Album Review: “Avril Lavigne”

avrillavigne2Aren’t we all ecstatic Avril is releasing new music?! I know I am. She’s always one of those artists that just slips through the cracks, but then you hear any of her songs and you’re reminded how much you absolutely love her. Her fifth album was always going to be a tall order, for me, because “Goodbye Lullaby” is not only my favorite release from Lavigne, but perhaps one of my favorite albums ever. Let’s take a look!

1. Rock n Roll: 10/10

Yep. She’s still the mother effin’ princess of pop/rock. I love the vintage sounding rock and roll track with a killer pop hook. I feel so badass walking around LA listening to this–putting my middle fingers up in a salute to “Let ’em know we’re still rock n roll.” It’s all about doing what you want and being that loud, obnoxious person you wish to be–or are. And then when I pass through Silver Lake I turn it up really loud and yell out the “hipster bullshit” line. Whatchu gonna do? Write a sarcastic, passive-aggressive Reddit post and send it to me? BRING it.

2. Here’s to Never Growing Up: 8/10

I love, love, love this song. One of my altar egos is Peter Pan, because I am a child on the inside and I have always said I refuse to grow up. And then this song is released. It’s just finally nice to sing along to an anthemic song that is more age-appropriate than One Direction–not that there is anything wrong with that. I just imagine sitting in a dodgy bar while everyone chinks their beers and shouts along at the top of their lungs. And then we go outside and dance around a bonfire.

3. 17: 9/10

Lyrically, it’s very Taylor Swift. Even when the song started, I thought, this seem so T-Swift. Maybe it’s because she has “23” AND a “17.” And then there’s Miley’s “23”…and Adele’s “19” and “21.” What is going on?! Anyway, the chorus hits and it’s that feisty Avril we met in the “Complicated” days. She is just a catchy melodic pop genius, like Ms. Katy Perry.

4. Bitchin’ Summer: 9/10

Very country-feeling opening. I’m feeling “Sweet Home Alabama” busting out at any moment. Ooooh the pre-chorus is sucking me in. Why is this album a November release? This is clearly a summer album–this record and all of the tracks thus far. And now she’s half-rapping. Interesting. Wasn’t expecting that. This song is so pleasant! I’ve never felt so endeared that someone is picking me up at the liquor store. Aw.

5. Let Me Go Ft. Chad Kroeger: 8/10

This just reminded me how odd it is that they are married. Would’ve never picked this couple–ever. Slowing things down on this one. Funny, it sounds like a Nickelback song. Like exactly like a Nickelback song. Their voices complement each other very well. It’s good! Typical rock love song. Don’t let her go, Chad! Um, really loving this piano solo at the end…

6. Give You What You Like: 6/10

Keeping on with the subdued mood. “Please wrap your drunken arms around me. And I’ll let you call me yours tonight. Slightly broken is just what I need.” This feels really…dirty. Something stylistically is ringing “Teeth” by Gaga. So basically this is the aftermath to my PG vision of “Never Growing Up.” Now we’ve moved to the drunken love making in a dark corner. Not a fan of the chorus and the falsetto. I wish it would stay grittier and dirtier.

7. Bad Girl Ft. Marilyn Manson: 7/10

I’m already scared. Hold me. His voice. Angsty. Avril is a badass. I feel like if the devil were a singer, he would sound exactly like Marilyn Manson. It’s definitely a song to rock out to. It’s like a demonic and edgier version of Blondie’s “Call Me.” It’s the type of song that plays in a dark room lit only by red lights, if you know what I mean.

8. Hello Kitty: 5/10

It was only a matter of time before her Japan obsession came to life. I like the “Come, come kitty, kitty” bits but the electronic follow-up is…I don’t know. Not feeling it. This song is a hot mess. It’s like fifty songs and EDM beats wrapped into one with random Japanese words. Is it a tribute to the chaotic and hot messery that is the world’s largest city, Tokyo? Because then I get it, I guess. There are parts I love, and parts I hate. I’m left slightly confused by what just happened. Wait, I think I like it. Well, not really.

9. You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet: 6/10

Back to bubblegum pop-rock. “If you’re loving this, just give me one more kiss, cuz you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” It’s cute. Nothing mind-blowing.

10. Sippin’ on Sunshine: 10/10

This song is adorable! Again, WHY is this coming out in November?–I’m so lost. The verses sound like Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life.” And then the chorus is so relaxing and feel-good. I can close my eyes and see the beach and the sun shining. This is one of my favs.

11. Hello Heartache: 7/10

It has a folky, swampy feel. “I was stupid to think that I could stay… It’s not the end, but it’s not the same.” The break down with the “La la la la la las” is perfection. I really hope people understand my stream of consciousness style of writing.

12. Falling Fast: 10/10

Super cute. It sounds like a “Goodbye Lullaby” track, which is an automatic download for me. Very warm and comforting. Lyrics are striking very close to home in recent memory. “If seeing is believing, I already know.”

13. Hush Hush: 8/10

Ending with a ballad. Really pretty. Love the contrasting vibes of the piano and percussion.

Overall: 8/10

Avril is just killing it. It’s a bit of a weird direction for her; you can almost see the immediate influence Mr. Kroeger is having on her artistry. The album has shades of vintage rock n roll, but also some country/folky-twang. I’m still calling this the “Mumford Effect.” It happened to Kesha (“Die Young,” “Last Goodbye”), Avicii (“Wake Me Up”), One Direction (“Story of My Life”),  and more that I can’t think of. There are all of these bluesy, let’s play around a campfire vibes and I’m loving it. It’s good to see Avril back in a good place, mentally, and it’s reflecting back in the old sassy, upbeat Avril of yesteryear. Yes, I just used the word yesteryear in 2013. Deal with it. And what is up with the album artwork? It is so misrepresentative of the message on the inside. I was waiting for the doom and gloom of “Take Me Away” meets vulnerable and sweet “Goodbye Lullaby.” There was none on both accounts, in fact, probably the most upbeat album…ever?

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