Lavigne returns to music scene with self-titled, pop-rock album

Avril Lavigne consistently entertains audiences, does not exceed expectations

By Julia Chirls ’17

The wait is over for the Avril Lavigne fans out there. The French-Canadian singer-songwriter has excited the world of pop-rock with her edgy and feisty style since 2002, when she released her first album Let Go. Lavigne released her fifth studio album, self-titled, Avril Lavigne, on Nov. 4.

For a little bit of back story, you may be asking, “Why did she self-title this album?  Why doesn’t it contain a spunky name like her previous works?” In an interview with The Daily Beast, Avril Lavigne admitted, “I couldn’t really figure out a name.” She claims it had so much variety and that it was full of “experimenting and growing.”

One by one, Lavigne’s albums have gained a devoted audience that continues to grow with Avril Lavigne. Two guests made a special appearance with Lavigne in the creation of Avril Lavigne.  Musical artists with contrasting styles take the stage with her:  Marilyn Manson, known for his controversial stage personality and image as the lead singer of his band, adds his heavy metal roots to “Bad Girl,” and Lavigne’s husband Chad Kroeger, the lead singer of Nickelback, adds the voice that lives in the tracks of his own albums to “Let Me Go.”

“Here’s to Never Growing Up” sits second on the track list.  The song was released in April and has soared in popularity since. The track blasts with energy from the first verse, setting the stage for the rest of the song and keeping the listener locked in. The lyrics convey Lavigne’s binding commitment to remain in her youth, which is ironic because she has reached maturity and just recently married Kroeger.

Moving along the track list, the fifth song, “Let Me Go,” features Kroeger.  This is a standout because Lavigne and Kroeger co-wrote the lyrics to tell the story of their own relationship and, in general, the journey of love in one’s life. I had to put this one on repeat.

The story begins with “I’m breaking free from these memories / gotta let it go/just let it go /  I’ve said goodbye / set it all on fire.” A light then appears at the end of the tunnel, an encouragement to never give up and to fight for what you have and what you want. In the music video, this is portrayed when an elderly representation of Kroeger, who is looking back on his life, shatters a large hourglass on the floor.  “There’s only one thing left here to say / Love’s never too late / I’ve broken free from these memories…And two goodbyes led to this new life / Don’t let me go.”

The 12th song without a doubt appeals to the Lavigne/Swift audience. “Falling Fast” shows a small transition from Lavigne’s feisty, pop-rock style to a country-pop kind of style. It has an easy rhythm and a light, soothing sound to it.

The song tells the story of a “love-at-first-sight” kind of relationship, one that will last forever. “I woke up and saw the sun today / you came by without a warning / You put a smile on my face / I want that for every morning / What is it I’m feeling? / ‘Cause I can’t let it go.” It’s a great tune to play while you are doing some homework; it may even brighten up that part of your day.

As a whole, Avril Lavigne could have been better. Although the album did have its perks and positive aspects, a couple of the songs were disappointing including the bizarre “Hello Kitty.” It simply does not make sense to me and the album could have gone without it. The song may, however, please her Japanese audience, as there are some Japanese lyrics included.

In early December, Lavigne will perform for her loyal fans, traveling from New York to Pennsylvania, to Missouri and  Illinois. On Dec. 4 she will participate in the Q102 Jingle Ball held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Avril Lavigne is currently available on iTunes in both clean and explicit versions for $9.70.

First-year Julia Chirls is a staff writer. Her email is jchirls@fandm.edu.

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