Published Jan 27, 2015Back in the '90s, a handful of Canadian female pop singers ruled the charts, namely Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, Celine Dion and Shania Twain. Those singers are being analyzed in a forthcoming book by Vancouver journalist Andrea Warner, who will release We Oughta Know: How Four Women Ruled the '90s and Changed Canadian Music through Eternal Cavalier Press in April.
Warner — who, we should point out, has written for Exclaim! many times in the past — will focus on the five years from 1993 to 1997, discussing the music of the artists in question and their impact on her as a teenage girl.
A press release describes the tome as "equal parts music criticism, cultural analysis, and feminist coming-of-age memoir." It is formatted as a series of essays, with titles including "Adventures in Sexism: Media, Music Critics, and Mucking up the Boys Club," "Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill, and 1995: What it Feels Like for a Girl," and "Of Feminist Heroes, Vapid Wonders, Madonnas, and 'Whores.'"
The subjects of Warner's book aren't exactly critical darlings, and the author will address their place in the pop pantheon.
She said in a statement: "To me, women have always been at the forefront of Canadian music. But I know that's not the case for a lot of people. I started to find all these weird statistics that proved it wasn't just in my head, and I wanted to explore that. What has it meant to me, to music, and Canada? How have our perceptions of them been shaped — sometimes unfairly — by the media and our own biases? Dion, Twain, Morissette, and McLachlan are these hugely important artists, they really did change everything, but they don't always get the respect they deserve. Sometimes even from me."