Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill [Maverick/Reprise, 1995]
I was down with the Riot Grrrl Appreciation Society on this reluctant refugee from Canadian children's television, who some say was invented by Madonna herself so she could distract the publicity machine while raising her own biological girl. That is, I approved when she played the pissed-off spikehead and recoiled from such candid self-dramatizations as "Perfect" and "Mary Jane." But with help from six or seven arrantly effective songs, she's happy to help 15 million girls of many ages stick a basic feminist truth in our faces: privileged phonies have identity problems too. Not to mention man problems. B+