Avril Lavigne’s new self-titled record: What you need to know
It’s been 11 years since Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne blasted into pop consciousness with her sassy, supercharged pop rock hits like ‘Sk8er Boi’ and ‘Complicated’, and, despite the fact she’s still only 29, she’s about to drop her fifth full-length record.
Here’s what you need to know about singer’s new, self-titled album:
What’s The Background?
Lavigne is obviously back in the spotlight after her marriage to Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, which has seen her splashed all over the front pages of glossy magazines and a daily feature in internet gossip columns. Consequently there’s more a level of anticipation for this record that Lavigne hasn’t seen since her debut record back in 2002.
Her last album Goodbye Lullaby, while performing fairly respectably, was still Lavigne’s least successful record to date. Although, in this case, least successful means only selling two million copies, so it’s hardly a flop. Nevertheless, Lavigne started recording on this new record only a matter of weeks after her fourth LP came out and has continued to work on it for the past two years.
Who Are Her Influences?
Kroeger’s presence is keenly felt on the record, giving the album a real arena rock feel, but Lavigne’s tried and tested mixture of old school Blink-182-esque pop punk and US radio rock like Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty still holds firm. The ballads on the record also owe much to the bombast and scale of Evanescence, with their grand piano stylings and orchestral overtones.
Who’s At The Controls?
As well as Kroeger, who is credited as a co-writer on eight of the album’s 13 tracks, Lavigne has also penned tracks with former Evanescence member David Hodges, who is credited a full 10 times on the record. The Cardigans guitarist Peter Svennson also appears, as does Carolina Liar’s Rickard Göransson.
Unlike her previous two efforts, Lavigne hasn’t turned to songwriting supremos Max Martin, Butch Walker and Dr Luke, all of whom helped her craft the likes of ‘Girlfriend’, ‘What The Hell’ and ‘When You’re Gone’.
What Are The Standout Tracks?
Early singles ‘Here’s To Never Growing Up’ and ‘Rock N’Roll’ give a good flavour of the record’s polished, hummable radio pop rock. ‘17’ is straight up bubblegum pop, while ‘Bitchin Summer’ is wistful ode to teenage wilderness. The album contains two duets and they couldn’t be more different. The first is, naturally, with Chad Kroeger and is a huge, billowing ballad, complete with ornate pianos and a full string section. The other is a romping duet with Marilyn Manson, which is built around a sleazy, whisky-soaked guitar riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on Manson’s early records. The record’s biggest curveball is ‘Hello Kitty’, which is an electro-pop banger, inspired by the Japanese toy. It even has a dubstep drop…
Does It Deliver?
This is, without doubt, Avril Lavigne’s most varied album and the electro tinges might be a bit much for some people, but mostly it’s full of the same pop rock that people have been loving for the last decade. Although Chad Kroeger has clearly had a huge part in the creation of the record, he’s mainly brought his ability to create huge, hummable choruses to the album, rather than giving Lavigne a harder edge.