Alanis Morissette

Thank U

Composed by Alanis Morissette / Glen Ballard

Song Review by

Living pop icon Alanis Morissette is not angry. It's unfortunate that no matter what this talented singer/songwriter puts out, she will forever be perceived, to some degree, as the rocker with a chip on her shoulders. More discerning listeners of her music will understand that "You Oughta Know," the song that gave her this stigma, is in the minority; most of Morissette's music is rooted in spiritual, social and personal exploration. Her songs are characterized by having a very specific message, thoughtfully and affectingly expressed through their lyrics. The groundbreaking "You Oughta Know," with its brutal honesty, raw emotion, and hard-hitting music, became an instant phenomena because it unabashedly verbalized what most want to say, but don't -- to date, it remains one of the ultimate "F*** you" songs. "Thank U," however, the first single release from Morissette's much-anticipated second U.S. album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, in 1998, documents the singer's spiritual awakenings, resultant from her trip to India, as well as other physical and internal journeys. The insightful song is a more accurate representation of what Morissette's recordings are really all about. The music of "Thank U" is simple, mid-tempo rock fare, with a prominent drum-machine pattern that pulses throughout. A delicate piano intro underscores Morissette's vocals, which begin by asking, "How bout getting off these antibiotics?" The rest of the song continues with Morissette posing similar provocative questions -- "How bout remembering your divinity?" -- and her thanking the circumstances -- terror, disillusionment, and consequence, among others -- that helped her achieve personal growth. There aren't many artists, let alone everyday people, who acknowledge and pay tribute to life's lessons. More often than not, such things go undetected or are fled from in fear of self-discovery and the real work that is required to achieve such a state of awareness. But these complex issues drive Morissette and are manifested in her recordings, and it's a real boon for contemporary rock music, which tends to be simplistic and hackneyed in its themes. Upon its release, "Thank U" quickly gained chart presence, as fans were eager to hear follow-up material from Morissette; however, subsequent airplay is, unfortunately, pretty minimal.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Oh What a Feeling, Vol. 2: A Vital Collection of Canadian Music 1996
Various Artists
Canadian Academy of Recording Art 4:19
Thank U 1998 WEA International 4:18
Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie 1998 Maverick / Reprise 4:19
Speciale Sanremo 1999 1999
Various Artists
Warner Fronit 4:18
Diamond Collection, Vol. 1 [Diamond] 1999
Various Artists
Diamond Recordings
Women & Songs 3 2000
Various Artists
WEA International 4:18
Feast on Scraps [DVD] 2002 Warner Bros.
96.5 TIC-FM Acoustic Cafe, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
4:49
Songbirds [WEA International] 2003
Various Artists
Warner Strategic Marketing 4:17
Women & Songs [Rhino] 2004
Various Artists
Rhino 4:18
VH1 Storytellers 2005 Rhino
The Collection 2005 WEA 4:18
No Image 2007
Various Artists
WEA/Bose 4:17
Original Album Series 2012 Rhino 4:18
No Image 2013 Eagle Rock
blue highlight denotes editor's pick