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A, Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne – Goodbye Lullaby

Her first album, Let Go, came out almost ten years ago now, and she’s still singing her songs, and doing that well. Avril Lavigne, who is now twenty-six, was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. When she came out with “Complicated”, her (teenage) fans all over the world went wild for her. And the success was even bigger with “Sk8ter Boi”. Her second album, which came out in 2004, was a lot more mature, and was ranking in the charts as well. Then, she dyed her hair blonde and released the Damn Best Thing, the album was more poppy than ever. Which received mixed reviews. Now, she’s back with Goodbye Lullaby, an album, she says is taking her back to where she started.

It’s hard to imagine the title, until, of course you hear the album, and the first song of it, “Black Star“. What a perfect example of a lullaby. It’s too short to be a real song, and it’s purely based on a piano riff. The lyrics are more of a poem than lyrics, and it’s almost like she is actually singing it to a child.

What’s next is the leading single, “What The Hell“. It’s a fun song, something you’d expect from a singer like Avril Lavigne, especially because it’s something that could have been on her previous album as well. The video is in the same line, she wakes up in her boyfriend’s bed and goes out, trying to hide from him. After the evening is done and she got to do her thing, she crawls back in bed with him. It’s fun and… sexy. Have you seen that lingerie? No more knee socks with skulls for her, like in the “Don’t Tell Me” video.

The acoustic guitar is something she had in her first album, and she’s pursuing the same path now. That already comes through with “Push“, a short track that doesn’t break dishes, but it’s not too bad. I’m guessing it’s one of those songs that you’ll love if you’re in the same position. If you like her high vocals in the chorus, that is. There is nothing wrong with them, they are perfectly fine. But I’ve got a love-hate relationship with them.

I must have the explicit version, because I’ve heard the f-word and the s-word (whatever that may be) plenty of times. Oh, and the chorus of  “Wish You Were Here” includes the D-word. A couple of times, actually. Do I care? Not really, but I thought I’d mention. Either way – the track isn’t ballad, neither is it a fast song. But it does eat you up, one of the better ones.

Smile” is an up-tempo track, and is soon to be her second single. Good choice. It’s a bit crazy, a perfect spring/summer song. I’m imagining it, you know. A  convertible, singing to that song, until I have to stop at the red lights, and some old guy is stopping next to me. Yes, I imagine that for that song. Good thing I have a car, let alone a convertible.

The happiness continues with “Stop Standing There“.  What’s to describe? It’s fun and easy. That’s all there is. If she goes with a fourth single, this should be it. But I can’t make up my mind. Of course.

She’s really in love, so it seems. Three love songs, so far. And this one goes really far, since it’s in the title. “I Love You“. I have to tell you, when I first saw that title, I thought bad things of it. Who names a song like that? Of course, I’d rather have this thrown at me than titles like “Fuck You” or “I Hate You”. Those exist as well, you know. But the title is somewhat deceiving. It’s still as cheesy, yes. But it’s got more than that in it.

The reason that I love you is you, just you.

Ain’t that pretty? I thought so.

Speaking of track titles, don’t you immediately think of REM when you see “Everybody Hurts“? I do, but luckily for all of us, she did something on her own.  What I’ve heard so far on the album is that the songs aren’t that long, and the choruses come pretty quick. The same for this song, it’s there already before you know it. Which is sometimes a good thing. The genre she’s in isn’t supposed to have long tracks, quick and strong that’s what she should try to achieve. And she’s achieved. The track istr up-tempo but emotional and brings the message. Too bad I’m a bit too old to get the full message anymore.

Not Enough” seems to be the first ballad. The way Avril does it, though. Dark and sad. But, it’s never as sad as any of her songs on “Under My Skin”. Which is good in a way. She doesn’t always have to get that deep, the way she did before. But let’s be honest – this song was needed. Too much happy teeny songs aren’t good either.

4 Real” is probably a personal accomplishment for Lavigne, since she produced the song herself, but it’s not one of her best. It’s not outstanding at all, all though you have to admit, it could perfectly fit in her first album, which was something she was aiming for. Going back to the roots. Yep, she did that. The bridge is the best part.

Darlin” isn’t stand out either, but it is sweet. A track she wrote when she was fifteen. And to be honest – knowing that, you could say it’s pretty good. The only thing is that, this track should have at least two versions, and one of it should be electric guitars, instead of an acoustic one. But I’m not complaining – she did a pretty good job at fifteen.

Ah, the actual ballad has arrived. “Remember When” reminds me of a Taylor Swift song for some reason. Don’t ask me why. Only, until the bridge starts. That’s where rock star Avril Lavigne arrives. But truly, sometimes I do think that she’s not Canadian, I’ve always had a country vibe around her. I lied, not always. But several times, and now is the time as well. It’s far from country, but I can’t help it.

This is “Goodbye“. The last, but not least. At first you think it’s gonna be really sad. And you’re right – it’s just really sad. It’s almost like she’s the mother leaving her children. And that’s sad, right?

Overall, it’s a good album. She had a goal and she achieved that goal. It’s got fillers and singles. But I can’t say it’s great, like I’m thrilled or anything. Most of the songs aren’t the kind of tracks that you know immediately: this is gonna be huge. Ever since her previous album, I’ve always have this feeling — She’s trying too hard. Not because of lack of ability, heck, she has ability. She has talent. And she can write. She’s the writer or co-written all of the tracks, and that’s remarkable, for the industry she’s in. But in most tracks, there is something missing. Maybe it’s true what they say: artists write their best albums when they’re sad. And we know she’s happy now, Brody Jenner got that done. Speaking of, why didn’t her soon-to-be  father in law produce anything?

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