Canadian rocker, Avril Lavigne, has had nearly as many marriages as she has had albums of late. Latest husband Chad Kroeger has clearly had some creative input during Lavigne’s fifth studio album with the eponymous release at times showing the same lack of flair and creativity that has been the trademark of his outfit, Nickelback.
Lavigne was adamant that she would make a more up tempo record after 2011’s Goodbye Lullaby with this self-titled effort focussed on her pop smarts. There are times when she gets it right and Lavigne hits them out of the park as good as anyone. Here’s To Never Growing Up is the melodic earworm that she is known for and stands up against her other chart toppers.
There is a stronger reliance on technology and electronics on the more throwaway moments like Sippin’ On Sunshine and 17, which work due to Lavigne not taking herself too seriously. Let Me Go is a duet with Kroeger and is the most turgid thing that the pocket rocket has put her name to. The pairing with Marilyn Manson works slightly better on Bad Girl, although is immediately followed by the forgettable Hello Kitty.
Avril Lavigne was a long time coming and as such is an album that is too broad in trying to fit too many ideas into the one space. Lavigne is at her best when sticking to the formula that has served her so well to date.