So-Called Chaos is the sixth studio album by Alanis Morissette, released by Maverick Records on May 18, 2004. As a result of received more mixed reviews compared to her prior three albums, it was her first album not to achieve certification in her native Canada, and the first of her international releases to not receive certification in the United States.
To support the album, three singles were released – Everything on April 13, 2004; Out is Through on August 17, 2004; and Eight Easy Steps on October 19, 2004.
- Release date: May 18, 2004
- Recorded: Throughout 2003 at Groovemasters in Santa Monica, California; The Village Recorder in Los Angeles, California; Henson Studios in Los Angeles, California; and Stage and Sound, Los Angeles
- Genre: Pop, pop rock, alternative
- Length: 41:05
- Label: Maverick Records
- Producer: Alanis Morissette, John Shanks, Tim Thorney
All tracks are written by Alanis Morissette.
01. Eight Easy Steps – 2:52
02. Out is Through – 3:52
03. Excuses – 3:32
04. Doth I Protest Too Much – 4:03
05. Knees of My Bees – 3:38
06. So-Called Chaos – 5:03
07. Not All Me – 3:58
08. This Grudge – 5:07
09. Spineless – 4:15
10. Everything – 4:36
Enhanced Content Videos:
Eight Easy Steps (Live from sessions@AOL)
Excuses (Live from sessions@AOL)
This Grudge (Acoustic Performance)
Making of So-Called Chaos
11. Everything (Vancouver Sessions) – 4:46
11. Offer – 4:05
Development & Production
In the two years since the release of Under Rug Swept, Alanis had met and become engaged to her then-fiancé Ryan Reynolds. That relationship inspired many of the songs she wrote for So-Called Chaos, and the album found her in a more content and relaxed state than on her previous works.
Release & Reception
The album’s closer Everything was released as the first single in the spring of 2004, and was met with a more mixed reaction compared to her previous songs. Though US Adult Top 40 received the song well and gave it airplay, mainstream top 40 stations didn’t receive the song well. It became the lowest peaking single on the Billboard Hot 100 to date, though the song was included on the Totally Hits, Volume 2 compilation and was featured during the climax of 2006’s Clerks II.
Some reviews of So-Called Chaos were positive, with many critics calling it her most accessible and mainstream record since her international debut. Other reviews, however, complained the record seemed of Alanis Morissette selling out in an attempt to get her sales back that she reached during Jagged Little Pill‘s.
The album debuted at number two on the Canadian albums chart with first week sales of 11,200. In the United States, it debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 with 115,000 copies sold in its first week. Worldwide, the album sold 287,000 copies in its first week.
In the United States, So-Called Chaos unfortunately became Morissette’s first album to miss the number-one spot. It spent a week in the top ten before falling down the chart. As of March 2012, the album has sold 474,000 copies in the US.
The second single outside the United States was Out is Through, which had a poor showing in the United Kingdom. The second single domestically was Eight Easy Steps, which – despite being accompanied by an elaborate music video – failed to chart on the Hot 100 or cause an increase in sales of the album.
- Austria – Gold (10,000)
- Germany – Gold (100,000)
- Switzerland – Platinum (20,000)
- United Kingdom – Silver (60,000)
- Music videos were released for both Everything and Eight Easy Steps, while Out is Through received two music videos.
- In support of the album, she embarked on the So-Called Chaos Tour.