So-Called Chaos

( 9 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Stop-the-presses moments don't come around all that often in rock 'n' roll, but on this, her fourth "real" album (discounting the bubblegum discs she recorded as a preteen), Alanis Morissette forges a doozy. So-Called Chaos is the sound of Alanis without anger. The resolutely upbeat album is brighter in tone -- "Eight Easy Steps" glides along on waves of skittering synthesizer, while "Knees of My Bees" restates her interest in Indian instrumentation, this time in poppier fashion -- and less confrontational lyrically than anything she's ever done. That mellowing extends to Alanis's vocal style, which is palpably shorn of the trills and wails that she's often piled on in...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Stop-the-presses moments don't come around all that often in rock 'n' roll, but on this, her fourth "real" album (discounting the bubblegum discs she recorded as a preteen), Alanis Morissette forges a doozy. So-Called Chaos is the sound of Alanis without anger. The resolutely upbeat album is brighter in tone -- "Eight Easy Steps" glides along on waves of skittering synthesizer, while "Knees of My Bees" restates her interest in Indian instrumentation, this time in poppier fashion -- and less confrontational lyrically than anything she's ever done. That mellowing extends to Alanis's vocal style, which is palpably shorn of the trills and wails that she's often piled on in the studio. Morissette still approaches songwriting as if she were jotting in a diary to be kept under lock and key, a tactic that's increasingly advantageous, given her hard-earned maturity. On "This Grudge," for instance, she doesn't so much obsess over an old conflict as try to free herself from its grip. Similarly, the arcing "Everything" finds her cataloging the positives of a love affair rather than picking over the darker spots. Heck, she's even willing to take a few shots at her own angry-young-woman persona, most cleverly on "Doth I Protest Too Much," which is studded with wry, eye-rolling looks back on things that might've been better left unsaid. Don't, however, confuse lack of venom with lack of passion: So-Called Chaos is every bit as emotion-packed as Alanis's best work, but not nearly as draining on the listener.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Alanis Morissette has often written about affairs of the heart, but she's rarely written from the perspective of being in love, and she's certainly never recorded an album where she seems so in love and at peace as she has with her fourth album, So-Called Chaos. She doesn't hide her romance with Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, perhaps best known as the title role of National Lampoon's Van Wilder, thanking him in the liner notes and alluding to their relationship throughout this romance-heavy record. There are still strands of bitterness, cynicism, and jealously, yet they feel like unfinished business that she's slowly putting to rest. Nowhere is this more true than on "This Grudge," which for all intents and purposes looks like the final chapter in the tale of "The Relationship," the one that fueled "You Oughta Know," since she acknowledges that she's held "this grudge" for "14 years, 30 minutes, 15 seconds" and through "11 songs" and "four full journals" and, given Alanis' penchant for confession and single-minded obsession, chances are she's not exaggerating. She's not just leaving this relationship behind, she's maturing, and there's a calm directness to much of her writing that leads her to both open-hearted love songs and, occasionally, a sly sense of humor as on the sardonic opener, "Eight Easy Steps". Morissette still has a tendency to overwrite and then deliver these tangled tenses in exceedingly odd phrasing -- the chorus to "Knees of My Bees" doesn't sound much like "tremble and buckle," it sounds for all the world like "jambalaya, Bucko!" -- but that's simply par for the course with Alanis. What's unexpected, though, is the confidence of her music, which recaptures some of the vigor of Jagged Little Pill, as it's brighter, denser, catchier than either of its immediate predecessors, and boasts her most assured singing yet. Even with all this, it's not heavy on immediate singles -- the first, "Everything," takes awhile to have its hook settle in -- but as an overall record, it's her most satisfying since her blockbuster breakthrough.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/18/2004
  • Label: Maverick
  • UPC: 093624855521
  • Catalog Number: 48555
  • Sales rank: 134,248

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Eight Easy Steps (2:52)
  2. 2 Out Is Through (3:52)
  3. 3 Excuses (3:32)
  4. 4 Doth I Protest Too Much (4:03)
  5. 5 Knees of My Bees (3:41)
  6. 6 So-Called Chaos (5:03)
  7. 7 Not All Me (3:58)
  8. 8 This Grudge (5:07)
  9. 9 Spineless (4:15)
  10. 10 Everything (7:08)
  11. 11 Eight Easy Steps
  12. 12 Excuses
  13. 13 This Grudge
  14. 14 An Inside Look at the Making of So-Called Chaos
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Alanis Morissette Primary Artist, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Eric Avery Bass
Kenny Aronoff Drums
Paul Bushnell Bass
Jamie Muhoberac Keyboards
Tim Thorney Bass, Piano, Keyboards
Joel Shearer Acoustic Guitar, Bouzouki, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Paul Livingston Sitar
John Shanks Dulcimer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Electric Guitar, Keyboards
Zac Rae Piano, Keyboards, Vibes
David Levita Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Jason Orme Electric Guitar
Blair Sinta Drums
Technical Credits
Scott Gordon Programming, Engineer, drum programming
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Tim Thorney Producer
Alanis Morissette Composer, Producer, Art Direction
John Shanks Programming, Producer
Mark Valentine Engineer
Jeff Rothschild Programming, Engineer
Frank Maddocks Art Direction
Blair Sinta Programming
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    eh.

    let me start off by saying i am a huge alanis fan. i love everything she does. that being said, i must say that this album is probably her worst. musically, it is not very impressive and only is enjoyable because of the production. lyrically she is just as fruitful as ever, with some of her best lyrics being on songs like "eight easy steps" and "knees of my bees." but quite honestly, take the lyrics out of the picture and you've got a collection of mundane, almost filler songs. sorry alanis. if you are an alanis fan, obviously pick it up but if you're a casual fan looking for good songs, download "eight easy steps" or "knees of my bees," as well as the single, "everything." i hope her next cd is better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Second only to Sarah Mclachlan's latest: "Afterglow"

    I love this cd. For at least this album, it sounds like ALanis has had the word "album-filler" taken out of her vocab. ALl the songs are good and have new and cool toons. And for once, Alanis is not steaming hot angry, though she is still steaming with her looks......lol. This is a must buy. The best is "Knees of my Bees," and Spineless. Though the introductory one is good to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    So-Called Chaos

    Alanis is still a good artist. This album is fresh and new compared to her recent albums and that's why to me it's intersting and worth of 3 stars. I like the fact that she can change musical styles and blend some and still pull it off well. However, I don't think it is that great of an album. The only tracks that have really captured my attention are "Spineless", "Excuses", and "Doth I Protest Too Much". In comparison to her other albums this one is weak. If you are still interested in music by Alanis, this is a good pic though. Let's just hope that Alanis can produce in the future an album like 1998's "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie", which in my opinion is the best album she has ever made.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Must Buy!

    I purchased "So-Called Chaos" on May 18, the first day of it's release. I heard a few tracks of the record via the Internet, but nothing compares to the utter experience of a first full listen of this, or any other Alanis Morissette record. This album, which I think is truly genius, once again shows another raw and different side of Alanis' life and tastes and experiences. Each song conveys emotion in its own way and contributes to the overall joy and passion the listener recieves from hearing of Alanis' feelings and thoughts towards herself, friends and family over the last couple of years. It's a must purchase for any Alanis or non-Alanis fan. If you thought "Jagged Little Pill" was rockin', "So-Called Chaos" will blow your mind!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Alanis is the greatest

    I am a huge Alanis fan and everyone should get any of her cd's they are amazing, Sit down and listen and feel the sound waves take over your mind. shes my angel and inspiration for life. thank you If you have connections with her tell her to visit pensacola florida

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Lacking Chaos

    Whether it's a case of misguided production, as evidenced by the bland arrangements behind some of the songs, or Morissette's own need to salvage a truer identity by not living up to bar--raising expectations, So--Called Chaos turns problematic after the first three songs by not having an edge. The title track invites a gritty and gutsy feel as Morissette's delivery stretches the margins while complementing the band's seething rock grooves, but her familiar parts in the midst of her personal growth fail to work in several tracks, including "Not All Me," and the ballad "This Grudge." The ladder track indicates she has one grude that needs to become grudgeless once and for all. One would never want to label Morissette as an artist that would sell herself short, but So--Called Chaos doesn't measure up to her previous releases. And it may leave many fans longing to see the girl with the jagged heart still spinning with her free--flowing locks firmly in place.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Since Jagged Little Pill

    She really never stops amazing me. This CD is absolutely amazing. The music is adventurous and really really uplifting. thats right. alanis upliftinf. :surprise: Great. A CD ANYONE CAN ENJOY.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SO GOOD...20 thumbs up, Alanis

    I really like this cd- it's great- I LOVE Doth I protest too much, great song :-)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews