Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Avril Lavigne -- The Best Damn Thing

Where does an artist go after just two albums and 26 million units sold? For anyone not named Note, drinking air conditioning liquids will KILL YOU!Avril or Norah, one would assume the supreme awesomeness of gravity eventually takes hold for the inevitable Nestea plunge (remember Alanis Morissette?). Avril looks to maintain her top-of-the-food-chain status once again with her first release since 2004's Under My Skin. She sounds pretty much like her old classic teenage self on her third LP, The Best Damn Thing.

Lavigne reportedly presided over the band auditions for the album, making all cut decisions herself (sans RCA label input). Maybe that's why it has so much of a Blink182 / Sum41/ Simple Plan feel to it. Well that and Travis Barker Travis likes his broads classy!(Blink182) plays drums on the album. Additionally, “Contagious” sounds like it got a bad case of the Blinky’s “What’s My Age Again?”, featuring the same guitar line and drums. Since falling out with the Matrix production team after her debut Let Go, and writing much of Under My Skin with Chantal Kreviazuk, Lavigne now allegedly penned most of the songs herself. The only proof needed is one listen. There are some cringe-worthy moments at several points. She teeters back and forth song-to-song from catty/bitchy/insecure/ANNOYING to over-confident bravado, making the album very schizophrenic and uneven. Avril spends half of the album shadow cat fighting with the Paris Hilton's and LiLo's of the world (i.e. skanks and sluts) about trying to steal her boyfriend, or the guy she wants to be her boyfriend, or some other mindless crap like the lack of cell phone coverage. She sounds like a complete bitch when she yells “I don’t have to try, to make you realize, anything I wanna do anything I’m gonna do anything I wanna do, I do...HUH!”

Ultimately, a big problem with this album is the poor decision not to have Butch Walker produce it entirely (he's only on for 3 tracks-"The Best Damn Thing", "When You're Gone", "Everything Back But You"). The two exceptions would be the surprisingly good ballad, "Innocence", which was produced by Rob Cavallo (Green Day, MCR, Goo's), and "Keep Holding On" with Co-Producer Luke Gottwald (Kelly Clarkson, Pink). Avril's Fan Club takes Damore's advice and decides to wait for the Clarkson jawnAdditional Co-Producer credits go to Lavigne's husband and Sum41 guitarist/vocalist Deryck "Don't Spell me Derek" Whibley, herself, and the aforementioned Walker.

There are some catchy, hook-filled pop rock songs (“One of Those Girls”, “Runaway”, “Hot”) as well as a couple of ballads, which are the real strength of the album. Unless you're a die hard Avril fan, you probably want to sit this one out. For the more casual pop music fan, my advice would be to wait until summer for the new Kelly Clarkson jawn (My December) to drop in lieu of picking up this album. If Clarkson’s single "Never Again" is any indication, it's going to, like, totally ROCK. Clarkson is much more talented musically, has more maturity, and more guilty pleasure appeal to even the most hard-code of indie snobs. 1

While Avril’s almost 23 years old, it's still painfully obvious that for the most part she hasn't grown up much beyond the typical high school fodder lyrically, which is noted on “Girlfriend” with Motion!  NICE!“Don‘t pretend I think you know I‘m damn precious, and hell yeah I‘m the motherfuckin’ princess…she‘s like, so whatever, you could do so much better”. In fact, Avril seems to relish predicating that perception further with 3 songs sounding like a soundtrack sung by and for high school cheerleaders. “The Best Damn Thing” starts off like a cheerleader band with the tambourine/handclap intro moving into “I hate it when a guy doesn’t get the tab I have to pull my money out and that looks bad”.

Hopefully, Avril comes to her senses and realizes that she doesn't always have to have all the answers, and although she has the power to have 100% control over everything now, surrounding herself with other talented and wise individuals is ultimately her best move for maintaining career longevity. In the end it won't matter one bit commercially this time, as this will definitely go platinum 2 or 3 times easy, bolstering Avril's punkish GFY attitude and I’M SOOO PUNK decision making process. Our guess is that as the teens move further along the life line, a similarly themed and executed effort will not have anywhere near her previous commercial success the next time around, forcing Avril to grow the fuck up already.

Rating: 2/5


1ed. note: Despite what you may think, the primary audience for recordreviews.org is not indie snobs, but rather shut-ins and tech support opperators working the night shift in Mumbai, dreaming of a better life in America.

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Blogger Uncle Grambo said...

Exactly how I feel about the record. Almost too slick for its own good. Nice work, Damizz.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. It's best that Gorilla added the MSU Motion Team hottness & creative use of Google image search again. Sparty on!


9:13 AM  
Anonymous Yale Bloor said...

I just can't even comprehend devoting 200 words to such a piece of *&%#...theres got to be better music out there to review let alone write about! I guess I hold you guy's to a higher standard....

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's actually >700 words. Where's the fun in writing about only what you like?


8:26 AM  
Blogger Gorilla said...

Thanks for your input. You'll notice the above review was in fact not very positive, so I'm not really sure what standard we are failing to meet.

We've been very light on content the last few weeks, but as always the goal to review albums the week they are released and to review a variety of albums both major lable and indie. Some weeks lots of stuff our writers are interested in reviewing comes out, some weeks there is very little.

thanks for reading.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Yale Bloor said...

No offense, I just expected more from the holy triumvirate based on reading your back blog comments on other sites I expected more of a Lester Bangs type review on Avril, now that I reside on the left coast of Mi. - Mumbai and troll for women at the local nursing homes I probably don't fit your demographic, anyway good luck, your site has potential, get Peabs off his lazy a##...Probably celebrating his bday in a basement room in Romulus with geriatic tranny...

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense taken. You didn't think the review was up to par, no big deal. Thanks for reading.


1:35 PM  

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