When you were little, did your mom listen to Janis Ian? Mine did, as did her friends. One even played the songs on piano. Pretty melodies, striking images, choruses built for singing along. Growing up with them, I thought they captured the life of a modern woman. Very 70s.
I was thinking about those songs recently, feeling nostalgic, and so I bought Between the Lines on iTunes. I have been enjoying it immensely, despite feeling at the same time sort of sappy and melodramatic for enjoying it. The songs and the performances are so very sincere — it’s a pre-irony album, before everybody put on their wry half-smiles and armored themselves in self-deprecation.
Sample lyric (from “From Me to You”):
You’re more than beginning, you’re learning to fly
Feels like you’re falling, but it passes in time
And I hate to see a friend go down in flames without a song
So I’m waiting by the doorway, but I will not linger long
I seems to me that “Between the Lines” is the album Alanis Morrisette intended to make, but instead she ended up with “Jagged Little Pill.” Janis swears less and says more.