Avril Lavigne stormed onto the music scene as the “anti-Britney” with her hit 2002 album, Let Go. Lavigne’s skater/punk rock persona was a welcome change in a bland pop scene, even though many of the songs on Let Go were co-written and produced by “The Matrix”—a hot production team that has worked for 98º, Ricky Martin, and, you guessed it, Britney Spears.
I’m not going to pretend that this album is anything that it isn’t (although Avril seems to want us to believe she is something she isn’t). This is a pop album. Thankfully, it does have a bit of an edge which makes it tolerable, and—at points—quite good.
“Sk8er Boi,” despite the unfortunate name, rocks. It’s a great song. The familiar radio staple “Complicated” is pretty good too. “I’m With You” is one of the better recent pop ballads. Beside these three radio hits, there is a pretty even mix of good songs and mediocre ones on this album.
Lavigne has potential—she’s cute, unique, and talented—but the pop-style production of Let Go really hurts it. It’s still listenable, but it’s nothing special.
Avril, here’s a bit of advice for you: Rather than working with “The Matrix,” write the songs yourself (we know you can!) and make an album with a rock producer. Strip out the pop effects and lyrical tripe and do something personal. I really want to like you, hopefully your next album will give me a better reason to.
3 out of 5 stars.