Havoc and Bright Lights

  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: Aug 28, 2012
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17
Buy On
  1. Aug 29, 2012
    80
    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
    70
    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
    70
    Sometimes the production is too slick, but Morissette avoids blandness because she's so idiosyncratic.
  5. Aug 28, 2012
    67
    Like Morissette, Havoc And Bright Lights remains fearless and vibrant despite its shortcomings.
  6. Aug 24, 2012
    63
    Sometimes it gets too cheerful.
  7. Aug 28, 2012
    60
    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
    60
    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. Q Magazine
    Aug 24, 2012
    60
    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
    50
    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
    50
    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. Uncut
    Sep 14, 2012
    40
    Mostly, though, Morrisette succumbs to her dual predilections for quasi-spirituality and stultifying sappiness. [Oct 2012, p.84]
  14. Aug 27, 2012
    40
    For the most part these songs are entirely lacking in bite, dragging through limp soft rock and even softer sentiments.
  15. Aug 27, 2012
    30
    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
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Sep 1, 2012
    8
    "With its more radio-friendly beats, experimental trance, complex lyrical content and softer tone music, its truly good enough to say that its"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 »
  2. Aug 28, 2012
    10
    This album couldn't better paint Alanis' life at the moment. There are so many fantastic moments in this album that it almost takes the knifeThis album couldn't better paint Alanis' life at the moment. There are so many fantastic moments in this album that it almost takes the knife out of the four-year-wait-cake. We are served a full album filled with sonically-brilliant moments and true pieces of pop art. As an artist, Alanis never fails to express herself in beautiful ways. Listening to the music offers music ingenuity, but reading the lyrics and truly understanding each song and what it stands for is how you can get the most out of this album. Everything about it clicks. 17 years since Jagged Little Pill, and still on top of her game. Havoc and Bright Lights is easily one of her best works to date. Full Review »
  3. Aug 28, 2012
    10
    this is easily one of Alanis Morissette's finest albums, proving that you don't have to be miserable or depressed to be inspired to createthis is easily one of Alanis Morissette's finest albums, proving that you don't have to be miserable or depressed to be inspired to create art. It's already trite to compare her albums to Jagged Little Pill, so I will just compare this to her previous "happy" album, So-Called Chaos. While SCC struggled to find words, rhythm, and coherence to describe that so-called happiness, the songs of Havoc and Bright Lights show clarity and genuine joy both in lyrics and melody. Lots of potential radio hits here: Receive, Empathy, Spiral, Win and Win, Woman Down. If there's an album that should propel her back to the charts and awards shows this would be it. Full Review »