So-Called Chaos

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So-Called Chaos
Studio album by Alanis Morissette
Released May 18, 2004 (US)
Recorded 2003 at Groovemasters, Santa Monica; The Village Recorder, Los Angeles; Henson Studios, Los Angeles; Stage and Sound, Los Angeles
Length 41:05
Label Maverick
Producer Alanis Morissette, Tim Thorney, John Shanks
Alanis Morissette chronology
Feast on Scraps
So-Called Chaos
Jagged Little Pill Acoustic
Singles from So-Called Chaos
  1. "Everything"
    Released: April 13, 2004
  2. "Out Is Through"
    Released: August 17, 2004
  3. "Eight Easy Steps"
    Released: October 19, 2004
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (56/100)[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Blender 3/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly C+[4]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[5]
PopMatters (unfavorable)[6]
Robert Christgau (3-star Honorable Mention)[7]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[8]
Stylus (F)[9]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars [10]
Yahoo! Music UK 8/10 stars[11]

So-Called Chaos is the sixth studio album (fourth released internationally) by Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, released in May 2004.


It had been two years since Morissette released her fifth studio album, Under Rug Swept. In that time she had met her then fiancé Ryan Reynolds, inspiring many of the songs she wrote for So-Called Chaos. The album found her in a more contented and relaxed state than her previous output, and her songs were brighter and happier than her more volatile works like "You Oughta Know" and "Uninvited". One reporter asked if the song "This Grudge" was based on the same person as "You Oughta Know", and Morissette replied, "Different person, same era."[12]

The first single, "Everything", was released to US radio in the spring of 2004, and was met with mixed reaction. US Adult Top 40 radio stations gave the song good airplay, but mainstream and top 40 stations were colder in their reception, and consequently it became Morissette's lowest peaking single on the Billboard Hot 100. "Everything" was included on the Totally Hits 2004, Vol. 2 compilation, and in 2006 it was featured in the film Clerks II.

Some reviews of So-Called Chaos were positive, with many critics calling it her most accessible and mainstream record since her debut Jagged Little Pill (1995). Still, others thought she had "sold out" for the sake of sales and radio play; Rolling Stone magazine, for example, said the album "attempts to reverse the sliding record sales following [Jagged Little Pill]."[8]

The album debuted at number two on the Canadian albums chart with first week sales of 11,200,[13] and at number five on the US Billboard 200, selling 115,000 copies in its first week in the US and 287,000 that same week worldwide.[14] It spent a week in the US top ten before falling down the chart. As of March 2012, the album has sold 474,000 copies in the US.[15] The second single outside the US was "Out Is Through", which had a poor showing in the UK. The second US single was "Eight Easy Steps", which, despite being accompanied by an elaborate music video,[16] failed to chart on the Hot 100 or cause a significant increase in sales of the album, which had already fallen off the Billboard 200. "Excuses" was released as a radio single in Brazil, where it peaked outside the top 40.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Alanis Morissette

No. Title Length
1. "Eight Easy Steps"   2:52
2. "Out Is Through"   3:52
3. "Excuses"   3:32
4. "Doth I Protest Too Much"   4:03
5. "Knees of My Bees"   3:38
6. "So-Called Chaos"   5:03
7. "Not All Me"   3:58
8. "This Grudge"   5:07
9. "Spineless"   4:15
10. "Head Over Feet"    
11. "Everything"   4:36


  • Alanis Morissette – vocals, producer, piano, keyboards, art direction
  • Eric Avery – bass
  • Chris Lord-Alge – mixing
  • Kenny Aronoff – drums
  • Paul Bushnell – bass
  • Scott Gordon – programming, engineer, drum programming
  • Bill Lane – assistant engineer
  • Stephen Marcussen – mastering
  • Kevin Mills – assistant engineer
  • Jamie Muhoberac – keyboards
  • Tim Thorney – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, producer
  • Guy Oseary – A&R
  • Joel Shearer – acoustic guitar, bouzouki, guitar, guitar (electric)
  • Paul Livingstonesitar
  • John Shanks – guitar, bass, keyboards, producer
  • Shari Sutcliffe – project coordinator
  • Sheryl Nields – photography
  • Errin Familia – assistant engineer
  • Mark Valentine – engineer
  • Zac Rae – piano, keyboards, vibraphone
  • David Levita – acoustic guitar, electric guitar
  • Jason Wormer – assistant engineer
  • Jeff Rothschild – programming, engineer
  • Rich Tosi – assistant engineer
  • Danny Strick – A&R
  • Frank Maddocks – art direction, design
  • Jason Orme – electric guitar
  • Blair Sinta – drums, programming



Chart (2004) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[17] 15
Austrian Albums Chart[17] 1
Canadian Albums Chart 2
Dutch Albums Chart[18] 1
European Top 100 Albums[19] 1
French Albums Chart[17] 5
German Albums Chart[17] 1
Israeli Albums Chart 12
Italian Albums Chart[17] 4
Swedish Albums Chart[17] 10
Swiss Albums Chart[17] 2
UK Albums Chart 8
US Billboard 200 5


Year Title Chart positions
CAN US Hot 100 US Hot 100 Airplay US Modern Rock US Adult Top 40 US Top 40/Pop UK AUS
2004 "Everything" 3 76 75 4 36 22 15
"Out Is Through" 56 79
"Eight Easy Steps" 27

Other charts[edit]


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[20] Gold 10,000x
Germany (BVMI)[21] Gold 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[22] Platinum 20,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Silver 60,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b AllMusic review
  2. ^ Metacritic score
  3. ^ Blender review Archived November 22, 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  5. ^ The Guardian review
  6. ^ PopMatters review
  7. ^ Robert Christgau review
  8. ^ a b Rolling Stone review at the Wayback Machine (archived April 30, 2007)
  9. ^ Stylus review
  10. ^ "Slant review". 
  11. ^ Yahoo! Music UK review at the Wayback Machine (archived June 10, 2004)
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Krall beats out Alanis on charts". Jam! Showbiz. May 26, 2004. Retrieved January 25, 2007.
  14. ^ "Usher Album Remains On Top". Billboard. May 26, 2004. Retrieved January 25, 2007.
  15. ^ Trust, Gary. "Ask Billboard: What Are the Billboard 200's Longest-Charting Albums Ever?". Billboard. December 24, 2012.
  16. ^ Cohen, Jonathan. "Alanis 'Steps' Back Into The Past In New Video". Billboard. August 13, 2004. Retrieved January 25, 2007.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g " - Alanis Morissette - So-Called Chaos". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  18. ^ Bauder, David. "Alanis Morissette's 'So-Called Chaos' Sells 887,000 Units Around the World in First Week". Associated Press. June 1, 2004. Retrieved December 1, 2006.
  19. ^ Sexton, Paul. "Lavigne Returns To Top Of U.K. Album Chart". Billboard. May 31, 2004. Retrieved January 25, 2007.
  20. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Alanis Morissette – So-Called Chaos" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Alanis Morissette in the field Interpret. Enter So-Called Chaos in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  21. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Alanis Morissette; 'So Called-Chaos')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  22. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Alanis Morissette; 'So Called-Chaos')". Hung Medien. 
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Alanis Morissette – So-Called Chaos". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter So-Called Chaos in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search


External links[edit]