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Under My Skin

Avril Lavigne

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Album Review

Part of Avril Lavigne's appeal — a large part of it, actually — is that she's a brat, acting younger than her 17 years on her 2002 debut, Let Go, and never seeming like she much cared about the past (she notoriously mispronounced David Bowie's name when reading Grammy nominations), or anything for that matter. She lived for the moment, she partied with sk8er bois, she didn't want anything complicated, and she sang in a flat, plain voice that illustrated her age as much as her silly, shallow lyrics. Those words got disproportionate attention because they were so silly and shallow, but most listeners just didn't care because, thanks to producer gurus the Matrix, they were delivered in a shiny package filled with incessant, nagging hooks — a sound so catchy it came to define the mainstream not long after Let Go hit the radio. The Matrix became ubiquitous on the strength of their work with Lavigne, who herself became a big star, earning constant play on radio and MTV, kick starting a fashion trend of ties-n-tank tops for girls and inexplicably providing a touchstone for indie rock queen Liz Phair's mainstream makeover. Fame, however, didn't pull the two camps together; it pushed them their separate ways, as the Matrix went on to record their own album and Avril decided to turn serious, working with a variety of co-writers and producers, including fellow Canadian singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, for her second album, 2004's Under My Skin. Lavigne hasn't only shed her trademark ties for thrift-shop skirts, she's essentially ditched the sound of Let Go too, bringing herself closer to the mature aspirations of fellow young singer/songwriter Michelle Branch. Since Avril is still a teenager and still a brat, it's livelier than Branch. Even when it sags under minor keys and mid-tempos, it's fueled on teen angst and a sense of entitled narcissism, as if she's the first to discover the joys of love and pain of heartache. In a sense, she comes across as Alanis Morissette's kid sister, especially now that the Matrix are gone and the hooks have been pushed to the background for much of the record; it's the teen spin on Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, where she's self-consciously trying to grow as an artist. Naturally, this means that Under My Skin is less fun than Let Go since there's nothing as giddy as "Sk8er Boi," even if much of it is written from a similarly adolescent vantage. Lavigne's collaborators, Kreviazuk and Evan Taubenfeld chief among them, have helped streamline her awkward writing, and her performances are also assured, which almost makes up for the thinness of her voice, which sounds far younger than the meticulous arrangements around it. So, Under My Skin is a bit awkward, sometimes sounding tentative and unsure, sometimes clicking and surging on Avril's attitude and ambition. But it's telling that the one song that really catches hold on the first listen and stands out on repeated spins is "He Wasn't," the fastest, loudest, catchiest, and best song here, and the one closest to the spirit and sound of Let Go — it's not that Lavigne hasn't matured, but it's that her talents are better suited on music that's a little less contemplative and deliberate than Under My Skin.

Customer Reviews

Avril is awesome!

What the heck, whoever wrote the Album review is wrong! Avrils songs are not silly. Seriously, how is my happy ending, complicated, with you, silly? shes my fave singer! Ive loved her music since I was 5 and Im 12 now. So shut up Album reviewer person.

Avril Rocks!

Awsome CD Top favs are 1. Nobody's Home- 10/10 Her best song EVER!!!!! 2. Take Me Away- 10/10 Really deep song 3. Who Knows- 10/10 Real catchy, can't get enough 4. Freak Out- 10/10 One of the most upbeat songs on the CD 5. Together- 9.5/10 1st fav from the CD 6. Forgotten- 9.5/10 The way she says patronize, is one of the reasons why i love this song! 7. Don't Tell Me- 2nd single from the record These are the most reccomended songs Enjoy!

i still listen to it

this is a very good album thank you very much she is NOT a brat and i think your silly for thinking so but really, i have had the CD for years and i still listen to it its got a good beat and i think that she is an great singer. If you listen to her other albums instead of using her previous album as a judgement and possibly listened to her newest album you could see that or rather hear. She's very popular and so what if she messed up she is HUMAN and humans mess up sometimes. So whatever maybe you shouldn't have been chosen to do the review or maybe a review shouldn't have been writen at all. Point being Avrils a great artist. Thanks

Biography

Born: September 27, 1984 in Belleville, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Avril Lavigne first appeared in summer 2002, touting an addictive debut single (the spunky pop/rock gem "Complicated") and a skatepunk image that purposely clashed with the polished glamour of mainstream pop. Lavigne, who was 17 at the time, quickly rose to teen idol status, selling several million copies of her debut album, Let Go (the best-selling album by a female artist in 2002), while inspiring a genuine fashion craze with her penchant for tank tops and neckties. As the decade progressed, so...
Full Bio
Under My Skin, Avril Lavigne
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