Friday, 25 October 2013

Avril Lavigne 'Avril Lavigne' Album Review

Three years since her last album release, Avril Lavigne's fifth album is self titled and the successor of the darker 'Goodbye Lullaby', which promises to be more upbeat and catchy, and the most diverse album to date. 


The album contains thirteen new tracks:

1. Rock N Roll 4.5/5
The second single from Avril Lavigne's self titled album follows the catchiness of HTNGU with a youthful  and addictive hook that grabs you from the first listen. Whilst the progression is rather typical, it is a formula that works. Lyrics are typical Lavigne with phrases such as mother-frickin princess etc etc... and with a video featuring a Bear shark, this is definitely a definitive song from the new era.


2. Here's To Never Growing Up 4/5
Lyrically, Lavigne writes what she knows best- youthful, fun and outgoing lyrics. Although this is not the development some expected or wished for, the track is musically superior. With an acoustic guitar sound reminiscent of 'Complicated but with an infused modern sound, this song got me hooked from the first play. It reminds fans why they love Avril Lavigne. Super catchy and easy to pick up, no wonder the lead single to the fifth album has topped the iTunes chart in 15 countries upon release. Bring on the Summer.


3. 17 5/5
It seems like everyone is writing about being a certain age nowadays. After Adele's album 21 and Taylor Swift's hit single 22, Avril Lavigne brings us a look back at being 17. The song is extremely catchy, full of rebellious lyrics and has an explosive shouty chorus which will win over all the fans who remember her 'Let Go' era..


4. Bitchin Summer 4/5
Such a shame that it's no longer Summer as this track could have been a great Summer hit had the album been released on schedule. It has the perfect beat and tune for a road trip/ drive to the beach. That said, this upbeat and catchy song will definitely brighten up the day, if even for just a little bit.


5. Let Me Go ft. Chad Kroeger 4/5
'Let Me Go' was the first song Kroeger wrote with Lavigne and what was first written as a break up song between the couple, the last verse of which was edited to fit with the pair's new found relationship. The song writing and musical style definitely reflects the two's separate musical backgrounds but comes together in a beautiful and dramatic way that works and perhaps is the song that defines this era.



6. Give Me What You Like 4.5/5
What is probably the most different sounding song Avril has ever released, 'Give Me What You Like' is probably my favourite off the album, even though it is about sex. The lyrics and the experimental sound allow Lavigne to show off her vocals and it reminds me of Amy Studt's 'Paper Made Men' album which was moody and really deep. 

7. Bad Girl ft. Marilyn Manson 3.5/5
This was definitely a real risk for Lavigne and when news of a collaboration with Marilyn Manson was announced, the fan base was definitely divided. The metal/rock sound is new and fresh, with MM thankfully not too intrusive and only has a small singing/whispering part. I'm not a fan of the song but I also wouldn't skip it as it seems like Lavigne is having a lot of fun in this musical; exploration.

8. Hello Kitty 3.5/5
Dedicated to her huge Asian and Japanese fan base, 'Hello Kitty' is a quirky, upbeat electronic dub track which will no doubt do really well in Asia if released as a single. It's not a fav of mine but I can grow to like it. It, for some reason, made me think of Gangnam style on the first listen. I can see this having a very pink music video. 

[WATCH THE HELLO KITTY MUSIC VIDEO HERE]

9. You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet 4/5
After three experimental and new sounding tracks taking centre place on the album, 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet' brings back an upbeat pop sound in a track which is musically and lyrically pretty safe. I like it, but it is forgettable.

10. Sippin' on Sunshine 3.5/5
SOS is another track that would've benefited from a Summer release and shares a duality with Bitchin Summer, mirroring it on the album in terms of position. It doesn't really do anything for me compared to Bitching Summer but nonetheless catchy but also seemingly brainless fun.



11. Hello Heartache 5/5
Drawing to the end of the album, 'Hello Heartache' is a beautifully written and dramatic song with a powerful chorus. This is apparently also the renamed track to previously leaked instrumental 'Complete Me' which is two years old. I actually love this song and wish she would release a whole album of stuff like this.

12. Falling Fast 5/5
Sounding like an offshoot from Goodbye Lullaby, 'Falling Fast' is an ethereal and soft track which has great lyrics and the simple production really works to bring focus to her vocals.

13. Hush Hush 5/5
From the simple piano intro to the powerful vocals, this ballad is the perfect finish to the album. It is almost like the sequel to 'Black Star'- the piano bridge is stunning with a gigantic build up before the final chorus. It leaves you satisfied but definitely wanting much much more! 

SONGS TO LOVE: Give You What You Like, Let Me Go, 17, Falling Fast, Hush Hush
SONGS TO SKIP: potentially Hello Kitty or Bad Girl...

~~~OVERALL 4/5~~~
Avril Lavigne's self titled album is her most experimental offering to date, covering a range of musical genres including rock, pop, metal and acoustic, but also with a great story and flow. The first three tracks remind us of why we love Avril Lavigne, catchy pop rock tracks with amazing hooks, with '17' a song written about the age about which her musical career took off.

The middle of the album is all about experimentation and musical exploration: 'Give You What You Like' is a dark and moody ballad, 'Bad Girl' a rock/metal track and 'Hello Kitty' an electro pop dance quirky song. Whilst they may feel and sound eclectic, each shows a different side to Avril Lavigne and her musical interests these three years since her last album.

Rounding the album off perfectly are three of the best songs off the album- catchy but well written ballads that are simple and not overly produced, a clear and direct relation to tracks from 'Goodbye Lullaby' in terms of song writing and musical style, one which I dearly hope she continues to pursue as she develops a more mature sound and songwriting style. 

'Avril Lavigne' clearly shows a musical journey and a story as you listen to the album, giving existing fans the catchy pop they loved as well as a development in maturity for those that have grown up with her. Whilst the experimental tracks are hit and miss, there are enough songs on here that are pretty flawless to make up for it. 

Avril Lavigne's new album is officially released on the 5th November.

SIDE NOTE:
Avril Lavigne suggested a desire to release two albums back to back as she had more than two albums' worth of material (since Goodbye Lullaby). It seems very strange that there isn't a deluxe edition for this album, where it seems to be the most sensible and logical place to put these highly anticipated tracks (Candy, Gone, Fine, Secret, Fly etc)!

3 comments:

  1. I actually liked the whole album, but It should've been a Deluxe Edition, that way they could put You ain't seen nothing yet, bad girl, and hello Kitty there, or maybe as Bonus Tracks, YASNY is very forgettable and bad girl is for metal lovers, don't get me wrong I love it, she is fierce but is not losing grip or take me away at all. Hello Kitty should have been a bonus in Asia, they can release the song there. I just wonder about Fly maybe it is for her foundation. I just feel the album is too short and she left me wanting more. Other than that It was an amazing album, but I think you are been hard on Bad Girl, it is a good song, it has a lot of attitude.

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  2. I agree, splendid album. Hello Heartache is amazing.

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  3. I love Avril. Awesome album!! Yes, there should've been bonus tracks, or better yet back to back cds. Next year she should release Avril Lavigne Part 2, with all the songs that didn't make it.

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