Alanis Morissette 1998-2003

Morissette recorded the song "Uninvited" for the soundtrack to the 1998 film City of Angels. Although the track was never commercially released as a single, it received widespread radio airplay in the U.S. At the 1999 Grammy Awards, it won in the categories of "Best Rock Song" and "Best Female Rock Vocal Performance", and was nominated for "Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture". Later in 1998, Morissette released Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, on which she again collaborated with Ballard. Fans and critics alike were unprepared for Morissette's new songwriting approach: most of the tracks, including "Would Not Come" and "Unsent", challenged traditional song formulas. They included one-chord drone melodies and Morissette singing over letter-like prose texts; some songs lacked choruses or took a long time to reach them.

Privately,[citation needed] the label hoped to sell a million copies of the album on initial release, but it sold about half of that. Nonetheless, it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 470,000 copies — a record, at the time, for the highest first-week sales of an album by a female artist. As a follow-up to Jagged Little Pill, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie had very little staying power: its wordy, personal lyrics alienated many fans. After twenty-eight weeks it left the Billboard 200 with sales of 2.6 million, a huge decline from Jagged Little Pill. Worldwide, it sold about seven million copies. However, it received positive reviews, including a four-star review from Rolling Stone. "Thank U", the album's only hit single, and "So Pure" were nominated for the 2000 Grammy Awards for "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" and "Best Female Rock Vocal Performance", respectively. The "Thank U" music video, which featured Morissette nude, generated mild controversy.

In 1999, Morissette released the live acoustic album, Alanis Unplugged, which was recorded during her appearance on the television show MTV Unplugged. It included three new songs, including one she wrote with her main guitar player, Nick Lashley, called "No Pressure over Cappuccino". She contributed vocals to the songs "Don't Drink the Water" and "Spoon" on the Dave Matthews Band album Before These Crowded Streets, as well as "Mercy" and "Innocence", two tracks from Jonathan Elias's project The Prayer Cycle. That same year, Morissette released a live version of her song "Are You Still Mad" on the charity album Live in the X Lounge II.

Morissette delved into acting again, for the first time since her childhood role on You Can't Do That on Television, appearing as God in the Kevin Smith film Dogma. Smith, a fan of Morissette's, asked her to be in the film several times.She had to turn down the female lead and by the time her schedule allowed her to participate in the film, only the role of God, which involves virtually no dialogue and only an appearance at the very end of the film, was left. She also appeared on the hit HBO comedies Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm and starred in the play The Vagina Monologues.

After a four year absence, Morissette released her third international studio album, Under Rug Swept, in February 2002. For the first time in her recording career, Morissette took on the role of sole writer and producer. Her band, comprising Joel Shearer, Nick Lashley, Chris Chaney and Gary Novak, played the majority of the instruments. Me'shell Ndegeocello played bass on the tracks "You Owe Me Nothing in Return" and "So Unsexy". Shortly after recording the album, Morissette hired an entirely new band, featuring Jason Orme, Zac Rae, David Levita, and Blair Sinta, who have been with her since.

Under Rug Swept produced the hit single, "Hands Clean" and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 215,000 in the first week. Under Rug Swept eventually sold a million copies in the U.S. alone, but only "Hands Clean" received any substantial radio airplay. Morissette won a Juno Award for "Producer of the Year".

The CD/DVD combination package, Feast on Scraps, which included live concert footage and eight previously unreleased songs from the Under Rug Swept recording sessions, was released in December. The album was nominated for a Juno Award for "DVD of the Year". In November 2003, Morissette appeared in the off-Broadway play The Exonerated as Sunny Jacobs, a death row inmate freed after proof surfaced that she was innocent.