In our fast-paced, constantly changing society, it’s rare for anything to stick around for very long, especially in the entertainment industry. Yet here we are, in 2013, and Avril Lavigne is still here rocking her way to the top of the charts. Whether you love her, or you hate her, the fact remains that she has proven that she’s not going anywhere.
Debuting with Let Go back in 2002, Avril garnered mass attention from all over the world with her catchy chart toppers like “Sk8er Boi,” but its her personal, heartfelt numbers like “I’m With You” that have kept audiences listening to her. Eleven years later and Avril is still as successful as ever with the release of her latest, self-titled album, which hit shelves in early November. Her long-term success is due not only to her original and easily recognizable vocals, but to both her ability to tell her stories to audiences and her ability to change.
Back in her Let Go days Avril was infamous for putting her middle finger up and verbally trashing other singers (specifically the blonde bubble-gum types). But Avril has grown from that, and her new album presents a newer, more matured Avril. Each album she releases seems to stand for a different phase in her life. As a result the tone and vibe of every album is very different. Thus longtime fans have essentially grown up with Avril.
Being one year short of 30, the (forever youthful) Avril would look ridiculous if she was trying to maintain the image of her former punk self. While folks argue that she has changed too much, I pose the question, how many of us are exactly the same person we were eleven years ago?
Avril Lavigne, the album, shows exactly what eleven years has done to Avril. The album as a whole presents the singer/storyteller’s ability to excel in many different genres. From a light dubstep track, to a somber country-like song, to a gritty duet with Marilyn Manson, Avril demonstrates the impressive extent of her musical range. While it features some new, unexplored flavors, the album has all the makings of an Avril Lavigne album. It’s got its chart topping, catchy singles, sad songs that’ll hit you right in the feels, attitude-heavy jams, and nostalgic melodies that’ll have you smiling to yourself. Here are some highlights from the album:
- “Rock ‘n Roll”
The premiere song of the album, as well as the second single of the album, Rock ‘n Roll demonstrates Avril’s ability to construct a truly addictive chorus. With lyrics like, “I don’t care about my misfit, I like it better than the hipster bulls**t,” the song edges itself out of the pop genre into that unique place that only Avril can go.
As an added note, the music video for the song is truly unique. It’s hard to describe with words, but some key parts of the video are: lobster, bearshark, lesbian kiss, and driving dog.
- “Here’s To Never Growing Up”
The first single off the album, “Here’s To Never Growing Up” appears to be a nod from Avril to her fans that no matter how much she grows up, she’ll always be the rebellious, sassy, and empowered singer she’s always been. This is the kind of song you want to blast as you’re driving with your closest friends with the windows down. It is the perfect addition to any road trip or summer playlist. You’ll be playing this one on repeat quite a bit, I promise you.
Most of us look back at our High School days with a mixture of awkward shame and embarrassment—but “17” is a throwback to some of the better times of our late teenage years. The bouncy beat will make it a definite favorite of the album. She proudly declares, “Acting stupid for fun. All we needed was love. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. At 17.”
- “Bitchin’ Summer”
This track truly surprised me. With a title like “Bitchin’ Summer” I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it has since emerged as my favorite of the album. The simple guitar strum in the background is both catchy and addictive. It all just screams Summer Hit. This is the kind of song you share with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner. But you both need to learn all of the words so you jam out together to, “It’s gonna be a bitchin’ summer. We’ll be living fast, kicking ass together.”
Avril’s little rap section near the song’s end definitely adds some spice to the song.
- “Let Me Go (feat. Chad Kroeger)”
The first duet of the album features Avril and her new husband, Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger. The two are naturals at songs about love, and more specifically lost love. The song gets this point across, and is certainly not the worst duet in the world, but their voices don’t harmonize as well as they could. Avril’s individual vocals shine in the song, but it’s just not as strong as her solo work.
- “Bad Girl (feat. Marilyn Manson)”
This track is certainly one of Avril’s most explicit to date. She takes control of the majority of the song, with Manson chiming in throughout. It might be a little rougher than what some of Avril’s fans are accustomed to, but her darker side won’t surprise longtime fans. The voice effects towards the song’s end are really well placed and pull the song together for a strong finish.
- “Hello Kitty”
This playful track shows off the girly style that Avril can so effortlessly channel. She chants, “Kawaii” throughout the song, which is Japanese for “cute”. This epitomizes the tone of the song, and is capitalized when she sings, “Meow.”
- “Falling Fast”
This song perfectly presents the fear and worries that come with falling for someone. If you can relate, this song will immediately click with you. The gentle, sad melody quickly made it one of the top tracks on the album. Her vocals take center stage in. I’m praying she will release an acoustic version of this song. Do the world this favor Avril!