Lorde / Janelle Monáe / Gwen Stefani / Wikimedia Commons
After some recent hoopla around the validity of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill (Is JLP bad? Is JLP good? Is it only cool for men to show their emotions? Is it cheesy when women do so?) I got to thinking about women’s righteous anger. While our culture loves a rebellious emotional man, their female counterparts have been seen as petty, bitter, and, worst of all, embarrassing.
Well, fuck that. It takes a lot of nerve for a woman to break into the music industry on her own terms. Any woman who manages to shatter through the emo boys club and assert herself among (or above) them is worthy of a spin. The 12 below are just the tip of the iceberg.
1. Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill
Let’s start with the obvious shall we? Morissette’s primal scream set 90s girls on fire. Nothing but respect for this queen.
Best song: You Oughta Know
Best line: And every time I scratch my nails down someone else’s back I hope you feel it!
2. Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
This master of verse is finally getting her due – but why she still ain't as big as Cardi or Nicki is a mystery to me.
Best song: Django Jane
Best line: We gon' start a motherfuckin' pussy riot!
3. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
Anyone who knows me knows I’m an ARTPOP truther, but Born This Way is undeniably Mother Monster’s masterpiece.
Best song: ScheiBe
Best line: If You’re a strong female, you don’t need permission…
4. Hole – Live Through This
If you’ve only ever known Courtney Love as a punchline, you’re seriously missing out. The grunge legend is, truly, one of the most articulate, unfiltered, brilliant living artists.
Best song: The whole album is a damn masterpiece, but let’s go for the iconic Doll Parts.
Best line: I want to be the girl with the most cake…
5. No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
Before she slayed the 00s as a pop princess, Gwen Stefani fronted a little band called No Doubt. And they seriously hold up.
Best Song: Just a Girl
Best line: Don’t you think I know exactly where I stand? This world is forcing me to hold your hand!
6. Chelsea Jade – Personal Best
Anyone willing to bear the brunt of gently criticising Six60 is all good in our books. It doesn’t hurt that she’s brilliant, either.
Best song: Pitch Dark
Best line: I’m so much bigger than the part of me you wanted to kill…
7. Mitski – Be the Cowboy
I’d be remiss not to mention that I was in a low spot when this album came out – which is to say, I wept to it.
Best song: Could literally choose any, but for our purposes Pearl.
Best line: It’s just that I fell in love with a war, and nobody told me it ended…
8. Amanda Palmer – There Will Be No Intermission
Palmer’s first solo album in seven years is a brave, raw, feminist manifesto. See our interview here.
Best song: Voicemail for Jill
Best line: Isn’t it amazing how we can never tell, who is in an identical hell…
9. Patti Smith – Horses
The high priestess of punk is a staple in any angsty girl’s playlist.
Best song: Again, literally any – but let’s go for Gloria, for its epic opening line.
Best line: Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine…
10. Lorde – Melodrama
We couldn’t NOT include Lorde, right? While not exactly known as an angsty artist, the line below cuts like a knife.
Best song: Writer in the dark
Best Line: Bet you rue the day you kissed a writer in the dark…
11. SZA – Ctrl
The ethereal alt-R&B singer is, honestly, one of the most exciting artists to emerge in the past few years. You can bet on her sticking around.
Best song: Broken Clocks
Best line: I’ve paid enough of petty dudes, I’ve heard enough of shitty news…
12. Ani DiFranco – Out of Range
With 21 brilliant albums to her name, you could literally choose any. But if you don’t know where to start with Ani, this is a good one.
Best song: Letter to a John
Best line: I want you to pay me for my beauty, I think it’s only right – ‘coz I have been paying for it all of my life.
Go forth, ladies. Keep screaming.Support Villainesse