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  Avril Lavigne - Under My Skin (2004)

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LeeRain
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PostSubject: Avril Lavigne - Under My Skin (2004)   Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:19 pm

This is my first ever review so please give me tips on how to improve!

Under My Skin by Avril Lavigne

Released: 2004
Genre: Pop, alternative rock

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Review

Before Avril Lavigne was a boyfriend-stealing bitch she was a young, tie-wearing, wannabe punk. She sang about boys who skate and not having sex - the usual teenage stuff. Now, you probably remember her for the opposite, singing about boys who don't understand her periods and calling herself "the motherf***ing princess".

Inbetween all this tie-wearing and motherf***ing, she tried life as a goth. Complete with a tutu and black highlights in her hair, Avril was keen to show the world that she was a good songwriter and that she truly was the anti-Britney. However, this desperation rushed Lavigne into writing any lyrics that would rhyme and smush them together - like when you're doing a puzzle and you force a piece into the wrong space. Avril seemed too eager to prove that she was a mosh-pit regular which resulted in a rushed album.

Working with seven songwriters, including fellow Canadian Chantal Kreviazuk (wife of Our Lady Peace frontman, Raine Maida, who produced and wrote on the album too) Avril explored all areas of rock and diluted it into her trademark pop rock style. From the metalic edge of 'Take Me Away' to the optimistic pop of 'Who Knows', Avril and her crew place hard-hitting guitars and ominous pianos in all the right places.

The music isn't a problem - its the lyrics, something I assume Avril had the most control over, which makes it so much worse. Most songs are about heart break which is already a pretty dreary topic, especially from a teenage girl's point of view. Avril seems to be unable to show us exactly how she feels with metaphors and witty writing, so instead she sings, on 'Slipped Away', "I miss you / miss you so bad / I don't forget you / oh it's so sad". This is a perfect example of the rhymey-lyric-smushing I talked about earlier; We don't actually get a further look into her emotions but according to Avril thats okay because she made it rhyme. In the gentle ballad 'How Does It Feel' she just sings "how does it feel / to be / different from me / are we the same" over and over and over...we don't know who shes talking to, we don't know why and she doesn't really make us want to find out. However, the lyrical content can be forgiven thanks to the effort thrown into every other aspect of this album. The lyrics may not be amazing but they're sung with so much passion and so much meaning that you start to overlook them; Avril makes the otherwise cringeworthy lead into the chorus in 'Don't Tell Me' sound like she really is having a massive arguement with the loser who pressures poor Avril into sex. She makes the embarassing lyrics in 'Slipped Away' sound like shes wiping a tear away as she sings.

One song, 'My Happy Ending', written with and produced by Butch Walker, is an exception to the awful lyrics; Avril discovers metaphors and gets the heartbreak message across in an unforgettable hook "all this time you were pretending, so much for my happy ending". Maybe the change in songwriters is what Avril needs - Chantal Kreviazuk's contributions to the album are not overwhelmingly amazing and feature some of the weakest lyrics of the album. Her songs with close friend and guitarist Evan Taubenfeld feel so much more real, despite being quite cheesy. The best track on the album, 'Nobody's Home', is written with Ben Moody of Evanescence and is possibly one of the most touching songs of Avril's career, with it describing how a young woman has lost her place in the world and is falling apart.

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Verdict

Avril Lavigne clearly has a bright future ahead of her, at least once she lives life a little more so that she actually has some decent stories to tell other than boyfriends who weren't good enough. She was only 19 when she wrote Under My Skin so maybe with a little more experience and guidance from her collaborators, she'll grow-up to be a fine songwriter.

3.5/5

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Track listing



  • [SIZE="1"]
  • Take Me Away (Avril Lavigne & Evan Taubenfeld)
  • Together (Avril Lavigne & Chantal Kreviazuk)
  • Don't Tell Me (Avril Lavigne & Evan Taubenfeld)
  • He Wasn't (Avril Lavigne & Chantal Kreviazuk)
  • How Does It Feel (Avril Lavigne & Chantal Kreviazuk)
  • My Happy Ending (Avril Lavigne & Butch Walker)
  • Nobody's Home (Avril Lavigne & Ben Moody)
  • Forgotten (Avril Lavigne & Chantal Kreviazuk)
  • Who Knows (Avril Lavigne & Chantal Kreviazuk)
  • Fall to Pieces (Avril Lavigne & Raine Maida)
  • Freak Out (Avril Lavigne, Evan Taubenfeld & Matt Brann)
  • Slipped Away (Avril Lavigne & Chantal Kreviazuk)
  • I Always Get What I Want (Avril Lavigne & Clif Magness)
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December 2010
Review #1

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