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DEFINITELY BACK; razz rocks Singer Alanis Morissette used break-up as inspiration Exclusive.

Byline: By Rick Fulton

IRONIC singer Alanis Morissette is back after four years with an album all about her painful break-up with actor Ryan Reynolds.

She dated the Definitely, Maybe actor for four years and they were engaged when they split last year.

Now he's dating and reportedly engaged to Scarlett Johansson.

Alanis, whose Jagged Little Pill album is in the top 20 highest grossing albums of all time, admits recording Flavours Of Engagement helped her get through the traumatic split.

It's Alanis's first studio album since 2004's So-Called Chaos and a new single, Underneath, is out on Monday.

She said: "It was very therapeutic, I think, more so, even than being therapeutic, it was like a life raft for me.

"Typically, I wait until I've healed a little bit to write, so this was more about if I didn't have to be at the studio everyday at one o' clock, it would have been quite dire for me.

"It served as a structure that made me not lose my s*** too much. It was helpful.

"I wish I could distract myself. That would be great if I could but, yeah, I'm that person that goes all the way to the deep end of the bottom of the thing.

And then slowly crawls out."

Of course, since Jagged Little Pill was released in 1995 and the bitter break-up song, You Oughta Know, gave women a rallying song that created a new wave of female singer/songwriters such as KT Tunstall, Alanis has been a by-word for angry females.

She admits she's now dating again but doesn't know what Ryan thinks about their relationship being laid bare for millions to hear.

She grinned: "I'm sure I'll run into him and we'll share stories and pat each other on the back and formally thank each other at some point down the road.

"But I'm not attached to whenever that's to be - if it's to be at all."

It's more than 10 years since You Oughta Know but it seems Alanis is still reeling from another break-up.

She sees the pattern and nodded: "It's amazing to see how that pattern was repeated over and over again and could easily be applied to other more current relationships.

"Whenever I would hear that song or, frankly, whenever I perform it, there's more pain in that song than it sounds like there might be.

"Overtly it's angry but when I perform it, there's this brokenness and devastation in it that it is hard for me not to notice.

"Many people responded to the anger of it, which is understandable but, underneath that is really what was going on, the sadness of it. It's horrifying."

While she has enjoyed being away from the public eye, last year she poked fun at herself and her rather dour, serious image, by covering the Black Eye Peas' My Humps as a piano-led torch song with bling-tastic video.

She giggled: "I was writing our twentieth song and it was very autobiographical and kind of intense for me at the time.

"I thought wouldn't it be great if I could just write a song that was really simple, not intense for me to perform or whatever. And I said wouldn't it be great if I could write a song like My Humps? And then, within 10 minutes, I just said, 'oh. I can't write it but I can sing it', so we reinterpreted it on the piano together."

Have the Peas let you know what they think?

Alanis nodded: "Fergie sent me a cake in the shape of a butt and said, 'You're a genius'.

"She has a good sense of humour and she's sweet."

Alanis' most famous song is still Ironic and it gained infamy when it was pointed out that most of what she described as irony - such as "It's like rain on your wedding day" or "An old man turned 98/He won the lottery and died the next day" - are not actually examples of irony.

Again, it seems Alanis can see the funny side.

She said: "Yeah, that was perfect. A lot of people have trouble looking stupid.

"And they were projecting it on to me. I don't have any problem looking like a malapropism woman.

"So I misuse a word, big deal.

"You look at certain definitions on the internet, I think even Websters updated the definition to include coincidences, because I think 99 percent of people I know who actually use the word in a malapropism way, are connotating coincidences.

"I don't have a problem looking stupid but I think a lot of other people do."

Alanis is back and this time she's laughing.

New single, Underneath, is out on Monday. Her new album Flavours Of Engagement, is out on June 2.

'Writing the album was therapeutic, more than that, it was like a life raft'

CAPTION(S):

LOST LOVE: Ryan Reynolds and his new flame, Scarlett
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 23, 2008
Words:821
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