PERFORMER: ALANIS MORISSETTE
SONGWRITER: ALANIS MORISSETTE/GLEN BALLARD
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1995
SONG TITLE: TROY
PERFORMER: SINEAD O'CONNOR
SONGWRITER: SINEAD O'CONNOR
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1987
COMMENTS: One of the best songs Sinead never wrote, and one of the best that she did. These songs have a great deal in common, though they end up sounding nothing alike: pissed-off Irish chicks wailing high art denunciations of men guilty of betraying their women's devotion and True Love.
I would totally respect these two records even if they didn't appeal to my own lingering remnants of adolescent rage and abandonment, for they are both also both totally emotionally real and completely thought out in terms of songwriting craft. This last part is especially uncommon for emotions so raw and immediate. And they both have outstanding productions. It's like getting all the raw emotions of the Plastic Ono Band album, but all the benefits of a Beatle production.
Outstanding melody, dance rhythms, dynamics, and precision distorted guitars. This is just a perfect record. "You Oughta Know" is a killer dance track. The drums are particularly outstanding; the opening shuffle is the first of many strong hooks. It has the big guitar sounds of a hard rock record, but the swing of R&B. She works up some outstanding dynamics through four distinct melodic themes, including the wordless melodicized cool-out wail of the bridge.
The crux of her purpose is to seek vengeance in the form of making the bastard realize what he gave up. "Every time I scratch my nails down someone's back I hope you feel it. Can you feel it?" My answer is yes.
I was also struck by the cojones of going on the live network Grammy show singing an unmistakably autobiographical description of the humiliation of being dumped by a man for whom she sucked cock in public.
"Troy" manages to get the effect of a big dramatic rock song, only accompanied not by drums and electric guitars, but rather a string quartet. There is a cello with a particularly bitchin' bass riff. Also, this song features exceptionally strong, slowly developed dynamics building up to the shouts of "you're still a liar" at the end. Zeppelin never did it better.
The song is also noteworthy for a unique flavor of Irish teenage angst, partly from the string arrangement, and partly from the lyrics about killing dragons and burning Troy and such.
And they're right, men are dirty bastards. Would I be a hopeless sexist ogre from the depths of hell if I told one of these girls that they're really sexy when they get mad?
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