When I think “meditation album,” I think of monks ringing dinner bells, whales mating and Enya moaning. Alanis Morissette’s new meditation album, The Storm Before The Calm, is shockingly exactly that. I thought the diva who brought movie theater blow jobs to Top 40 radio in the 90’s might bring something new to New Age, but no such luck.
The Storm Before The Calm is eleven long-titled songs (“purification – the alchemical crunch”…huh?) that meld into one another over an even longer hour and forty-six minutes. This album’s instrumentation doesn’t calm me, it only makes me feel claustrophobic, like I’m trapped between floors on an elevator with the Muzak stuck on repeat. Without lyrics this music just blends into the background until a Spotify commercial jars me into fearing there’s an insurance salesman in the room.
With so many of my divas branching out from pop to new age, (Olivia Newton-John, Belinda Carlisle, Donna De Lory) and doing it well, I had hopes for Alanis. Unfortunately, in my gay opinion, she has made a New Age album for fans of New Age music, not fans of her music.