Sunday, November 10, 2013

Avril Lavigne Goes Back to Her Roots On New Album

Avril Lavigne is back with her self-titled fifth album and it is a return to form of sorts. Lavigne released three stellar albums before releasing her worst work yet, 2011's Goodbye Lullaby. The pop rock princess abandoned her loud rocking anthems almost entirely and had an acoustic sound on that record. While there were a few great songs the only truly amazing cut was the single "What the Hell" which may be one of Lavigne's best songs ever.
Then in April of this year Lavigne released her comeback single "Here's to Never Growing Up." While it was a decent song, it lacked the spark of past hits. It later became a decent hit for the singer.
Then in August Lavigne released her second single "Rock n Roll." This song was a return to form for the singer and set the stage for her fifth album, out last week.
While at first I was turned off by the fact that Lavigne's husband, Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger was responsible for co-writing eight songs, producing six and being featured on the third single "Let Me Go." Kroeger also sings backup on a few tracks. However this is one of Lavigne's most enjoyable releases. It's her second best after 2007's masterpiece The Best Damn Thing.
The album's best songs are the rockers. "Rock n Roll" is an anthem for misfits everywhere. "17" features Lavigne reliving her teenage years. "Bitchin' Summer" is an ode to summer fun. "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" is a fast-paced rocker about falling in love. And the album's two best songs are "Bad Girl" which features Marilyn Manson and is a dirty and strange duet and "Hello Kitty" which is a strange dubstep-laced song that is overtly sexual and pure fun.
The album's midtempo cuts are also good for the most part. "Here's to Never Growing Up" wasn't my favorite at first but it's definitely a decent song. "Sippin' on Sunshine" is a midtempo song about summer loving. "Hello Heartache" is also one of the album's best songs. It's a midtempo rocker about moving on from a breakup which recalls a slow jam off of Ke$ha's last album.
Now comes the album's ballads. "Let Me Go" which is a duet with Chad Kroeger and the third single is a great ballad and despite Lavigne's duet partner it's surprisingly good. "Give You What You Like" however is a weird sexual ballad. It doesn't work and is probably the worst song on the record. The album closes with two forgettable ballads. "Falling Fast" is a decent but forgettable song about falling in love and taking a chance. Next is the album's last track "Hush Hush." This song is decent but it's been done by Lavigne many other times and the others were usually more memorable.
Lavigne has surprised us with one of the best pop albums of the year. With releases coming from Lady Gaga and Britney Spears in the coming weeks she may be undone but for now Avril Lavigne is up there was being one of the best pop releases this year. Lavigne has proven herself with this album. She has proved that even after a bad album she can come back and is one of pop's princesses. 


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