“Goodbye Lullaby” a total snoozer

The fourth studio album from our favorite sk8er girl is even dumber than it needs to be.

Martina Marosi

 

“Goodbye Lullaby”

Artist: Avril Lavigne

Label: RCA Records

After a totally unnecessary two-year creative incubation, Avril Lavigne released her newest album âÄúGoodbye LullabyâÄù on Mar. 8.

The record boasts both deluxe and expanded editions that harbor with them the hope that buyers can be suckered into not downloading them for free.

The 14-track album opens with a 90-second schmaltz-fest of Lavigne’s own penning, entitled âÄúBlack Star.âÄù With repeated croons of the title words, âÄúBlack StarâÄù is a brief, yet redundant piano ditty that continually swells to nothing and reads as an overly polished and thusly failed attempt by Lavigne to establish herself as a legitimate artist. However, it serves as the pathos-infused antipasto that introduces the dessert of âÄúWhat the Hell,âÄù the single that makes its premature appearance as the second track on the album.

After setting a precedent with âÄúComplicatedâÄù in for her first album âÄúLet GoâÄù in 2002, Lavigne has successively come out with chart-toppers like âÄúMy Happy EndingâÄù in 2004 and âÄúGirlfriendâÄù in 2007. As it happens, Lavigne has repeatedly generated a chain of pop-rock flops peppered with enough hits to buoy her otherwise unwarranted career, and âÄúGoodbye LullabyâÄù is no exception.

The single of the album, âÄúWhat the Hell,âÄù is an electro-pop infused girl-power anthem that  has garnered Lavigne radio play and aided her in regaining some visibility in the public sphere.

Heavyweight producer Max Martin’s stamp on âÄúWhat the HellâÄù is abundantly clear. It’s an energetic anomaly that’s the result of successfully molding Lavigne’s voice into a castrated Ke$ha tune, which conjures images of high ponytails and above-head clapping. That’s not even considering the moment at 1:40, right after Lavigne sings âÄúDon’t get me wrong / I just need some time to play,âÄù where arrives a drum break thatseems straight out an innocently conventional rock song your dad threw together with his church basement band. That said, it’s still a fun listen thatyou might only admit enjoying to a close friend when completely hammered.

However, the lyrics to the single are characterized by a palatable rebelliousness that’s cloyingly wholesome and are representative of a record you might buy for the tweenager in your life.

But as Lavigne defiantly proclaims, âÄúAll my life I’ve been good / but now I’m thinkin’ ‘What the hell?’âÄù

Listeners might forget that Lavigne is 26-years-old, well past the age for teen-angst and youthful ruminations, yet that does not remove her from placing such nuggets of wisdom like âÄúEverybody HurtsâÄù and âÄú4 RealâÄù as the song titles on the record.

The only other highlight of the album, âÄúPush,âÄù is an expectedly acoustic rock number awash in a sea of similar material, but manages to distinguish itself with the fleeting presence of backup vocals from someone who could be Shirley Manson’s second cousin.

With its volleying between softer staccato singing and piercing pop war cries, âÄúPushâÄù is signature Lavigne. The saving grace of her shrill harpy shrieks, however, is their  youthful echoing of fellow Canadian songstress âÄî and isn’t it ironic? âÄî Alanis Morissette.

Lavigne may have been the shining star at her high school talent show, but why anyone handed her a record deal over the next girl with a guitar and chunky eye shadow is beyond me. Considering that the single is flanked by a snoozer of a piano melody on one end and a low-rent âÄúHand In My PocketâÄù on the other, the fourth studio album by Canada’s token tomboy might have been best off being âÄúWhat the HellâÄù 14 times in a row, including a hidden track which is also âÄúWhat the Hell.âÄù Because, hey, what the hell.

 

1 out of 4 stars