Avril Lavigne – Goodbye Lullaby

On May 26, 2011, in Pop, Pop Punk, Rock, by Miguel Rodriguez
Artist: Avril Lavigne
Album: Goodbye Lullaby
Producer: Deryck Whibley, Max Martin, Shellback, et al.
Label: RCA
Release: March 2,2011

Rating: 3.6 RockRolls

It's been three years since we've even seen a release from Canadian pop-rocker Avril Lavigne, and four years since her last full length studio album. Met with static between the label and artist, the current album was stretched into a two-and-a-half year effort wherein Avril attempted to release the record with her version of a stripped down effort. After negotiations, Goodbye Lullaby was released at a healthy 51 minutes (16 more minutes on the extended and Japanese releases). In interviews, Avril stated that they had recorded enough material for a second album, perhaps an EP or follow-up will follow in the near future.

The album's first track sets the mood and style for the rest of the album. Most artists use this to introduce listeners to the musical journey on which they are about to embark. Avril's "Black Star" is no exception, however, the 90-second intro doesn't build high expectations for the album. At the very least, it is on par with the rest of the album.

The album's first single, "What The Hell," follows with a forced retro-organ and an almost Miley Cyrus-esque quality to the vocals(not that that's a bad thing, just an obvious parallel). The track is little more than a girl crying out how much she wants to screw around on her boyfriend because apparently that's cool for some reason. You can try to wait and hear more from the song, but that's honestly it's entire scope.

"Push" follows and leads the next several tracks in a more familiarly Avril tone, but Goodbye Lullabynever quite reaches any sort of musical plateau that makes any track immediately recognizable outside of "What The Hell." "Wish You Were Here" makes exceptionally cheesy use of the word "damn" as part of the song chorus and the breathy, stutter phrasing on "Stop Standing There" is so painful it makes the track completely unlistenable.

It's not an album of all misses, and to the record's credit, everything is pieced together in a cohesive fashion. "Not Enough" opens with an emo tone typical of groups like Yellowcard that at the very least draws the listener into recognizing some semblance of a story being told to them. "Goodbye" is a welcome departure if for nothing more than featuring piano and cello more predominantly than the acoustic guitar on the track. And if you happen upon a special bonus edition, you'll be treated to an appropriate and faithful cover of "Bad Reputation." It's a shame that the one track that Avril really hits out of the park won't be on a significant number of the discs sold.

"Simple" and "stripped down" are two different classifications, and unfortunately for Avril, she hits the former. With predictable lyrics and uninteresting harmony, the listener is assaulted with an onslaught of poorly written bubblegum pop. Let's hope that the extra material recorded that isn't on this album can be formed into a better future release.

3.6 RockRolls

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