I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner…
Tricked you: this song isn’t number one.
Like Tapestry before it, Alanis Morissette’s debut album (and searing single) became the essential “hot crazy lonely drunk rabbit boiler girl” musical accessory/signifier of its time. The album was as much a part of single female life in the 1990s as a Bust subscription and the pair of Tamara de Lempicka posters over the IKEA futon.
“You Outta Know” is unusual because the singer is tossed aside for an older woman.
(Considering said singer was a teenager when she had her affair, that would be hard not to do. Yeah, it’s sleazy and illegal, but I’d have probably lost my virginity to Bob Saget, too, if he’d been interested. But Dave Coulier? Holy hell, no wonder she’s bitter.)
That gives the song its one-of-a-kind brattiness; Morissette’s snotty Valley Girl phrasing on lines like “I bet she’d make a really excellent mother” are a kick in the balls by a chick wearing really cute shoes.
The lyrics perfectly capture the evolved “new age” phrases we all know we were supposed to say to an ex (“I wish nothing but the best for you both”) but are expertly (un)balanced by those nasty, more honest thoughts we’re supposed to keep to ourselves (“But you’re still alive…”)