Alanis Morissette

Flavors of Entanglement (Maverick)

Alanis Morissette does not wear Guy Sigsworth well. Their collaboration on Flavors of Entanglement was certainly meant to be one based on embellishment, like a well-chosen accessory to complement an outfit. Unfortunately Sigsworth's production works more like a shroud than a shawl. Throughout most of the album, Morissette seems like an afterthought at best, her vocals alternately muddied and glossed over, either fading into the background or being reworked into something reminiscent of a pop-tartlet version of herself.

For someone whose career was more or less built on personality, both through her unabashedly personal lyrics and her, ahem, unique vocal style, it seems an odd move to swathe her first record in four years in a style that feels so foreign. Morissette herself seems to feel like a stranger on her own record. She has songwriting credits, but the tracks on this disc are not Alanis Morissette's. Only on a few tunes is she allowed to break to the surface, revealing the album that might have been. In particular, the subtle synth washes, tasteful Acoustring flourishes, and simply effective drum programming of "In Praise of the Vulnerable Man" hint at what you might be reading about if this were an Alanis Morissette record produced by Guy Sigsworth, rather than a Guy Sigsworth record with vocals by Alanis Morissette.

 
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