As the title suggests, Chrysalis shows Anggun's growth—both personally and musically—as prior to the release of the album, she divorced her husband of seven years, Michel Georgea. The divorce presumably inspired Anggun to write songs like "Still Reminds Me" and "Broken Dream," among others, on the album. The album also marked Anggun's artistic development, as a departure from Snow on the Sahara where she only co-wrote one song, on Chrysalis she co-wrote every song with Erick Benzi with exceptions of "Rain," "Tears of Sorrow," and "Non Angelical," (co-written with Cathy Grier and Erick Benzi) and "Comme un privilege" (co-written with Erick Benzi and Nicolas Mingot). Anggun's songwriting varies from heartbroken ("Still Reminds Me," "Broken Dream"), love-longing ("Breathing," "Signs of Destiny"), humanity ("Tears of Sorrow," "How the World...") even spirituality ("A Prayer") and a fan's obsession ("Want You to Want Me").
The music is also a departure from the highly ethnic-influenced Snow on the Sahara to more Euro-pop/electro sounds. This evident is clear on songs like "Rain", "Signs of Destiny," and "Forbidden Love." Meanwhile, her pop/world trademark can also be found on "How The World...". The album also features some acoustic ballads (accompanied with piano only), in songs like "Want You to Want Me" and "Broken Dream."
Another thing, the album has a lot simpler production compared to Snow on the Sahara, as the sounds are mainly based on synth and computer programming. Only two instruments were used: electric guitar and keyboards. Like her debut album, the music on the English version is the same as the French one, but this time around, the lyrics are different (on Chrysalis, Anggun wrote all the lyrics by herself except for four songs and on Désirs Contraires, Erick Benzi took a sole songwriting part). There are two songs in the French version which are not available on the English version ("Marcher sur la mer" and "Brume"). Instead, they are replaced with two original songs in English ("A Prayer" and "Forbidden Love").
Chrysalis debuted at number 66 on the European Top 100 Albums chart compiled by Music & Media and Billboard based on sales all over the continent. It became Anggun's second top-ten album on the official albums chart by Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI) and was certified gold in Italy in just one week of release. It also became Anggun's best-selling international album in Indonesia to date, with four platinum certification. Critically, the album received positive response from music critics. Brittany Jerlinga in a review for Pulse! magazine called the album "brilliant" and wrote that its songs are "soulful, strong and heart-felt."