Alanis Morissette is the alternative Joni Mitchell of this generation. It’s a breath of fresh air to have an artist be so cracked open. This album is a far cry from one of the most successful albums of all time, “Jagged Little Pill” which broke records even her own. Since then we’ve witnessed an artist growing up and moving away from vengeful songs full of angst to the spiritually based and laced tracks of “Havoc and Bright Lights”.
This is a an exhilarating rock album with Eastern and Indian drum flair threading throughout. Alanis Morissette always has a way with words that are only emphasized when put to music. Her songs are heart pouring confessionals. This album took me a couple of listens to connect with and notice the brevity of it. It gets better with each listen.
Some stand out essential songs of note: They are the more serious spiritual shots like, “Guardian” about acting as an angel to someone you love, the bouncy profound love song to your significant other who loves all of you, “Empathy”. “Celebrity” is an intense look at the world we live in now which is entirely superficial on the surface. It’s a pretty dark uptempo heavy drum tune. There is the powerfully spiritual “Receive” about one who gives so much, but gets nothing in return so they back away and start paying attention to themselves. It’s one of the best songs on the album. There is also an 80’s new wave sounding homage, “Edge of Evolution” about realizing there is more to this life beyond the drama were sitting in everyday.
Spiritual stores should put this disc on their end cap as its got some enlightened uplifting pieces. Whether or not this is considered one of her best works or not, you can’t deny she’s an incredible artist and that still lights through here. There are some exotic melodies as well as some rugged rock songs with grating guitar riffs like “Woman Down”, “Lens” and “Numb” which hark back to her “Jagged Little Pill”, “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie” and “Under Rug Swept” days. After several listens I genuinely am enjoying this and know what she’s talking about when coming full circle and taking another step up when it comes to spiritual growth. Alanis Morissette has no doubt reached a place of peace and happiness and it shows. Incredible woman.
I have the disc that contains the bonus tracks “Big Sur”, “Guru” and “Permission”. All of which are beautiful, lush driving up the coast kind of songs. “Big Sur” and “Permission” are penetrating & could’ve or should’ve replaced “Win Win” and “Spiral” and that would’ve made this an excellent 5 star album. (The bonus tracks might be something only Target is selling.) There was another song recorded for this album that is great, “Jekyll and Hyde” which you can purchase on iTunes and “Tantra” off of Amazon. They are fantastic bonus tracks and should’ve been on the full CD. Also during this recording she made “Into a King” which should’ve been on here, but you’ll have to google to find that reflective track.