Following Jagged Little Pill, AM honed a songwriting style in which rhyming and scanning were optional. For the uninitiated, scanning means lining up your lyrics with your music so that the right syllables are emphasized. For instance, from "You Oughta Know":
And EV'ry time you SPEAK her nameSee how the emphasized syllables fall on the emphasized beats?
Does she KNOW how you TOLD me you'd HOLD me
UnTIL you died, till YOU died
But YOU'RE still aLIVE
Now, here's an excerpt from "Thank U":
Thank you INdia(So far so good.)
Thank you TERror
Thank you disILluSIONment(Still kinda works.)
Thank you FRAILty(Yeah, "siLENCE" is where she loses me.)
Thank you CONsequence
Thank YOU thank YOU siLENCE
Occasionally AM uses unscanning to good effect. I thought it worked well for "Hands Clean." And as far as that goes, a whole lot of people like her just fine and couldn't care less about this issue. I'm probably being too anal-retentive for my own good. But since I bummed out some slower-moving creative types with my last post, I feel I should point out that songwriting probably goes a lot quicker when you don't have to worry about making the words and music fit together in some meaningful way.