Our little skater girl who once belted lyrics about teenage rebellion, insecurities and soured relationships which brought her instant stardom with popular hits like “Sk8ter boi” and “Complicated”, is all grown up into, wait a second, a pop princess?
Before you choke, and do a double take on the cute platinum-blond girl sporting sexy shorts and skin tight outfits on MTV proclaiming “Hey! Hey! You! You! I could be your girlfriend,” from her latest track “Girlfriend”, let’s introduce you to the brand new Avril Lavigne.
Our once only-black-clad punk rocker with a “don’t mess with me” attitude, who gleefully smashed her guitar in her “Sk8ter boi” music video in 2002, has ditched her skater image along with her trademark neck-ties. Sporting a much more girly image, with pink being her new signature colour, she generously smiles and flirts with the camera in her new music videos, showing a softer and cheerier side to her personality (unless we were right in thinking it’s just schizophrenia).
In an interview with UK magazine, The Mail On Sunday – Night & Day Live Magazine, Avril admitted, “Well, I’m showing off my body a bit more…I guess I just feel more comfortable now. I’m 22, so I’m all grown-up.”
“Girlfriend” is Avril’s comeback hit off her latest album, The Best Damn Thing, and what better way to reach out to all her fans after a short absence from the media limelight, than to record “Girlfriend” in 8 different languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese and Mandarin, which can be downloaded from iTunes Store. Although it sounds strange to hear her singing in a foreign language, especially in the Mandarin version, it is certainly a novelty to hear her sing the various languages in a Canadian accent. You could call it a desperate attempt to make all her fans special, or simply running out of material.
What can one expect from The Best Damn Thing? Unlike Avril’s 2002 album, Let Go, and her 2004 album Under My Skin, The Best Damn Thing so far could possibly be just that. Expect to hear a more pop sound, with some experimentation into punk musical styles that could possibly be due to the musical influence of her husband of 2 years, Deryck Whibley (singer and guitarist of pop punk band Sum 41), who is also one of the producers on the album.
Although some of the tracks make the album seem like the perfect soundtrack for a cheerleading routine, thankfully, the album also has some tracks with more dimension than just shallow lyrics and a catchy tune. The perfect example of this is “Keep Holding On”, which Avril co-wrote with her producer “Dr. Luke” (who has also produced albums for Kelly Clarkson and Pink), for the soundtrack for the 2006 movie Eragon. It has also reached the #17 position in the Billboard Hot 100. Another slow-beat track worthy of listening to is “When You’re Gone”, which Avril has said on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show, will be the next single on the American Top 40 after “Girlfriend”.
Her latest album may not appeal to you if you liked the good old Avril, who had a spunky attitude and a more serious personality, but if you don’t mind a bit of frivolous fun, The Best Damn Thing is definitely worth listening to.
UrbanWire gives The Best Damn Thing 3 out of 5 stars
All photos courtesy of Sony Music BMG.