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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Songs Of Innocence and Experience
Four years on from her last album 'Flavors Of Entanglement' finds Alanis
Morissette in a very good place. Her association with Guy Sigsworth remains
a fruitful one and the additional contribution of producer Joe Chiccarelli
has clearly added another dimension to her sound palette. The songs in this
fine new collection contrast the inimitable "edginess"...
Published 24 months ago by The Wolf

versus
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hit and miss
It's incredible to think Alanis has been around for so long, obviously an artist of her calibre has to evolve or face stagnation. Her finest work has come out of torment and failed relationships, however, this offering has been born out of mostly joy. Personally, I feel Alanis is at her best when she sings stripped back ballads or in contract rocks it out. This album is...
Published 24 months ago by J. Ball


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Songs Of Innocence and Experience, 28 Aug 2012
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: havoc and bright lights (Audio CD)
Four years on from her last album 'Flavors Of Entanglement' finds Alanis
Morissette in a very good place. Her association with Guy Sigsworth remains
a fruitful one and the additional contribution of producer Joe Chiccarelli
has clearly added another dimension to her sound palette. The songs in this
fine new collection contrast the inimitable "edginess" we have come to expect
and love from her with a more rounded and contented compositional style which
is born of both experience and the inevitable encroachment of middle age.

For those of us who have followed her ascendance from the early years there
is little not to love here. Whether in the blistering chords and bitter
sentiment of opening track 'Guardian'; the pounding synth-laden arrangement
of 'Woman Down', or the blissfully uplifting melody and chorus of 'Receive'
we are in familiar but nonetheless reassuringly raw sonic territory. With
numbers like the beautiful 'Win and Win' and the plaintively moving 'Will
You Be My Girlfriend?', however, we find Ms Morissette mining a more subtle
seam (the latter is an especially satisfying invention) and clearly enjoying
the space afforded her singular vocal talents but it is to the glorious 'Edge
Of Evolution' which we must turn to experience the full force of her inimitable
muse. It truly is one of the most stirring compositions of her career so-far.

'Havoc and Bright Lights' takes its place in a body of work which, in so many
ways, has enriched the listening world and brought us both smiles and tears.

Highly Recommended..
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Despite expectations, this is excellent, 27 Aug 2012
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This review is from: havoc and bright lights (Audio CD)
Following the beautiful 'Flavours of Entanglement', I had serious doubts about this new album from Alanis when I heard that Guy Sigsworth's original production had been partially ditched in favour of a more 'live' sound from new producer Joe Chiccarelli. It was Guy's fantastic arrangements that brought Alanis' recent music to new heights, placing her intricate and unique lyrics in a new and exciting soundscape.

Those concerns are not fully resolved. For example, the track 'Magical Child' can be easily compared and contrasted. The original Guy Sigsworth production is available on the version previously released (and available on YouTube) and is certainly a more electronic, atmospheric but subtle track that builds and builds. Joe's production on the album version feels rather watered down, too smooth and glossy. Some of the added 'real' instruments sound dated in a jazzy 80s kind of way.

However, when this album is heard in full there is no doubt that it is an excellent set of songs. Since I generally prefer Alanis' gentler tracks, I am spoilt for choice - with 'Til You', 'Havoc', 'Win and Win' and 'Empathy' being particular favourites. However, the first single 'Guardian' and the immediately appealing 'Woman Down' show that she is still willing to make the tougher, more outspoken choices at times. Joe's production is generally sympathetic to the melody, not (as feared) too wrapped up in sounding 'authentic' and does not overwhelm the songs. It's clear that much of Guy's original programming remains (up to 50% on many of the tracks, according to interviews with Joe).

The packaging of the album is terrific (with photography that really speak to where Alanis is in her life) and it makes a nice change to have the lyrics printed out in full and in a typeface that can be easily read.

So despite the behind-the-scenes production issues, this is another very strong album from Alanis that is at times touching and clearly heartfelt throughout.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 22 Sep 2012
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This album is just amazing its just one of them albums that every song is great!
I was worried about this album with Alanis going into parenthood and this album being a bit sickly sweet!! But.... Was pleasantly proved wrong! Guardian is an amazing song and composition of music! My Favourites include Guardian, Woman Down, Til you, Empathy, Receive (I may as well just put them all on!!! lol
Edge of Evolution!!! This is a tune that stands out on its own, it is absolutely amazing! I feel this is where we all are in evolution and its very apt, a proper spine tingler for me and resonance.
I can't stop listening to the album over and over, and its on my phone. I would say Recieve would be a great next release it would be a catchy Radio song.
Alanis has gone more contemporary now since SFIJ I love her unique style. She is a wordsmith (I have learned so much from her lyrics!) and with each album I can always relate to it with what is going on in my life at the time! Its like Therapy in a blissful way! ha ha
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hit and miss, 30 Aug 2012
By 
J. Ball "Joshua Ball" (Valencia, ES) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: havoc and bright lights (Audio CD)
It's incredible to think Alanis has been around for so long, obviously an artist of her calibre has to evolve or face stagnation. Her finest work has come out of torment and failed relationships, however, this offering has been born out of mostly joy. Personally, I feel Alanis is at her best when she sings stripped back ballads or in contract rocks it out. This album is extremely poppy and the production at time makes you feel like she has been put through the washing machine, cleaning all the dirt and grit that made previous offerings so enjoyable.

The lead single "Guardian" is a poor first single choice as it is a bit bland and overproduced, it sets the tone for the whole album in general. "Celebrity" sounds like it is trying to recapture the past of her former angst, however, it doesn't quite manage it. The rest of the album then drifts off into obscurity. "Win and win" is a horrendous track, that sounds like something The Carpenters would have released. It's not until the final track "Magical child" in which you start to hear the direction in which Alanis should have gone.

I'm sure life long fans will differ in opinion, however, for me this is too weak an offering and can be quite sickly at times. At times it is bland, boring and safe, however, it is worth a listen as there are a few great tracks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great service, 13 Jun 2014
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Fantastic record, in perfect condition. Queries were responded to very promptly and vinyl was issued to me very quickly .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great return to form!, 15 Sep 2013
By 
commodityfetish (Southampton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: havoc and bright lights (Audio CD)
All those reviewers, including the BBC reviewer here, who say "she'll never produce another Jagged Little Pill" just lack appreciation for Alanis's work and her general contribution to music. For me, SFIJ, Unplugged and even most of Under Rug Swept out-shine JLP in lyrics, music and meaning. Havoc and Bright Lights is another in their mould - it has the maturity and expressiveness that form the most engaging aspects of Alanis's best music. When she produces a good album, it is like a journey for the mind, soul and ear - which is a good reason to buy an album!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best work!, 9 Aug 2013
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This review is from: havoc and bright lights (Audio CD)
The big problem with this album is that it was obviously written while Alanis was happy which always results in an album with a lighter feel than the better angst ridden albums of the past. Alanis' trademark lyrical twirling is still evident and there's no doubt that the songs are well written and constructed but there's something missing and I think that is simply a bit of aggression!
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5.0 out of 5 stars only one alanis, 15 May 2013
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Mr. K. W. Horseman (lincoln) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: havoc and bright lights (MP3 Download)
not heard her for a while.
she still has a great style some superb tracks on this cd.
easy listening at home or in the car great cd to go with my other 2 cd's from her
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great new offering from Alanis :-), 5 April 2013
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This review is from: havoc and bright lights (Audio CD)
I haven't bought an album by Alanis since Under Rug Swept - I'm so glad I bought this one. A good mix of Rock/Pop/Alternative with choruses that are great to sing along to while driving. The only thing I find a little strange is that Alanis chose to use two different producers on this album - it's easy to recognise which songs were produced by who, as the song arrangements are very different (one a more pop style, the other a more alt-rock style). Having said that, the songs are so great they carry themselves so the album still flows nicely. Alanis' lyrics are again deep, thought provoking but straight-talking.
A gutsy album that makes you feel good :-)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great songs, easily the best, but production is appaling, 5 April 2013
This review is from: havoc and bright lights (Audio CD)
I've been listening to the album for a few weeks now, and my conclusion is that for me this is Alanis best to date. The songs are all very mature and attractive, and fit my personal taste exactly. I already liked Flavors of Entanglement, but I could only listen to it in the car because of its horrible compression and flat sound engineering. Everything was compressed to sound equally loud and one-dimensional.
This album takes this even a step further. It is clearly designed to be played in clubs or mid-range sound equipment. My cheap Philips earphones actually hurt my ears with an extremely pumping sound. On quality gear I had to turn the volume down because it just sounded so extremely loud. It's hard to describe, but I think the problem is the volume moderation of the individual instruments, beats and effects; it's all cut hard and instant and pasted together - the sound is very tiring to the ears.
Back to the album: it is great, music-wise, I truly love it, but it is a missed chance in terms of recording. The feeling I keep experiencing is that I want to hear it badly because the songs are great, but I also hesitate to put it on because I heavily dislike the way it sound. This quandary should not be present, it is unnecessary. Please Alanis, re-issue a softer master! You owe it to your songs!
Otherwise: use an expander and whatever you do, do not use cheap earphones!
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havoc and bright lights by Alanis Morissette
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