havoc and bright lights, stylized in all lowercase letters, is the eighth studio album by Alanis Morissette and was released in Japan on August 22, 2012. The album is her first release away from Maverick Records, her label since 1995, since 1992’s Now is the Time.
Havoc and Bright Lights received mixed reviews from music critics. While some praised Morissette’s softer tones and production, others found the album overproduced and lyrically weak.
Three singles were released from the album – Guardian on May 11, 2012; Lens on July 31, 2012; and Receive on December 3, 2012.
- Release date: August 22, 2012
- Recorded: Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California; The Bank in Burbank, California
- Genre: Soft rock, pop rock
- Length: 52:41
- Label: Collective Sounds
- Producer: Guy Sigsworth, Joe Chiccarelli
All lyrics are written by Alanis Morissette while all music is composed by Morissette and Guy Sigsworth.
01. Guardian – 4:18
02. Woman Down – 3:36
03. ‘Til You – 4:07
04. Celebrity – 4:01
05. Empathy – 4:00
06. Lens – 4:08
07. Spiral – 4:17
08. Numb – 4:10
09. Havoc – 5:53
10. Win and Win – 5:01
11. Receive – 4:28
12. Edge of Evolution – 4:29
13. Will You Be My Girlfriend? – 4:09
14. Magical Child – 5:07
iTunes Deluxe Edition:
15. Jekyll and Hyde (feat. SoulEye) – 2:43
13. Big Sur – 4:06
14. Guru (feat. SoulEye) – 4:06
15. Permission – 3:42
Amazon Pre-Order Edition:
13. Tantra – 5:32
13. No – 4:27
Development & Production
In June 2011, Guy Sigsworth (who had produced the predecessor Flavors of Entanglement) wrote on Twitter that he was in Los Angeles working with a “certain amazing Canadian lady.” It was later confirmed to be Alanis on February 28, 2012, when she shared a video that had been shot the previous May of her recording a song, and Sigsworth’s voice could be heard.
In May 2011, Morissette shared Into a King to celebrate the one-year anniversary of her marriage. The song was cowritten with Guy Sigsworth, as well. She also recorded Magical Child for the compilation album Every Mother Counts. In November 2011, Morissette appeared at the American Music Awards, and revealed she had written 31 songs and was deciding on the final twelve for the record.
Rolling Stone Magazine later announced that Morissette’s new album would be released in June 2012 and shared the titles of songs Havoc and Celebrity. On May 2, Billboard magazine wrote that Alanis’s new album would instead released on August 28, 2012 through Collective Sounds.
Release & Reception
On May 23, Havoc and Bright Lights became available for pre-order at Amazon. Upon its release, the album received mixed reviews from music critics, though many critics complimented the album’s more mature and warmer sound. However, the album’s production value and lyrical content, which was about spirituality and motherhood, received much of the criticism.
Havoc and Bright Lights entered the Billboard 200 chart at number five with 33,000 copies sold, becoming her first top 5 album in the United States since So-Called Chaos and her sixth top ten album in the United States overall. The album also debuted at number one on Billboard’s Rock Albums and Indie Albums charts.
Internationally, the album peaked at number one in Canada, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. In Netherlands and Germany, the album peaked at number two. As of October 2015, the album has sold 92,000 copies in the United States as of October 2015. In Germany, it has been certified gold for shipments in excess of 100,000 copies.
- Germany – Gold (100,000)