Continuing the trend of 90s artists making their creative return, Alanis Morissette and Paula Cole have both announced that they will be releasing new projects on April 23rd.
Alanis's announcement is two-fold: she will be releasing a new live DVD and CD from her short tour to promote her 2012 release, the under-appreciated Havoc and Bright Lights. This will mark her first concert film and album in about a decade, and is particularly interesting because it will allow Morissette to integrate her new material with her back catalog, showing her audience how her most recent songs continue building on her classic themes of love and spirituality. Just as Unplugged contextualized her first two international records in the 90s, I hope Live at Montreux 2012 will help her new songs find a larger audience.
Paula Cole will just be starting to promote new material with the release of her first independent album, Raven. Cole has already released a single, "Eloise," to hint the direction of this new project. The track is a soft piano and acoustic guitar story-song about lasting love and commitment. Cole is not breaking any new ground with this subtle work, but the piece does find her returning to the hushed singer-songwriter music that began her career.
In fact, "Eloise" sounds much like the tracks on her debut, Harbinger, with Cole delivering a soft and vulnerable performance that is textured with layered but restrained breathy backing vocals. The singer exhibits the humble delivery she displayed on her debut, but this latest song does not suffer from self-doubt, as heard on her first single from the 90s, "I am So Ordinary." Instead, she seems settled, mature, confident, and kind. It is likely that Raven will be a quiet affair, but also a lovely one. I am looking forward to it's release.