Pop’s favourite Sk8er girl Avril Lavigne is back with her fifth album, proving why she remains the princess of pop punk music. Simply titled Avril Lavigne, the 13-track collection is the perfect representation of the Canadian singer-songwriter over the years – poppy and fun interspersed with darker, more serious tracks.
The album features some well-known guest stars in Marilyn Manson (Bad Girl) and Lavigne’s very own husband Chad Kroeger of Nickelback (Let Me Go). Anyone who has enjoyed the singles so far (Here’s To Never Growing Up, Rock n Roll) should be a fan of the rest of the album which is just as fun and infectious as these two.
The album opens strongly with Rock n Roll, a classic Avril anthem celebrating her non-conformist, carefree ways (“I don’t care if I’m a misfit/I like it better than the hipster bullshit”). Letting everyone know that she is still the punk (“motherf**king”) princess after all these years (“What if you and I just put our middle fingers to the sky/Let ‘em know that we’re still rock and roll”), Avril shows off her youthful voice in the catchy track, complete with rock n roll style guitar riffs.
The nostalgic party tune Here’s To Never Growing Up is next, an ode to partying and staying young forever. This fun number is one of the catchiest songs this year and the perfect song to raise a glass to at parties.
Nostalgia and youth are huge themes in Avril Lavigne, quite possibly summed up the best in the introspective pop track 17. When Avril was 17 she released her debut album Let Go, and in this song she looks back fondly on the innocent, carefree days of her teens (“Those days are long gone/But when I hear that song/It takes me back”).
Teaming up with hubby Chad Kroeger in Let Me Go, Avril shows off a more vulnerable side in a Nickelback style ballad. Kroeger’s rough voice contrasted with Avril’s smoother vocals make for an interesting mix but the song lacks the punch of Avril’s other singles.
Give You What You Like is a slower reminder that the I’m With You and Nobody’s Home singer is still in there behind the middle-fingers-up-pop. Singing about a physical relationship in which one party wants a more emotional connection, the songs shows more lyrical and musical maturity than some of the earlier party tunes.
The last track is a song called Hush Hush, a soft break-up ballad showing off Avril’s vocals as it ebbs and flows and fades out to close the album.
Avril has produced a fantastic record full of pop, rock and vulnerable ballads. Some songs are fun and upbeat (Bitchin’ Summer, Sippin’ On Sunshine), some are simply unexplainable (Bad Girl, Hello Kitty) and need to be heard to be appreciated, but somehow they work even when they probably shouldn’t. Avril Lavigne is proof that the Canadian is great at what she does and wants everyone to know it.
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