Avril's new album has certainly been released before it's November 5th debut in a battle for top spot against Eminem, but does it really make the cut?
So Avril Lavigne's self-titled album is her fifth studio record, and many wonder if she could carry on the tradition of her fourth album, Goodbye Lullaby. Truth be told, her fourth wasn't her strongest despite powering with huge pieces of ballads (Wish You Were Here) and an explosive first single (What The Hell), but it wasn't the worst. None of Lavigne's albums are hugely disappointing, but I had problems with the trend of the previous album. Does her new album really makes the Lavigne brand promising and hugely acclaimed again?
I was impressed, in fact, rather head-on loved the first two singles she brought out with Rock N Roll and Here's To Never Growing Up, two high-flying singles that have not only surprised, but really brought the old-style Lavigne cut back to the forefront of what she really is. The cut-throat singles serves as a great way to refresh fans, with the former an amazing tribute that I still cannot get over yet. The album contains two features, something that has not happened in all of her albums so far. I can see Chad Kroeger somewhere there (in fact releasing Let Me Go as the third official single), but Marilyn Manson? Really? Still, it had to be listened to be believed, and so far, the album is solid and really great for the first half and not so similar for the second.
Rock N Roll and Here's To Never Growing Up kick-off the album, and nonetheless are the two songs that hyped up the album for me. 17 is next, the pop, fun and exciting jam, recalling the year when she was 17 with a guy she'd run off with and have fun, accompanied by a sing-along chorus that drowns you in. Bitchin' Summer is a smash from the first second. Acoustic guitars lurking in the background and Lavigne's vocals clear and crisp, once again evoking that sing-along rhythm that follows suit of the first three songs so far, especially Here's To Never Growing Up. A rap? Not exactly but Lavigne does it comfortably, saying 'motherfucking cops'. Yeah, that was nice. And comes one of the more emotional jabs of the album in the form of the third single, Let Me Go featuring husband Chad Kroeger. This emotional piece was the only single I didn't review before the album's stream, and to be honest Chad works in this song. The two's interplay in the chorus makes for a wonderful chorus, and it really slows down the pace of the album. That's not a bad thing though, as the album has been really rock-heavy and just all sing-along anthems that really have nothing uncommon from each other. It was a welcome breakdown, I'd say.
And here comes the second-half of the album with tight reminiscence of Goodbye Lullaby, and I meant Give You What You Like. The acoustic guitar is what drives this song, once again a welcome addition to the album. It's definitely vocally driven, but it really showcases the falsettos of Lavigne. I wish there was something more from this song, maybe a little tad of touch to the chorus might've worked brilliantly. Still, it is a great song even though it doesn't really pick up the album. And Marilyn's featurette on Bad Girl probably was a little disturbing when he cuts in on the first second. Otherwise, the song really is just what it needed, a rock-infused pop anthem that really feels like a drive-by. The chorus does suffer a little, almost feeling out of place. However, in some parts, Marilyn's vocals do hamper the track but otherwise, it is just decent and I felt had the song gone above 3 minutes, it might not be all that great as well. Hello Kitty is... so different from the album. The Best Damn Thing reference? Definitely. But the EDM parts of the track are probably one of my dislikes, and definitely is not one of my favourite tracks on the album. The song just doesn't feel a part of the album and is just explosively dubstep. Is this even Lavigne's style? You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet once again picks up, but how many drops have we had so far? The song does return back to the first three vibes that we've had so far but offers nothing new in exchange.
However, Sippin' On Sunshine works in every direction, almost a combination of the first two singles with gang vocals. I'm thinking this could even be joint-top with Rock N Roll as the best song on the album. The song throws you onto a dance ride and really the best song since Let Me Go. Hello Heartache once again revisits Let Go, and to me the album just fills to be a mesh of her past albums combined, sharing different vibes and different pairs of genres altogether. The chorus on this song speaks for itself, and really, one of the more better songs on the album. Hell, the bridge is probably the best on the entire album. Falling Fast is another emotional piece that is jarringly amazing, and the words speaks for itself. It's in the same veins as Let Me Go for sure, and feels like another combination of Goodbye Lullaby and probably Let Go, though I could be wrong. Lavigne's vocals shine on this song, while the guitars once again very precise and magnificent. Then we come to Hush Hush, and expecting another emotional piece that could be the same as Falling Fast, and that was what I got. The song could be talking about Chad Kroeger, Lavigne's husband, but once again is intense and could easily be the icing on the cake for the album. Meanings full of depth, the track probably only suffers from poor songwriting, but it doesn't really break it apart too much.
Overall the album does suffer from one problem, and that is repetition. While most tracks work, it is truly because of the style in which Lavigne and her co-writers work to develop. Some songs are really unnecessary and feels out of place, especially the middle pack of the songs. While the album is good, it's not that great either. You may love a song while journeying through, but you will undoubtedly stumble over a not-so-likeable one.
7/10: The album is a piece that feels recalling of her past albums, and really brings back great memories from Let Go, The Best Damn Thing and Goodbye Lullaby. The tracks are decent except for a couple, and while you may argue this is the best album Lavigne has ever done, probably in the production view I'd agree, but the overall conception is one of the drawbacks of this album that I have been looking forward to ever since her first single dropped. I'd recommend it though, and that's a big plus to Lavigne, whom I've respected ever since her first album.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.