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Single by Alanis Morissette
from the album Flavors of Entanglement
Released Template:Flagicon April 15, 2008
Template:Flagicon May 16, 2008
Template:Flagicon May 26, 2008
Recorded 2007
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:10 (Album/Single Version)
Label Maverick
Writer(s) Alanis Morissette, Guy Sigsworth
Producer Guy Sigsworth
Certification Diamond (Brazil)[1]
Alanis Morissette singles chronology

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"In Praise of the Vulnerable Man"

"Underneath" is a song recorded for Alanis Morissette's seventh studio album, Flavors of Entanglement, which was produced by Guy Sigsworth.[2] It is the album's first single.[3] The song was digitally released on April 15, 2008 after originally being scheduled for March 25. According to Morissette, "'Underneath' is about how you can only change the world after you change yourself."[4]

Music videoEdit

A music video for "Underneath" was premiered on September 15, 2007 in Los Angeles, as part of the Elevate Film Festival.[5][6] The video was directed by Matt Docter and Ric Frazier[7] and produced by the Docter Twins.[8] The purpose of the festival was to create documentaries, music videos, narratives and shorts regarding subjects to raise the level of human consciousness on the earth.[9] Morissette submitted the song, and then (as with the other fourteen videos) had the music video written, directed, shot and edited in two days. It was released on the internet in January 2008.[10]

An official music video, directed by Sanji, was released on in May 2008.[11] The video is two parallel stories in which a protagonist (both represented by Morissette) tries to change the world. The first vignette follows Alanis as she attempts to hand out fliers promoting positivity and openness. She is rejected by passers by at each turn. Frustrated, she notices a missed call on her cell phone from an apparent ex-love interest. She angrily texts him, "I said don't call me." Inside her heart, another Alanis (dressed in red), replays scenes of being frustrated with the love interest, keeping her distance in bed and literally pushing him away when he reaches for her.

During the chorus of the song, the real Alanis seems to realize that the grudges she harbors and the attitudes she holds prevent her from making the world a better place. In essence, she realizes that change "starts in [her] living room," and that "what we're doing in [our heart] shows up as bigger symptoms out [in the world]." In accordance with the meaning of the video as a short film, she finds that before she can save the world, she must save herself. She returns home to her apartment, where the walls are covered with hundreds and hundreds of fliers and reminders of the big-picture events she has hypocritically supported without supporting herself. As she tears them off the walls, her heart-bound alias is shown tearing posters off of the heart's walls, but instead of motivational slogans and promises to better the planet, the posters in the heart read, "I'm fat," "I'm lonely," "I avoid taking responsibility," and more. Symbolically, Morissette tears away the personal insecurities that she has hidden under the guise of major world issues.

At the close of the video, the only poster remaining on the wall of her apartment reads, "Save the Earth." As she opens the door and embraces her newly-reunited boyfriend, the heart parallel embraces him, too, and the poster reads "Save the Heart."

Critical receptionEdit

In January 2008, New York magazine named "Underneath" "the best song we've heard all day",[12] and said the video is "well worth watching and is a great reminder of the talents of Alanis", and that the song's lyrics are "classic Alanis".[10] Blender magazine gave the video two stars, writing, "[the song] features a bunch of weak, tentative and already dated beatsMadonna tried this same strategy (and pulled it off with significant aplomb) exactly 10 years ago. So while her voice sounds even a bit harsher when set against the track's popping, mechanical drums, the video just confuses [...] Not a lot of "comeback of the year" potential here."[2] "Underneath" has been certificated Diamond by ABPD for sold 500,000 digital copies on Brazil. Morissette is the only female artist of all time to have a diamond certificated song in that country.[13]

Track listingsEdit

2-track CD-single
  1. "Underneath" (album version) - 4:07
  2. "20/20" - 4:17
3-track CD-single
  1. "Underneath" (album version) - 4:07
  2. "20/20" - 4:17
  3. "Underneath" (Josh Harris remix) - 7:19
UK/Ireland iTunes Digital Single
  1. "Underneath" (album version) - 4:07
  2. "Underneath" (Josh Harris remix) - 7:19
US Promotional Remix CD
  1. Josh Harris Remix - 7:18
  2. Josh Harris Radio Edit - 3:39
  3. Morgan Page Vox Mix - 7:45
  4. Morgan Page Mixshow Edit - 5:20
  5. RedTop Main Mix - 6:33
  6. RedTop Mix Show Edit - 4:49
US Digital Promotional Remixes
  1. Josh Harris Club Mix
  2. Morgan Page Vox Mix
  3. RedTop Main Mix
  4. Lost Daze Extended Mix
  5. John Dahlbäck Remix
  6. Dave Armstrong & Redroche Remix
  7. The Whatever/Whatever Remix
  8. Zoned Out Remix

As of December 2008, "Underneath" had already sold 76,000 downloads in the US alone, according to Nielsen Soundscan.


Chart (2008) Peak
Austria Singles Top 75[14] 10
Belgium Ultratop 50 16
Canadian Hot 100[15] 15
European Hot 100 Singles[16] 85
Germany Singles Top 100[17] 32
Italian Singles Chart[18] 8
Japan Hot 100[19] 30
Swiss Singles Top 100[20] 16
UK Singles Chart[21] 99
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks[22] 27
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[23] 45
U.S. Triple A Chart[24] 17


Region (provider) Certifications
Brazil (ABPD) Diamond[25]


  1. "Associaчуo Brasileira de Produtores de Disco". ABPD. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Is Alanis Morissette Still Famous?"]. Blender.
  3. Seven-Time Grammy Winner Alanis Morissette to Release "FLAVORS OF ENTANGLEMENT" May 20 on Maverick/Reprise
  4. Kreps, Daniel. "Alanis Morissette Gets Dancey and Personal on Next Record". November 1, 2007.
  5. MusicMan. "Alanis Morissette 'Underneath' Video At Elevate Film Festival". September 19, 2007.
  6. "New Alanis Morissette Live Video - 'Underneath'". stereogum. September 24, 2007.
  7. Ric Frazier official website
  8. Docter twins official website
  9. Official Elevate Film Festival website. September 15, 2007.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Lamb, Bill. "Alanis Morissette's "Underneath" Video". January 16, 2008.
  11. Official music video at Alanis' YouTube channel
  12. Gresehover, Ehren. "Alanis Morissette Returns!". New York. January 14, 2008.
  13. "Certifications on Brazil"
  14. Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales
  15. [1]"Alanis Morissette"]. Retrieved April 30, 2008.
  16. [2]"Alanis Morissette"]. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  17. Germany Singles Top 100 - Music Charts
  18. [3].
  19. Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales
  20. Swiss Singles Top 100 - Music Charts
  21. The Official UK Charts Company : TOP 100 SINGLES CHART
  22. Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales
  23. [4][dead link]
  24. [5][dead link]
  25. Morissette "ABPD - Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos - Alanis Morissette". Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Morissette. Retrieved March 11, 2011.