In news that makes me wish I could both time travel and apparate, Taylor Swift sang with Alanis Morissette at the Los Angeles stop of her 1989 tour on Monday night. In an attempt to get over the devastation of not witnessing the moment firsthand, I’ll just watch videos of it on loop until I properly convince myself I was actually there. Because, you guys, it was that good. But this collaboration shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Swift has been Alanis Morissette-ing it up for some time now.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Swift actually spoke to Morissette's inspiration at the show, saying,
She inspired a generation of confessional female singer-songwriters who all of a sudden felt like you could actually say these raw feelings that you had. You could actually sing about your real life, you could put detail to it, you could get really, really mad if you wanted to. And I think it’s fair to say that so many of the female singer-songwriters of my generation, including myself, would not write the way that we do without her and her music. And she has written some of the most brilliant music — in particular probably inarguably the greatest breakup song of all-time.
Think about it. These two emotionally honest, exceedingly talented icons may have different methods to their madness, but the result is undoubtedly the same. While Swift’s music may have a levity to it that some of Morissette’s haunting tunes don’t have the room for, these women have both provided a cathartic, emotional outlet through their melodies. Plus, they’re both total badasses who have long ceased caring about what people think about them and how they are perceived. In fact, they use any unfair stereotypes to their advantage and have risen above them such an exceptionally pleasing, meta way. But, with age comes wisdom, and so it's great that Swift is properly attributing her inspiration to the musical maven who came before her.
Watch the two perform together, then check out five times Taylor Swift channeled some Alanis Morissette goodness.
1. Unapologetic Lyrical One-Two Punches
Sure, "Dear John" or "White Horse" may not have been as explicit as "You Oughta Know," but the point the songs got across and it was most certainly taken.
2. Whipping Their Hair Around In A Barren Landscape
AND the expert use of the desert-like metaphor of the hungover, pained nothingness you feel after a particularly gutting breakup.
The Hyper-Aware Theatricality
3. The Use Of Winter Imagery
The unforgiving coldness of the universe versus the bitter chill of regret? I see what you did there, ladies.
4. The On Point Stripped Down Performances
My wonderful acoustic ladies.
5. Morissette's "Head Over Feet" = Swift's "Begin Again"
It ain't all heartbreak. Like "Head Over Feet," "Begin Again" is a tune about being more than pleasantly surprised by the love of a truly decent dude.
Considering all of these career-long Alanis allusions Swift's been serving up, their duet is more than gratifying.