Back in the early 2000s Canadian singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne stole the hearts of many people with her simple but rousing songs. Although Lyrically simple, her output was far better than what she created in the aftermath of her meteoric success. Since the release of her debut album Let Go and the rock-steady Under My Skin, she hasn’t maintained the same groove or prowess. The singer has released many records since those blockbuster LPs, and under the weight of progression, she hasn’t stuck to her alternative style.
Under My Skin is a record that many disenfranchised, marginalised fans confide in to this day. It isn’t a processed pop record relying on sweet coated hooks or big, prominent choruses that essentially don’t work. Under My Skin beams out light amidst the somewhat melancholic lyricism, although Lavigne isn’t the most prolific or adept poet. Some of the lyrics lack any real meaning, and while the record stands out, it’s her voice that keeps it remarkable as well as the instrumentals behind it.
Debut album Let Go was singled out as a phenomenal first outing for Lavigne, and it did offer raw melodies and bursts of realism, a creative spark worth its weight in gold. Yet the record didn’t hold up in terms of lyrical ingenuity, but it was a love soaked collection, delivering highly infectious contributions that made Lavigne a household name.
Following on from Let Go’s success, Under My Skin solidified Lavigne as a superstar, an icon for the teenage rebels who wore red ties and shirts with slogans of justice imprinted upon them. As she grew and the fanbase grew, it all began to take shape as some sort of revolution.
As her brand elevated, Lavigne began to grow out of the alternative scene. The rock element was then shrouded in poppy themes, half-baked introspections, and commercialism. This wasn’t a slippery road for Lavigne, as many pop fans had become hooked on these sugar-coated tracks.
Take 2007’s The Best Damn Thing for example. It terms of change, it was miraculous. The album had taken on a pop sheen, a polished over skin, which in truth many lapped up. It wasn’t understated as it went on to sell substantially. It crept onto charts; it gave Lavigne a platform to air her grievances, and it altered her persona.
And in the world of mainstream music, musicians need to evolve. They need to rise to the occasion and fit into the market, but thankfully we still have acts that stick to a formula they’re wholeheartedly dedicated to. Avril Lavigne changed with the times and shuddered the musical landscapes with her sudden direction. Let Go and Under My Skin will always be her two memorable collections, but to many, her pop leanings are left to be desired.
Recently, Lavigne released her new single “Bite Me,” which again lacks substance. She has never been a lyrical angel in any respect, but this new foray isn’t a pull at grace or a monumental push for glory.