I don't know how I failed to realize this before, but Alanis Morissette kicks ass. I got three of her CDs (Jagged Little Pill, Under Rug Swept, and So-Called Chaos), with the rest on their way. It's just all-around good—pleasant to listen to, intriguing lyrics, emotional, and just well-constructed. I was initially scared that there would be too much overwhelming girl power for me to like it, but I've added all but three tracks out of those three CDs to my permanent rotation.
One of the most interesting things to me about her music is that, while I have decided that I like it a lot, it's not really anything that can get stuck in my head. This is something that deserved closer investigation... back in the spring, I created a list of my 250 favorite songs, then my top 100, then my top 50, 25, and then 10. Out of the songs in my then-top 10, no more than half were songs that I obsessed about for a period of time. That's going to have to be a new side project for me: try to figure out what it is about a song that makes it a headcrab... something that sticks to my head, takes over my mental functions, and is nearly impossible to get rid of.
Not meaning to treat it as a sidenote, but I have also listened to Final Straw by Snow Patrol quite a lot recently, and I love it. It's actually fairly similar to Alanis in that it's rock, and pleasant, intriguing, emotional, and well-constructed. It's slightly more electronic than Alanis' music, and maybe a little more focused on rhythm. Apparently this group has been around for quite some time, which means that suddenly I have several more CDs to investigate.
The short version of this post is that Jagged Little Pill, Under Rug Swept, and So-Called Chaos by Alanis Morissette and Final Straw by Snow Patrol are all "highly recommended." If you're one of those people who only likes listening to female voices, go for Alanis, and if you're one of those people who only likes listening to male voices, you can go for Snow Patrol. Everybody wins.