Texas and ripped that first pivotal hole in my suburban fantasy. Peering through, I discovered an acid-washed reality that would someday fuel my own songwriting. Was there ever a more mystical year in my life?

Todd Almond

Music and Lyrics, Kansas City Choir Boy

I remember listening to Jagged Little Pill and thinking, “Oh, it’s a brand new world now.” Somehow she launched us all forward with this album into a future that had room for weirdos like me and my friends, so I’m eternally grateful. Plus it still rocks.

Amanda Palmer

Cabaret, The Onion Cellar

I remember hearing the lyrics “would she go down on you in a theater,” along with that huge, mainstream, bombastic pop production, and thinking: “Okay, Amanda, the rules of mainstream songwriting now include permission to sing about blowjobs. Clearly, the rules are not what I thought. Progress = check!”

Related Productions