The '90s had a lot of angst. After all, it was the decade of My So-Called Life, Dawson's Creek, and Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know." Aside from that hit song, Morissette's 1995 album Jagged Little Pill had lots of angsty lyrics. The album, which turns 20 years old this month, was the soundtrack to my own teen angst involving love, heartbreak, insecurity, and feeling oh-so-invincible. During the times when you feel like no one understands, you can rest assured that Morissette and Jagged Little Pill certainly do.
Before her angst-filled hit album, Morissette had previously released more pop-oriented songs and albums in her native Canada as a teenager. She sang songs like one called "Party Boy," "Fate Stay With Me," and "Big Bad Love." Hard to believe, right? Yup, the queen of '90s unease used to sing lyrics like "You're just a party, party, party boy/From the moment I walked into your life/I knew right then it was a serious thing for you."
"No, I'm not scared people might hear those records," Morissette told Rolling Stone in 1995. "I never did any Playboy centerfolds. There's nothing I regret. Maybe people will just understand my lyrics now a little bit more if they hear those records. It validates this record."
Here are the Jagged Little Pill lyrics that validate yours and my angst:
1. "You Oughta Know"
You seem very well, things look peacefulIt was a slap in the face how quickly I was replacedAre you thinking of me when you f*ck her?I hate to bug you in the middle of dinnerI'm not quite as well, I thought you should knowDid you forget about me Mr. Duplicity
And here it is — the most notable and angsty song verse of the '90s. Come on, this song is definitely the greatest breakup song of all time.
2. "All I Really Want"
You must wonder why I'm so relentless and all strung outI'm consumed by the chill of solitaryI'm like EstellaI like to reel it in and then spit it outI'm frustrated by your apathyAnd I am frightened by the corrupted ways of this landIf only I could meet the Maker
Do I wear you out
What is life? Why are we here? This is the definition of angst.
3. "Hand In My Pocket"
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet'cause I've got one hand in my pocketAnd the other one is giving the peace sign
And what it all comes down to
Right on. During confusing times, sometimes all we can do is just put our hand in our pocket and make a peace sign.
4. "Right Through You"
Before you turned me awayWait a minute sirYou kind of hurt my feelingsYou see me as a sweet back-loaded puppetAnd you've got meal ticket taste
Wait a minute manYou mispronounced my nameYou didn't wait for all the information
Because we've all been there. We've all been made to feel totally invisible by some random person. But some of us are fortunate to be able to meet this person later in life and say, "see ya!"
5. "Mary Jane"
On this roller coasterThe last chance streetcarWent off the trackAnd you're on it
It's a long way down
I loved this song in junior high and even named the main character of a short story after the title, unaware that Mary Jane is a nickname for something else (ahem).
6. "Your House"
If I danced in your showerWould you forgive me loveIf I laid in your bedWould you forgive me loveIf I stay all afternoon
Would you forgive me love
This acapella track is a stalker anthem if there ever was one, and is just really sad.