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So Called Chaos

4.2 out of 5 stars 276 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 18, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

So-Called Chaos finds one of music's most popular singer-songwriters coming to terms with who she is as an artist and a person. With a newfound maturity and life-affirming, positive perspective, Alanis Morissette crafts beauty out of chaos on one of the major new albums of the year.

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It's been a long time in coming, but with So Called Chaos Alanis Morisette has finally produced a worthy follow up to her globe-conquering debut. Calmer and more focused, the songs exude a new, mature woman, firmly in control of her life. "I'm not threatened by every pair of legs you watch go by," she sings with Zen-like serenity on "I Doth Protest Too Much" (as if she'd have said that on Jagged Little Pill). Time mellows--leave the angst to Avril Lavigne.

Overexposure once made her fantastic voice grate, but now it's like welcoming back an old friend--that distinctive little warble, that softness…it's her most valuable asset and the simple, clean production wisely allows it to breathe freely. Most of the songs follow a slow, quiet verse/loud sucker chorus pattern and there's nothing on here that rivals anything from her debut, but everybody (including herself) has accepted that now. The absence of a world-class co-songwriter plays a part, but it's a refreshing change to see no external involvement. Accept Morisette for what she is--a female singer/songwriter with an exceptional, original voice and you won't be disappointed. --Ben Johncock

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Maverick
  • ASIN: B0001MDP40
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,700 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The CD, overall, does not depart from her signature styles too much. Her sound has evolved, obviously, but the most important change is the tone of her lyrics. At least 4 of the 10 tracks are love songs, and not bitter ones, like she is so good at writing. This takes away from the album slightly...but is a fine change in some ways too.
Her lyrics, yet again, are excellent. She is one of the wittiest, most ironic, and best songwriters alive. Though the album is slightly overproduced, the music is pretty good too.
Track by track:
1. Eight Easy Steps - 9/10 - An under 3-minute beginning track that just WORKS. This song reminds me most on the album of something from Jagged Little Pill. This may be the next single...the verses go from a "How to" book on be a bad person...to the chorus saying she will "teach you all this, in eight easy steps". Catchy poprock!
2. Out Is Through - 7/10 - She likes doing this...the second time in two songs that she runs the end of the verse into the beginning of the chorus. Oh well. A catchy song, with a sad tint to it. More like something from her last album, Under Rug Swept.
3. Excuses - 9/10 - The beginning of this song is just beautiful...again, a sad tint...her voice is pretty here. The chorus reflects the verse, as a good song should. Catchy! At this point, this album is seeming almost better than Jagged Little Pill!
4. Doth I Protest Too Much - 10/10 - I love this song. Period. It's about jealousy...from a woman's point of view of a guy who likes to look around *winks*. It's my favorite on the album. "I'm not jealous, I don't get moved by much...I'm not enraged, not insecure as such...and doth I protest too much?"
5.
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Format: Audio CD
I remember seeing the video for "Everything" on VH1 and I asked, "This is Alanis Morissette?" Not that it's a bad song, but I was surprised not to hear any yelling (for lack of a better term). And there really isn't any loud singing on the album, except maybe on the song she has out now, "Eight Easy Steps". Apparently a lot of reviewers feel the same way I did, saying that the old Alanis was more entertaining than the new Alanis. Yes, if you have all of her other albums and enjoy them, you may not feel the same --at least, at first listen -- about So-Called Chaos.

This album was written in the midst of her relationship with her now fiancé, Ryan Reynolds (best known from playing the title role of National Lampoon's Van Wilder; or didn't anyone else see that movie either?). That probably explains why many of the songs on here are romantic. But these songs aren't sappy or anything. There are lovely songs like "Out Is Through" and the aforementioned "Everything". And when Alanis gets innovative with the subject matter, it's still impressive, as evidenced by "This Grudge" (some think it's a response to "You Oughta Know") and "Not All Me".

With a slim ten tracks totaling just over 40 minutes, So-Called Chaos is an album that's just right for a quick listen. The only real flaw is that I have no idea what she's talking about on "Knees of My Bees". But love Alanis' new style or hate it, you should still add this to your collection. Who knows, you might like it after a while.

Anthony Rupert
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Format: Audio CD
She's done it again. Alanis Morissette has completely blown me away with her latest album. I shouldn't really be surprised considering the amazing music she consistently releases, but "So-Called Chaos" not only confirms this further, but has made Alanis a major player in my life. I don't just listen to her music: I idolize her, her voice is the voice of God to me, she is a completely amazing and fantastically beautiful (both physically and emotionally) woman, and blows the socks off any other female singer/songwriter of the past ten years. It's an understatement to say she's changed my life. She's completely revolutionized it! I've learnt so much from her music and lyrics, from the breakthrough "Jagged Little Pill" and the underrated masterpiece "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie," and through onto more melodic gems such as "Under Rug Swept."
I was actually rather surprised when I heard late last year that Alanis would be releasing a new album in the spring of 2004, as it was only two years since the predecessor and she usually takes a good three or fours to get another album out. I wasn't complaining though, and as soon as So-Called Chaos was released I raced out to buy it. What I found was a different Alanis - one who is definitely more relaxed and taking a more positive approach on life. It's brilliant to see Alanis finally so happy with life (and who wouldn't be with a hottie boyfriend like Ryan?!) and this definitely reflects in her music. People are comparing this album to JLP - forget that, it's nothing like it. JLP was totally singular and nothing now or in the future will come close to its genius and impact.
What So-Called Chaos has, though, is amazing vocals and stunning melodies that totally breathe new life into the music industry.
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