Explaining where her confessional songwriting came from, Morissette told interviewers, “As a young person I was not allowed to feel sadness, I was not allowed to feel anger and I was not allowed to feel afraid.” Subsequently – and unsurprisingly – those emotions became beautifully apparent in her work, channelled into songs like Ironic and Hand In My Pocket.
Speaking in the Jagged Little Pill mini-documentary that premiered on Amazon Music in 2020, Morissette revealed that she resisted the urge to overwork the songs; recording a maximum of several vocal takes for each song, she and Ballard kept her free-spirited writing intact. The pair found their sound with Ironic. As Morissette honed her new autobiographical, raw and vulnerable style, the rest of the album solidified her eclectic alt-rock status: she had one hand in her pocket, but a finger in many musical pies.
“Thank you, patriarchy, for crumbling and falling”
No fewer than six Jagged Little Pill singles were released into the upper echelons of the charts, but the intense media interest skyrocketed with Ironic, which arguably remains Morissette’s most recognisable song. After its release, on 27 February 1996, a storm of fascination surrounded the bewitching, off-beat style she brought to the table. Morissette’s position in the mainstream was only further assured when Ironic’s promo clip landed. To this day, it remains one of the best music videos of the 90s.
The accolades rolled in. In 1996 alone, Morissette collected four Grammys – kick-starting a slew of awards she would receive throughout her career, including the Icon Award at Billboard’s 2019 Women In Music ceremony. Before an audience of industry insiders at the Hollywood Palladium, Morissette closed her acceptance speech with the fittingly iconic line, “Thank you, patriarchy, for crumbling and falling.”