Most of us will remember Avril Lavigne for singing about that boy that skates back in 2002, or wanting some guy to ditch his girlfriend she didn’t like in 2006, but with nearly 12 years in the industry and now on album number 5, what is Avril offering us in 2013?
‘Avril Lavigne’ is the self titled album from the now 29 year old Pop-Rock Princess. Released back on November 1, i’ve had a good month to listen to the album and now finally give my two cents on it.
Opening with second single, Rock n Roll, this song really sets the tone for the rest of the album. In true Avril “I don’t give a *insert aggressive swear word here*” style, the song is about going against the norm, singing the words “I don’t care if I’m a misfit, I like it better than hipster bullshit”. Avril’s playful tone is something we’re used to, and this continues to track two, Here’s To Never Growing Up (below).
Quite possibly my favourite music video of 2013, Here’s To Never Growing Up sees Avril take a trip down memory lane, halfway through styling identical clothes to her 2002 video, Complicated. The song is about enjoying your youth no matter your age, and we’re still exploring this kinda topic on track 3, 17. The verses in 17 seem like they would fit somewhere on her debut album, Let Go, whereas the chorus explores more of a fun pop sound, more likely to feature on third album, The Best Damn Thing.
Bitchin’ Summer is track 4, and just as the title suggests, this song needs to be on hold until the hot months of the year. I’m sure the mid tempo pop track will be great in July with your car roof down, but until then, it’s a bit of a skipper, especially when it gets to Lavinge’s attempt of rap, which we thought we left that behind on Nobody’s Fool in 2002.
The hubby-wife duet is probably the most talked about of the album, and you can find this at track 5. Let Me Go is a beautifully written ballad by Avril and her Nickelback frontman lover, Chad Kroeger, but spare yourself from watching the video if you actually want to enjoy the song.
Track 6 is where us old school Avril fans really feel connected again. The upbeat innocence seen in earlier tracks is ditched for this almost haunting song about emotions and loneliness. Give You What You Like showcases and reminds us of the vocals we fell in love with 10 years ago – definitely a stand out on the album. The tempo soon switches by track 7, but we’re still in the stand out zone, when Avril is joined by Marilyn Manson for Bad Girl. This muddy rock number is exactly what you’d expect of a Manson track, and is somehow works so well on an up to now, mellow album. Mumbling the lyrics “just lay your head in daddys lap you’re a bad girl”, Avril follows up with a Taylor Momsen style vocal throughout.
Unfortunately, the album then comes to a huge, questionable standstill when we get to track 8 – Hello Kitty. Now, I’ve been an Avril Lavigne fan since day dot, and I no doubt always will be, but Hello Kitty is quite easily one of the worst songs i’ve, well, ever heard. The techno-pop and somewhat dubstep sound at parts, is a huge step out of Avril’s comfort zone, and as much as it’s encouraged to test the musical waters; don’t take the piss. A definite skipper.
When we get to You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, we’re back to traditional Avril Lavigne Pop music, but it’s nothing new or special. Track 10 is when we think we’ve accidentally swapped albums and ended up on a Katy Perry release, but we are infact still listening to Avril and the song Sippin’ On Sunshine. But it’s track 11 where we can start singing Lavigne’s praises again, where Hello Heartache reminds us of something that could feature on Under My Skin – undoubtably Avril’s best era. Sounding similar to My Happy Ending (above), the song is a simple but powerful one.
Despite the train-wreck of new genre in Hello Kitty, the penultimate track of ‘Avril Lavigne’ sees the singer explore a country twang to her sound, and this time, the change works. Falling Fast has Avril singing the lyrics “I never knew I needed you, like a sad song needs a sea of lighters”, and we cannot help but love this cutesy ballad.
The album ends on Hush Hush, another low tempo song powered by a piano and heart warming vocals. A simple yet perfect ending to an overall really good album, that I can definitely see winning the hearts of vintage Avril Lavigne fans across the world.
‘Avril Lavigne‘ is out now.
Review by Jayde Engledew