Havoc and Bright Lights - Alanis Morissette

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17
  1. Aug 29, 2012
    Havoc embodies relief, release and refuge.
  2. 70
    Morissette's poetic discourse of intimately describing her feelings still abounds, but is elegantly emoted here with cool restraint.
  3. Aug 29, 2012
    There are a couple of clunkers, including the finger-wagger "Celebrity," directed at those who seek fame as its own reward, and the droning "Win Win." But for the most part Morissette and producers Guy Sigsworth and Joe Chiccarelli keep the proceedings crisp, tuneful, warm, and sincere.
  4. Aug 24, 2012
    Sometimes the production is too slick, but Morissette avoids blandness because she's so idiosyncratic.
  5. Aug 28, 2012
    Like Morissette, Havoc And Bright Lights remains fearless and vibrant despite its shortcomings.
  6. Aug 24, 2012
    Sometimes it gets too cheerful.
  7. Aug 28, 2012
    Her seventh LP brings the mama drama.
  8. 60
    Her syntax can look clumsy on paper, almost like she's trying too hard to express sentiments than make statements, but on record her words seem to flow and fit the music perfectly.
  9. Aug 24, 2012
    Havoc and Bright Lights is as soothing as a Sunday afternoon nap or a warm bath: it's music for when you know you're right where you want to be.
  10. Aug 24, 2012
    By the end you might feel like you've just had your ear bent by a particularly forthright mum outside school gates, but Havoc and Bright Lights is Alanis Morissette's most inviting album in a long, long time. [Sep 2012, p.103]
  11. Aug 30, 2012
    While it may be a difficult task to get through all 12 psycho-babble-filled tune on havoc, it's not entirely a wash or without merit. Ultimately, if you're not into hearing someone use their artistic expression to vent their frustrations and contemplate fairly uneducated meanderings on the current social state, or you're not struggling with your own identity lacking the mental capacity to understand your surroundings, you need not apply.
  12. Aug 27, 2012
    Unfortunately, too many of the songs on Havoc lack that specificity and Morissette's inimitable POV. Her best material has always traded in forces of tension and change, but she spends most of the album sounding like she's leading a meditation.
  13. Sep 14, 2012
    Mostly, though, Morrisette succumbs to her dual predilections for quasi-spirituality and stultifying sappiness. [Oct 2012, p.84]
  14. Aug 27, 2012
    For the most part these songs are entirely lacking in bite, dragging through limp soft rock and even softer sentiments.
  15. Aug 27, 2012
    Not even some admittedly slick production can drag this out of the mire.
  16. 20
    This is a slew of hackneyed teenage poetry, trowelled onto a bed of sift-rock cliché.
  17. Morissette is the sort of woman who does yoga to ensure she can still gaze at her navel... Self-obsessed.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Feb 18, 2013
    For me, the best moments on 'Havoc and Bright Lights' come in the forms of "Guardian", "Woman Down", "Edge of Evolution" and "Receive", each one blurring commercial pop-rock with more electro-influenced sounds. However these four decent songs are positioned at the beginning and end of the album leaving a very bland, VERY Adult-Contemporary chunk of filler in the middle. In a desperate attempt to perk up 'Havoc and Bright Lights' Morissette suffocates these songs in slick, slimey production thanks to Joe Chiccarelli (Elton John, U2, Tori Amos) and Guy Sigsworth (Madonna, Britney Spears, Björk). This results in the painfully contrived "Lens" and "Celebrity", the dreary mess "'Til You" and the cringeworthy "Win and Win". It just all feels a bit too forced and a little bit lazy, lacking the spontaneous honesty that Morissette presented so well with her previous albums. Full Review »
  2. Sep 1, 2012
    "With its more radio-friendly beats, experimental trance, complex lyrical content and softer tone music, its truly good enough to say that its a great welcome back to Mrs. Morissette" Full Review »
  3. Dec 16, 2012
    My expectations for this album were quite low because I'm a fan of "Jagged Little Pill" and that's about it. Turns out that "Havoc and Bright Lights" is one of the best she did. Not a fan of her smooth songs but loving the Alternative-Angry-Rock-like-Alanis-can-do "Numb" and "Celebrity". An album I played more often then I would've thought since it's been released, it has to be good otherwise I wouldn't listen to it. One of her best! Full Review »