Artist: Album (label, release date), 1-5 stars
Alanis Morissette: The Collection (Maverick, Dec. 6, 2005) ****
Night Ranger: Midnight Madness (Lemon, Dec. 6, 2005) ***
John Lee Hooker/Canned Heat: Hooker 'n' Heat (Beat Goes On, Dec. 6, 2005) ****
Dolenz Jones Boyce & Hart: Dolenz Jones Boyce & Hart (El, Dec. 6, 2005) **
Alanis Morissette: The Collection
Over ten years have passed since Morissette broke out with Jagged Little Pill, one of the best selling records in history, and one of the most distinctive releases of the 1990's. Since then, she's managed a fairly solid string of hits, although she's never come close to repeating the unrepeatable success of Jagged Little Pill. Earlier this year, she released an unplugged version of that album; depending how you look at it, it was either a bonus for fans or a sure sign she's running out of ideas. Now we have The Collection; a nicely assembled best-of, the first of her career. It's both a useful collection and also a somewhat frustrating one simultaneously. On the plus side, all the big hits are here, including "You Oughta Know", "Ironic", "Head Over Feet", et. al. Also on the plus side, are the inclusion of several non-album cuts, including one of her very best, the psychedelic, droning, keening, trip-hoppy "Still" (from the film Dogma), plus "Uninvited" (from The City of Angels), "Mercy" (from The Power Cycle) and Cole Porter's "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" (from De-Lovely). As bonus unreleased bait, there's a version of Seal's "Crazy" which sticks close to the original and isn't as good as Seal's, and an unremarkable "Princes Familiar" from MTV Unplugged. As such, this isn't quite a best-of (missing are major songs like "All I Really Want", "So Pure", and "Unsent", among others) as much as it is a best-of/rarities hybrid. Which renders it a bumpier ride than one might hope for. It's very useful for the movie songs, and the best of the best is here; it's up to you to decide if it's all you really want. A 14-song DVD is included in the package released on Dec. 6, 2005.