Alanis' Naked Truth
By JOSHUA OSTROFF
First she bared her soul for her music, now Alanis Morissette
is baring just a little bit more.
Although the cover of her new CD, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie is
a huge close-up of her mouth covered with sensationalistic word fragments like
oral, sexual misconduct and taking intoxicants, the disc itself displays a naked
Morissette sleeping contentedly in a fetal position.
And her video, for the record's first single Thank U, features the nude
(and desexualized) singer/songwriter -- hiding the prominent parts with her
signature long hair and well placed pixilation -- wandering serenely through
a cold cityscape, ignored by most passersby.
"It has nothing to do with the song," postulates former Sun music critic
Paul Cantin, author of the Alanis biography You Oughta Know. "It's what she's
always said about herself.
"That she's baring her soul and her emotions. Most people in the video
ignore her but some acknowledge her with that gesture that says thank you. She's
saying that some people get it."
Cantin sees the video as an acknowledgement of the special fans -- obviously
not all 31 million record buyers -- who understand what Morissette was trying
to convey through her lyrics.
As for the CD art, Cantin thinks it is a brave move by the 24-year-old
to present herself so vulnerably.
"I think that she looks really comfortable, really at ease. Why do you
roll up into a fetal ball? Maybe turning inward, I don't know. Maybe it makes
up for the fact that the album cover is not exactly the most eye-catching thing."
But Cantin also sees the prominence of nudity as a possible attempt to
generate media attention.
"The cynical view of it would probably be that Jagged Little Pill had
You Oughta Know as its opening salvo and it had the f-word in it so people talked
"And really this album doesn't have that kind of reach-out-and-grab-you
element to it.
"But it's got the video that she walks around naked in. So to the record
marketing guy that sort of seemed like a good thing.
"People will be talking about the video. It's going to create a buzz."