Album Review: Alanis Morissette - So-Called Chaos (2004)


Jun 11 2011, 10h53

Alanis Morissette - So-Called Chaos

From reviewing her very best work at the beginning of her career (Jagged Little Pill, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie and MTV Unplugged) I move to a later era. For a long time I didn't buy anything of her that was released after MTV Unplugged, because I thought it wasn't worth it. But I became a little bit milder in my opinion and I bought So-Called Chaos in October of last year (2010). It is not really a bad album I think, it just doesn't grab me like her earlier albums do. Her voice still has this unique and spectacular sound, her lyrics are still great. I am wondering how she comes up with them, how she is able to put all of those words and sentences in. It is just brilliant. So what is the problem? I think all of the songs sound a bit the same. Almost all of them follow the same pattern: verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus. They start soft and quiet with the first lines and then she burst out the first time we hear the chorus. Even the melodies seem to be a bit the same. I like her much more when she is experimenting with different patterns, as she does on Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. It would have made the album more unaccessible maybe, but also more interesting. Now it has a bit of a catchy radio-friendly pop sound. Which is most likely caused by her happiness during the time she recorded the album. She was very happy in love with her boyfriend at that time (Ryan Reynolds). Good for her of course, but not so good for the listeners (like myself) who fell in love with the angry, frustrated Alanis of Jagged Little Pill! One song I really like is Everything. It always makes me a bit emotional. How good would it be to really find someone who is loving every part of you and accepts you just the way you are. Really a very beautiful song. Another song I like is the title track So-Called Chaos. I like the lyrics, especially the lines: "I want to be naked running through the streets" and "I want to be weightless flying through the air". I sometimes have similar feelings. Then I would like to be freed from all my obligations and rules. I don't like the booklet that much, it is all pink and bright colored, which is at least consistent with the cheerful pop sound. It looks also a bit cheap, being not really a booklet but just one big leaflet fold to fit. This is also the overall feeling I get from this album: it is a bit cheap, only 10 songs all sounding a bit the same. Like she didn't pay enough attention to deliver something really good. Overall I consider this as her least good album, but not because it is that bad, just because her others are that good!

Best tracks: Everything, So-Called Chaos

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  • MustBeDreaming1

    oh, i have exactly the same feelings about this album! really, cheap! and those poor arrangements, and those identical melodies in a half of the songs, such a shame :-( though i still like this album (just need to have special calm mood for it), i consider it as her weakest one. even totally non-alanis'ish and arguable FOE is stronger for me... and the songs i like the most are the first 3 ones and the last 2 ones (take a look at Spineless! it's a great song, really!). everything between them is weaker for me...

    Jun 13 2011, 10h19
  • irisvanhoorn

    I think Flowers of Entanglement is indeed stronger (I have to review this one, maybe tomorrow if I can find some time). It is a different style, but I think it is certainly more interesting than SCC. But I will take another look at Spineless.

    Jun 13 2011, 18h34
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