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Showing 1-10 of 79 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 122 reviews
on August 28, 2012
Alanis Morissette will not earn many new converts with "Havoc and Bright Lights," but she will keep her devoted fan base pleased with this smart, sturdy collection of tunes.

Devotees hoping for a continuation of the high watermark set by 2008's "Flavors of Entanglement" will be disappointed. While "Havoc..." may not be as impressive or irrepressible as that collection, however, Morissette must be given credit for not repeating herself. The four years, after all, have brought her into the thick of marriage and motherhood, and that is reflected in a freer, decidedly less anxious set of tunes.

Part and parcel of this new perspective are the likes of "Til' You" and "Empathy." Deceptively unengaging and soft at the core, they soon reveal their lyrical and melodic treasures upon repeated play, underscoring the irreplaceable value of Morissette's highly individual style.

Tunes such as "Lens" and "Win and Win" follow suit. Kind, altruistic and gentle are not synonymous with banal in Morissette's vocabulary. She manages to touch on themes of interconnectedness and universality without inducing groans or recycling preceding ideas. One of her key assets is an ability to express her ideas in an unorthodox, through-the-backdoor fashion, rewarding listeners with poetic ears.

"Receive" is particularly moving with its full-bodied chorus, as is the sprightly, acutely self-aware "Spiral" - they are but a few idiosyncrasies away from being radio friendly.

She still rocks hard when she wants to. "Woman Down" blisters and pierces in its righteous anti-misogyny, proving Morissette can still make her enemies cower if the spirit so moves her. Alternatively, the fierce love and nurturance that seep from the pores of lead single "Guardian" is absolutely hair-raising upon close listen.

The major flaw of the record is Joe Chiccarelli's production, which whitewashes a lot of the adventure and unpredictability out of the equation. Morissette's particular proclivities are too often bleached, giving many of the songs an unwelcome slickness and sheen, and her voice is mixed too far below the soundscapes. This serves to deemphasize what makes her unique, rather than putting those qualities front and center where they belong. Compared to Guy Sigsworth's awesome work on her last record or Morissette's own on 2002's "Under Rug Swept," it is a considerable disappointment, even though Sigsworth is still credited here on a handful of tracks.

Such detractions notwithstanding, Morissette's highly individual voice and perspective still shine through to grab the listener and take hold. She proves that, in spite of how many changes she may go through, she is still a compelling, important artist with a unique place on the shelf.

Those who complain that a wife and mother in her late 30s no longer moves and sings like her former 20-year-old self are sadly missing the point. "Havoc and Bright Lights" is the sound of a particularly valuable artist in the throes of her own evolution, and listeners are lucky to still have her recording and performing.

Different retailers and sections of the globe offer different bonus track, so do have a look on Wikipedia before choosing your edition.
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on August 31, 2012
From the very beginning with her first music, Alanis Morissette has done one thing very, very well; she's stripped away all the masks and gotten deeper. It's why I loved her from the start and kept buying even when critics and the very fickle music industry rejected her change of direction.
The biggest surprise for me was "Till You" which is completely different from anything I've heard from her. I love it because it reveals a softer side, the edges off. "Guardian" remains my favorite song. The edgier "Numb" is reminiscent of "Collide" with it's minor chord sound. My least favorite song is "Win and Win" though the words are awesome, the music was meh. (Your mileage may vary). I love the song "Receive" which speaks to those of us who have a tough time taking care of ourselves. "Edge of Evolution" is all about change and moving forward. It's got a great unique sound. Morissette's lyrics are always thoughtful and emotionally charged. This CD is no different.
Maybe it's because she has always tapped into something in me that has changed and grown as she has, but she has expressed much of my own feelings. One thing about Alanis; she won't hold back where ever she is spiritually, emotionally and musically. As a fan, I love that about her.
If you're looking for shallow, this isn't it.
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on September 8, 2012
On 'Havoc and Bright Lights,' Alanis Morissette has, once again, revealed why she is in a genre of her own. She is, undeniably, a lyrical genius and has displayed this throughout her musical career. She continues this on her latest album of work. Her unique voice coupled with her ingenious words proves her music is still as fresh and unique as it was 17 years ago when she surged onto the musical scene. `Havoc and Bright Lights' isn't `Jagged Little Pill Part 2' and I don't expect or need for it to be. Instead, this album shows a very current Alanis and her state-of-mind in life ...modern, renewed, and it articulates that she is still questioning things that matter and is continuing her quest for answers, yet, at the same time, offering some solutions. Her music has always been relatable, a favorite of mine, and her song-writing skills have led me to believe that she expresses and contains a spark unlike any other artist. This album continues my theory.

Alanis offers 12 songs on the standard edition of `Havoc and Bright Lights' and 8 additional songs that have been released randomly in her Havoc era. They all uphold a level of beauty and insight that I anticipate from this artistic master. The album itself flows well as a whole but the bonus tracks do offer an added variety in her sound and experiment more with her range of capabilities. Her husband, Souleye, also appears in 2 of the bonus songs and unexpectedly he adds a flavor to those 2 tracks that forces them to a good way.

1.Guardian-the first single off this album. It's a safe yet pronounced song that captures a mood the album contains. 4/5

2.Woman Down-the rumored-second-single offers a song addressing a collective problem. It's fast, attractive, and essential. 4.5/5

3.`Til You-this song is the only one out of 20 that I skip, although many fans love it. It's slow and sweet but hasn't grown on me just yet. 2/5

4.Celebrity-another song that addresses a social problem.... obsessing over superstar status. It's darker and deep and 100% brilliant. 4.5/5

5.Empathy-one of my favorite tracks on the album. Alanis is grateful and happy and the lyrics combined with the music force me to share in her feeling. 5/5

6.Lens-one of my favorites, as well. She combines great sound with great lyrics. 5/5

7.Spiral-a song that you might think would be darker but ends up acknowledging those darker places in a lighter tone. 3.5/5

8.Havoc-a very impressive ballad that is both contemplative and tangible for listeners. Quite possibly my favorite of her ballads.

9.Numb-Alanis is true to form in's profound and more intense. 4/5

10.Win/Win-this song is hit or miss with her fans. I, personally, think it's great due to the lyrics. The words fit the mood but its one song that I agree is filler. 3/5

11.Receive-another favorite from this record. It addresses remembering yourself in the chaos of life and that's always a good thing. Plus it sounds great. 5/5

12.Edge Of Evolution-Brilliant. It's depth-filled, has a beautiful chorus, and is another favorite. 5/5

Bonus Tracks:
13.Tantra-This song is offered here on Amazon. I love it. Some don't. I think it's distinctive, slow-yet- sexy, and praiseworthy of this album. 4/5

14.Big Sur-the first Target bonus track. It captures her love of Big Sur, California in a whimsical ode. She apprehends her mood and feelings convincingly. It makes me want to visit Big Sur ASAP.4/5

15.Guru-the second Target bonus track. Alanis discusses her deep appreciation for her teacher of philosophy and wisdom in this one-of-a-kind tribute. It's peaceful, upbeat, and features her husband, SoulEye. His lyrics and sound are a surprisingly remarkable addition to the song. 3.5/5

16.Permission-the third Target bonus track. Beautiful. Appealing. This song should have definitely been included on the album or even presented as a possible single. 5/5

17.No-a Japan bonus track and its one of my favorite of the bonus songs. It's haunting and almost on the same level of her 1998 hit `Uninvited.' It should have been included on the album.5/5

18.Magical Child-This song was originally included on a compilation album, Every Mother Counts 2012, but included as a bonus track for Havoc as well. It's an excellent contribution.4/5

19.Will You Be My Girlfriend?-This song is sweet yet awkward. It is a song directed to approaching/becoming friends with another woman and the little insecurities she has on how to make that bond work.3/5

20.Jekyll and Hyde-an iTunes exclusive that features SoulEye again. It's a great track but is far too short. SoulEye begins his contribution very early in the song. Adding another verse would have enhanced this one for me. 3.5/5

`Havoc and Bright Lights' is an honest and endearing album that is certainly one of my favorites offered by Alanis. I hope more people listen to this gem and feel the same way.
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on September 10, 2012
Wow-I have been a fan since her debut in the nineties.I have bought every record, and she just keeps getting better and better as one of our greatest artists.Alanis does a superb job,(just kills it on this one),not only pressing herself to be fresh and new ,but most importantly,-surrounding herself with people who make awesome music,perform instrumentation and add every element in this production small and large that envelop her vocals to make a perfect song that is instantly pleasurable to the ear and emotion!Every song on the record is carefully crafted to create the power and subtlety needed to accompany the words that Alanis conveys. she just blows my mind as not only a fan,but I also just am just blown away at how she can continue to raise the bar time after time bringing new sounds where others churn out the same old stuff.
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on September 14, 2012
Love this album. My favorite songs on it are "Guardian" and Empathy" but they are all wonderful.
I just want to play them over and over again.
She is a brilliant singer and songwriter and it' is a pleasure to hear the evolvement of her life captured
so beautifully through her music.
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Its by Alanis. Need more be said?

But if so, she's no longer a bull in a china shop as with Jagged Little Pill. Nor the woman fresh from a sabbatical in India. She's a mature woman reflecting on life, her life, and still singing with here unique style & lyrics. And I love her more for it.
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on January 11, 2017
What can I say about this wonderful album in which the angry Alanis has completely disappeared. I have heard that this album was not up to par with her past releases. I disagree and think this album is incredible. If you are a fan of AM, this is a must!
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on September 1, 2012
I've never really been a fan of Alanis, but this album has made me a full fledged covert! The album is upbeat and subtle at the same time. Every song is strong and each one flows effortlessly into the next. I think this will garner her a new plethora of fans; which it should. It almost feels as if she has reinvented herself, and in a very good way.
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on September 7, 2012
I bought Alanis' Jagged Little Pill way back in the 90's because I really loved "You Oughta Know". I had no idea how much I was going to love that cd and all her music following. For me that cd and Flavors of Entanglement are at the top when it comes to number of times listening to ... over and over. I was excited to hear she had a new cd after so many years. I can tell you Havoc and Bright Lights is a great chapter in her book. I've listened to it about 5 times so far and it just keeps getting better and better. If you like her get this cd.
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on March 1, 2013
Alanis Morissette is at worst "interesting" and at best "powerful." A few hit or misses on this album, and sometimes the "wearing my heart on my sleave" rawness of her style and lyrics gets a bit too much sometimes. But her talent is undeniable, and I will continue to buy her albums because there is always something interesting there.
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