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Old 05-18-2012, 07:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Review: Avril Lavigne - Goodbye Lullaby (2011)

Goodbye Lullaby by Avril Lavigne
2011, RCA records



There are a lot of good songs on this album but there aren't any amazing songs; "I Love You" and "Smile" are both very solid pop songs, while "Stop Standing There" approaches Lavigne's usual pop-rock style from a different angle, with "Everybody Hurts" and "Not Enough" taking on the role of the resident emo ballads, but none of these songs match "Complicated" or "My Happy Ending" or "Girlfriend" from Lavigne's previous albums. There are some just plain forgettable songs like "4 Real" and the intro "Black Star", the latter being a tired concept that Lavigne seems to want to squeeze into every project she attempts. It didn't help either that Lavigne's record company (who she has now parted from) were breathing down her neck trying to force her to give us clones of some of her previous hits - we get this in the forms of "What The Hell" and "Wish You Were Here", both very generic, repetitive pop songs that have been released as singles, giving an unfair, innaccurate insight into the album.

There is however clear musical growth from Lavigne. She produced two tracks herself and wrote half of the album entirely on her own, the rest being co-written with and produced by close friends and previous musical associates. The album isn't trying to be 'upbeat' or 'sad' - it's just trying to convey a bittersweet concept of Lavigne's divorce as well as her new love. This is best shown by the delicate, albeit repetitive, "Goodbye" and the Alanis-like, demanding "Push". Lavigne's solo efforts are musically quite dull but are saved by her raw emotion, her expert knowledge of pop-hooks and her confident vocals, with highlights being the acoustic "Darlin" and the retro "Stop Standing There". Lavigne is still struggling, however, to produce interesting lyrics, although her predictable, juvenile rhymes are a steady improvement compared to her last introspective album, 'Under My Skin'. Still, I can't help thinking that she could stand to be a little more honest with herself and be a little more brutal and analytical regarding the break-down of her marriage, which we only get teasing hints of on "Not Enough".

It's the pop-factory, Max Martin, material that really livens up 'Goodbye Lullaby', yet at the same time it's what overshadows and belittles the rest of the album and prevents Lavigne progressing and trying anything new. This album seems to be focussed more around the physical songwriting of each song rather than making an enjoyable collection of songs.


6/10
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If "Everybody Hurts" as well as "Wish You Were Here" were covers, I might almost be inclined to check it out. Then again I don't expect her target market to be familiar with the originals either.

As for co-writers / musical associates is it still predominantly Raine Maida (from Our Lady Peace) and his wife Chantal Kreviazuk (which we Canadians had to hear her whine about WAAAAAAYyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyynnnnnnnnnnnnnneee endlessly in the 90s).
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mr dave View Post
If "Everybody Hurts" as well as "Wish You Were Here" were covers, I might almost be inclined to check it out. Then again I don't expect her target market to be familiar with the originals either.

As for co-writers / musical associates is it still predominantly Raine Maida (from Our Lady Peace) and his wife Chantal Kreviazuk (which we Canadians had to hear her whine about WAAAAAAYyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyynnnnnnnnnnnnnneee endlessly in the 90s).
No they had a big arguement over Avril's songwriting a few years ago! It's Avril's best-friend/shadow Evan Taubenfeld and pop hitmakers Max Martin and his companion Shellback. Producers are Max Martin and Shellback, as well as Deryck Whibley (Sum 41/her ex-husband) and Butch Walker (co-wrote/produced her big hit "My Happy Ending").

I'm not sure what to suggest. If you're really interested then give "Push" or "Not Enough" a go. They're still pretty teenagerish but they're more mature than her previous stuff and do the album justice as well as being pretty popular amongst her target market (which for the record I don't consider myself part of) (;
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not sure what to suggest. If you're really interested then give "Push" or "Not Enough" a go. They're still pretty teenagerish but they're more mature than her previous stuff and do the album justice as well as being pretty popular amongst her target market (which for the record I don't consider myself part of) (;
That's cool, I'm definitely not in her target market either, but my niece just turned 13 so.... yeah.
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That's cool, I'm definitely not in her target market either, but my niece just turned 13 so.... yeah.
You're never too old for a guilty pleasure!
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You're never too old for a guilty pleasure!
... and it's called Duran Duran
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