The first song that plays in the first few minutes of Music Box: Jagged brought me right back to a different time. Suddenly I was a kid, listening to my mom’s music as she drove to school, or the grocery store, or the doctor’s. I remember not understanding the lyrics but knowing the singer had a unique, almost strange voice. “All I Really Want” by Alanis Morisette will forever live in my mind and the minds of millions across the globe. It’s that memorable, and it’s why Morisette’s entire Jagged Little Pill album was the focus of this new documentary.
Music Box: Jagged follows the rise-to-fame of Alanis Morissette —an iconic singer-songwriter of the ’90s and beyond — and her debut album Jagged Little Pill. Alanis Skyrocketed to fame from this album’s success and now is known globally for her unique voice and raw, emotional lyrics.
This documentary does a wonderful job of highlighting the difficulties Morissette faced in the music industry, and the power and dedication she had to overcome it. Between footage from her early years and interviews with her today, Morissette and her bandmates share the joys and hardships that came with their rise to fame. The singer isn’t afraid to share her struggles with eating disorders and call out the grooming and sexual assault that plagued her early years in the music industry. Viewers can rejoice in seeing her overcome these difficulties as she grows to lead a life completely designed and empowered by her true self. The film showcases just how undefinable and unique Morissette was at the time.
As a lover of feminist music history, it was amazing to see just how much Alanis paved the way for other young women entering the industry. She refused to be put into a category, and her image was rarely tailored to fit anyone’s needs other than her own. Countless clips from her concerts and interviews at the time show her in a baggy t-shirt and oversized jeans. I couldn’t help but be reminded of modern stars like Billie Eilish. Her sudden rise-to-fame as she took over radio waves and suddenly dominated the charts immediately reminded me of Olivia Rodrigo’s recent rise-to-fame as well. Both wrote and performed raw albums about heartbreak and the difficulty of being a woman, despite creating these pieces 26 years apart. There’s no denying that Morissette was a huge influence over the role of women in the music industry.
Music Box: Jagged is a wonderful look at a loveable and undeniably real star. Whether you’re a fan or not, this documentary is bound to have you adding at least a few new songs to your playlists.