* Prices may differ from that shown
As a fan of Avril Lavigne since her Let Go days, I was excitedly awaiting her newest release, Goodbye Lulllaby, which came out in March 2011. I hadn't particularly liked her previous album, The Best Damn Thing, but the single Alice had led me to believe that this album would be a return to form. I certainly hoped so!
I was partly reassured by the cover of this album, her fourth: Avril looking sophisticated in a lovely vintage-style dress against a woodland background. A far cry from the childlike pink and black of her previous album cover! The cover reminds me of the first single Alice, released around a year before the album was released. It was the theme tune for the Disney film Alice in Wonderland and I really liked the song, although Avril's voice got a bit annoying on it. It sounded more like a Florence + the Machine song more than anything, and to be honest I think Florence would have made a better job of it!
The album as a whole sounds mature and stripped-down with a largely simple and acoustic feel: light pop-rock which sounds much more akin to Let Go and Under My Skin (Avril's first two albums) than her third effort. One of the record's highlights is Wish You Were Here, a mid-tempo guitar-laden song in which Avril sounds reflective and vulnerable. Another, for me, is Smile, a cheerful song about a new relationship: "And that's why I smile, it's been a while, since every day and everything has felt this right". Parents might not want their children listening to a song in which Avril sings about blacking out while drunk and waking up with a tattoo, but it's not something that particularly bothers me! I also like Everybody Hurts, which is not a cover of the REM song but an original effort, a sad yet uplifting track.
The album opens with Black Star, a sweet song that is lifted directly from the advert for Avril's perfume of the same name. I quite like it but I don't like the fact that it is so short - less than two minutes in length. I can't help feeling that she should have made the effort to extend the track into a proper full-length song. Much of the album seems to be inspired by Avril's recent divorce from Sum 41 singer Deryck Whibley (who is actually a key collaborator). Her first single from the album (if you discount Alice), What The Hell, is about throwing caution to the wind, taking a chance and having fun. "All my life I've been good, but now I'm thinking what the hell". Unlike many songs from her previous album The Best Damn Thing, it stays on the right side of the thin line between fun and irritating. I Love You seems to be aimed at Deryck and is very sweet and touching: Avril sings about how after all they have been through, she will always love him: "Even though we didn't make it through, I am always here for you". Not Enough is another sad song about a relationship breakup, and has a harder, more rocky sound than the rest of the album. Remember When is Avril's lament for the loss of her relationship and her realisation that she is "alone again".
Push sounds like it could belong to Avril's first album, Let Go, and Stop Standing There has the same kind of youthful optimism and excitement as her earlier material. I'm not too keen on 4 Real, which is slightly dull, but I really like Darlin, in which Avril pleads with a friend who is going through a hard time.
My version of the album comes with acoustic versions of What The Hell, Push and Wish You Were Here, which seem to be a bit pointless as they don't really sound very different to the originals. The album closes with Bad Reputation, which I believe is a cover. This version also includes a bonus disc with some music videos and clips of Avril singing. Though I like her music I can never decide if she can actually sing or not: on one occasion on this DVD she sounds like a cat being strangled, while on another - a recording of Wish You Were Here - her voice sounds really nice.
1. Black Star
2. What The Hell
4. Wish You Were Here
6. Stop Standing There
7. I Love You
8. Everybody Hurts
9. Not Enough
10. 4 Real
12. Remember When
15. What The Hell (acoustic) [Bonus Track]
16. Push (acoustic) [Bonus Track]
17. Wish You Were Here (acoustic) [Bonus Track]
18. Bad Reputation
Overall, I like this album but I can't help feeling that there is something missing. One review I read said that it lacked authenticity and had "zero grit" - I feel the same way about the record. Avril's first two albums displayed genuine feeling, anger and hurt but there's something slightly bland about Goodbye Lullaby. Maybe it's TOO mature, and teenage angst was what made her first two records great?
Goodbye Lullaby isn't a bad album - far from it. I enjoy listening to it, many of the tracks have grown on me, and it's a huge improvement on The Best Damn Thing. However, it doesn't have that spark, which is why I've only given it four stars rather than five.
Finally - the sound that she was called to produce is back. The rock star turned pop princess has returned to the sound that defined her career. The eclectic mix of acoustic vibes with a strong rock beat that made Sk8er Boi so successful, the sound that seem to got lost along the way is the sound that has returned in this powerful, more mature album. Avril seems to have returned to those roots and given it a lot more punch. This is the real sound that was lacking in her predecessors (with the exception of "What The Hell", although even though it does cling to the pop-py sound of The Best Damn Thing, has a lot more of a kick to it). I would even go so far as to say, that Avril has exceeded the standards achieved in Sk8er Boi, and push this album to my favourite Avril collection to date.
Avril Lavigne is a Canadian singer who released her first album at the age of 17. I've always been a fan and now Avril is 26, Goodbye Lullaby is her 4th album. Over the years her albums have varied in style, her third album was quite different from her first two as it was a lot more upbeat and girly. There was numerous rumoured dates as to when Goodbye Lullaby would actually get released, it made me very anxious and excited! Then finally March 2011 the album hit the shops.
I've had the album for almost 3 months and have played it numerous times. Now I've had plenty of time to listen to each song individually so I thought it was a good time to review it. Prior to the release of this album Avril said "it's more pop/rock and mellow, it's not like my last album". I completely agree! This album is by far her best to date. When I received the album in the post (had to pre-order) I opened it up and just by the cover I had high hopes. The front cover is beautiful, it looks like some kind of magical fairytale garden with Avril sat on a piano, it definitely sets a tone for the album.
Now for the songs!
1) Black Star - Avril wrote this song on her own for the commercial of her fragrance "Black Star". The song is 1.34 whilst the commercial is just 20 seconds long, so it is nice to hear an extended version, although I would have liked it to be a little longer. The song is more instrumental, it is mainly piano with a few lyrics. As it's the first listed on the album it gives a good starting mood; relaxing and calm.
2) What The Hell - Which was exactly what I thought when I first heard it. What The Hell was the first single for this album, personally I think this song does not reflect the album properly. This song is a lot more fast pace compared to the majority of the album and does not really fit the mood of the other songs. It definitely reminds me of her previous single "Girlfriend" with the typical catchy girly vibe it gives off. Don't get me wrong, I like the song but it isn't one of my favourites.
3) Push - When I first heard this I fell in love with it and even now I adore this song. A more slow pace song talking about how in a relationship when times are tough just bare through it as you love one another. It's definitely a song which can be related to by many, during times of frustration and arguments. Something else I thought was a nice touch to this song was that Evan Taubenfeld is featured on it. He was the lead guitarist for Avril's first album and they have remained friends.
4) Wish You Were Here - The title pretty much speaks for itself, this track is reflecting loneliness and missing someone. Another one of my favourites on the album although when I first heard it I wasn't that keen on it due to how the chorus begins with "Damn damn damn" I thought it was going to be quite repetitive but the song soon grew on me. When hearing this song live Avril's vocals are beautiful, I can only hope this will become a single.
5) Smile - This is the other catchy upbeat song on the album and surprise surprise it's the second single. With that said, I do prefer this song a lot more than What the Hell. The song is about someone being able to make her smile. It is a very fun song with lyrics such as "I woke up with a new tattoo, your name was on me and my name was on you". In the music video for this song it is quite split, we see a fun side of Avril with noticeable green hair jumping around and generally having a good time. However this is split with scenes of black and white footage of Avril looking more mature walking in slow motion collecting pieces of a heart which is shown at the end to be whole. It's a nice concept and I like how they handled the video by mixing both the fun and mature side of Avril together, rather than just a party music video.
6) Stop Standing There - Another song Avril wrote on her own. Avril described this song to be about wanting "that guy" to make a move, wanting to know if you're both on the same page and if so for him to stop waiting around. The chorus has a subtle catchy clapping sound which is something I quite enjoy about this track.
7) I Love You - Another one of my favourites! The song expresses how Avril loves someone for them being themselves. With the lyric "even though we didn't make it through I am always here for you" leads me to believe that this song is relating to Deryck Whibley, Avril's ex-husband. The vibe of this song is quite happy but in a romantic kind of way, it has a subtle catchy-ness to it.
8) Everybody Hurts - Avril co-wrote this song with Evan Taubenfeld. When I first heard this song it really touched my heart, expressing how it's okay to be afraid. Which is very relatable and when listening to this song it brings a smile to my face, I find it a song which is very comforting as well as relaxing as it's rather mellow sounding.
9) Not Enough - This is another song which Avril co-wrote with Evan Taubenfeld. The song talks about not getting enough from a relationship. At first I played this song on repeat quite a bit, I find it to be rather catchy yet the lyrics are very powerful. I like the combination of the two, I would be really interested in hearing this song live to see if Avril takes a more mellow approach on it or not.
10) 4 Real - Out of all the songs Avril wrote herself I would have to say this is probably my least favourite one. Even though it's my least favourite, I don't skip it, I still like it. I just find it not as appealing. The lyrics are well thought of but how she keeps singing "cause I'm for real, are you for real" gets slightly boring to hear over and over again, thankfully there is 13 tracks before hearing it again. Definitely a song I enjoy hearing mixed but not one I could just listen to on repeat.
11) Darlin - Avril actually wrote this song when she was just 14/15 years old. I think it's great being able to hear a song which Avril wrote before she even had a contract. It's a good quality song and I was surprised that she wrote it at a young age. I am glad it got recorded and produced. It's another one of those songs which grew on me, it didn't stand out at first but after hearing the lyrics a few times I really began to like it. I partically like the part when Avril sings "I just want you to know, want you to know it's not your fault" due to how her vocals sound.
12) Remember When - Such a beautiful song, the piano in this track is wonderful. A very meaningful song which can come across as quite sad due to lyrics such as "I remember when, it was together 'til the end. Now I'm alone again, where do I begin?". I find it very heart moving to listen to. This is another song which Avril wrote by herself and out of all the songs Avril wrote by herself this is by far my favourite one.
13) Goodbye - Avril has said that this is her favourite track on the album but also one of hardest songs she has ever recorded. Avril thinks she won't ever sing this song live because even when she listens to the song she sometimes cries. Avril wrote this song which is very clearly referencing Deryck and how it's time to say goodbye. Out of all the songs I do find this the most touching one. When I think of this song the word delicate comes to mind, the way Avril sings this song and how the piano is played, that is the first word that springs to mind about how to describe it.
14) Alice - Avril wrote the song Alice for the 2010 film "Alice in Wonderland". This is an extended version of the song and supposedly a hidden track on the album, although it is listed on the back cover. The piano in this song is more dramatic sounding than the other tracks. I find Avril's vocals to be very strong and powerful in this track. A lovely ballad type song.
Overall I love this album. It is very emotional, romantic, meaningful and for me shows Avrils true talent. Avril had a lot more say on this album and wrote many of the songs herself. Deryck Whibley had a huge influence on various of the songs but he also produced many of them. The album is available from many places such as Amazon and HMV for £6.99. There is also a deluxe version available which includes a bonus DVD showing the making of the album as well as 4 bonus tracks for around £10 depending where you shop. Not forgetting there is even a expanded version which includes everything given in the deluxe version as well as an exclusive booklet with bonus photos, a hand written note from Avril to her fans, an official Avril Lavigne guitar pick and instant MP3 download of the song What The Hell. The expanded version is currently priced at £12.99.
Avril has also started a tour called "The Black Star" in which a couple of dates for the UK has been released so far and will be taking place in September 2011. I do look forward to attending this tour, I'm very curious as to how this album will sound live and how Avril will connect with her audience as I do feel it will be a lot more intimate.
One final thing I'll say is, if you like Avril's other music then you'll most likely enjoy this album.
Goodbye Lullaby is the fourth album from Canadian artist Avril Lavigne. The album was released in the United Kingdom in March 2011 and so is very recent. You can buy your copy of this album from Amazon for £6.99 which I think is great value for money considering that the album is very recent.
~* Tracklist *~
1) Black Star 2) What The Hell 3) push 4) Wish You Were Here 5) Smile 6) Stop Standing There 7) I Love You 8) Everybody Hurts 9) Not Enough 10) 4 Real 11) Darlin 12) Remember When 13) Goodbye 14) Alice
First of all, even though I have quite liked some of Avril Lavigne's previous songs (such as 'I'm With You' and 'When You're Gone', I would never have considered myself an actual fan. So when my friend told me about a new album she had bought, I asked if I could borrow it.
There are a few good songs on here, although I would not say that this is a fantastic album. To me, it is a kind of 'take it or leave it' kind of album. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I am not huge fan, which may mean that fans of Avril will appreciate this album a lot more than I did.
Songs which stand out the most for me are: 'Wish You Were Here', I love the simplicity of the guitar against her vocals, very effective. I also like the song 'Everybody Hurts'.
There are some silly lyrics in some of the songs, although the majority of the lyrics are very emotional. You can tell that a lot of the songs have been written from experience (her bitter divorce perhaps), and so I like how each song is honest and easy to connect with.
I wasn't really sure what to expect. The last time I remember hearing from Avril was for the song 'When You're Gone' which had quite a more relaxed sound and more mature feel to it. So I was surprised to see that this album is a bit like her older (sk8a boi) days.
Avril really proves that she can sing on this album. I knew she could sing but didn't think that she could sing as well as she does. Her voice seems to have gone a bit deeper and is not so 'screechy' as her 'Sk8a Boi' and 'Girlfriend' days. She has quite a raw, yet very unique kind of voice, which means that she is quite individual which makes her interesting.
If you like Avril then you will probably like this. It is quite different to her other stuff.
Thanks for reading!
May 3rd 2011
xd-o-n-z-x (also posted under xdonzx on ciao)
golferinfr's Full Review: Goodbye Lullaby by Avril Lavigne
With mild success from her passed albums, Avril Lavigne has finally settled down and face the music of what was selling and what wasn't. Avril poses such a bratty attitude when it came to make this album and even posted on her web site that there would be a delay in the album because she struggled with strep throat for almost a month.
To put this album in for the first time you hear so many different variety of style of music. But no matter which song is played on this album you still hear a cuss word being thrown in here and there when you know there are so many different words she could of used. My belief is that she is trying to stay with the "In Crowd" now as a artist that think the only way to sell a album is to have that Parental Warning on the label.
The songs on this album bring out true gut feelings in her voice and that swear words could have been avoided if she wanted you to know she was maturing. Maybe one day she will get it, but I hope it's not to late before it happens. Oh, I do like her bad girl form but it doesn't have to appear in almost every song. Even with that said, this album is very entertaining and I do recommend it as a buy album.
The beginning of the album starts off with Black Star is a sweet little song of a star letting it be know that you can be anything you want to be. The shortest song on the album and put in it's rightful place at number one. The music is from a strong high balanced keys of the piano. What The Hell pops up as a mild bubble gum jam. The chorus jumps out at you and is very strong and could be a good dance song. Great synthesizer back chords which makes this song a excellent mood swinger song. The lyrics are crazy of a good girl wanting to spend some time on the bad girl side. Push is a great love song. Her voice kicks in from all degrees and blends with the chorus. The lyrics are very strong and true of how to maintain a relationship. The soft drums and acoustic guitars in the back drop form into a very well blended song. Wish you were here is another very struck love song that the lyrics mix so well with the chorus. The music between guitars and drums make the song good, but what makes this song great is there are two different set of background vocals, the first by other female singers and then in from a opposite direction is Avril's highly pitch vocals that are mix so well makes this song a easy 5 stars.
After this song you have to look back at the cd cover to make sure this really Avril Lavigne you're listening too. The blends of vocals and music beats are so original and they make the heart weak. Smile comes off back to the old Avril but this funky song has three different mixtures of punk, pop, and funky in it. Attitude comes into this song. The lyrics are freedom lines of how she needs to let loose, been holding back but now it's time to let go. These songs are so different compared to earlier albums, there is more expression in her voice and character in these songs. I Love You is such a beautiful ballad which will be on the charts for a long time. This song explains why she is incredibly in love her partner. Lyrics of all the good and bad points of the relationship and this is what makes this love so pure and raw. This is definitely makes this a five star song.
I swear she had some kind of mojo when creating this album. Everybody Hurts is a very serious song on how you feel inside. You can feel the words come from her heart out of her mouth. You feel the emotions like standing on a mountain and screaming your lungs out just wanting to be heard. A very satisfying musical score basically of acoustic guitars that when the chorus hits you even feel it emotionally, truly another 5 star song. Goodbye is the last song I'm going to rate because of the strings background and orchestrated backgrounds. Truly a love song with meaning because even with the sadness of saying goodbye she is very happy about the good memories they had. Goodbye brown eyes. Masterful work here a very in depth passionate song.
1. Black Star
2. What the Hell
4.Wish You Were Here
6. Stop Standing There
7. I Love You
8. Everybody Hurts
9. Not Enough
10. 4 Real
12. Remember When
13. Goodbye 14. Alice (extended version)
Deluxe Bonus Tracks
15. What the Hell (acoustic)
16. Push (acoustic)
17. Wish You Were Here (acoustic)
18. Knockin On Heavens Door
19. Bad Reputation
Overall this deluxe album is very compassionate, heartfelt. It is very expressive about love and pain. A very different side of Avril that I hope carry on's to future success. But when you hear the blend of vocals or backgrounds vocals you feel it. But with a few of the songs doing double backgrounds are truly masterful. With the main 14 song track list you get 5 bonus songs that are exclusively acoustic versions. This album, every song deserves 5 stars because of originality and the depth for which she hits your emotional chords in you. All I can say Avril Lavigne as I stand up and clap, Bravo Bravo my little punk rocker !!!! Album of the year honors and hopes she gets them !!
Thanks for reading !!!!!
This review originated on Epinions by me....UK Price 14.99
Name: Goodbye Lullaby [Deluxe Edition]
Released: March 2011
Chart Position: TBC
Singles: What The Hell: #25
1. Black Star
2. What The Hell
4. Wish You Were Here
6. Stop Standing There
7. I Love You
8. Everybody Hurts
9. Not Enough
10. 4 Real
12. Remember When
14. Alice [Extended Version]
15. What The Hell [Acoustic]
16. Push [Acoustic]
17. Wish You Were Here [Acoustic]
18. Bad Reputation
I'm pretty sure everyone would have heard the name 'Avril Lavigne' at some point no matter what their age, but mixed feelings usually follow. Despite her mixed reputation, Avril nonetheless has gone on to sell over 30 million albums worldwide, making her one of the most successful musicians to come out of Canada. With three UK number 1 albums, she has set the benchmark for female artists to follow. Evolution seems to be the name to her game, as with every album comes a different sound, much to some fans dislike. However being described as being like her 'older stuff' Goodbye Lullaby is her highly anticipated fourth studio album, but can it realign her back into being a well liked artist or does it disappoint from start to finish?
Before this album was released, first single What The Hell seemed to do little impact on the charts around the world. For starters it is nothing like her 'older stuff' and more like the tracks we became accustomed to on her third album 'The Best Damn Thing'. It is upbeat, loud and in your face, but nonetheless a great bubblegum pop anthem. You can see why it has been compared to previous single 'Girlfriend' with its bratty attitude and I don't have a care in the world theme. Despite mixed reactions though, it is a song that will get stuck in your head and if you are a lover of all pop / rock tunes, this song will undoubtedly be on your iPod.
Smile is also a highly commercial tune that smacks you in the face with its cheerleader beat and use of swift rhythm. Swear words are also used throughout this song which ultimately brings back memories of a previous song off TBDT called 'Everything Back But You'. But alas the chorus erupts into a strong flowed and cheerful melody that highlights Avril's voice for all the right reasons. For the chorus alone, I could see this blasting out of the radio from teenagers around the world with an 'I do what I want when I feel like it' attitude.
And that is where the commercial stature of Goodbye Lullaby stops. Musically, Goodbye Lullaby is a stripped down instrumental delight full of acoustic guitars and piano melodies. Everybody Hurts is a gentle song with an almost country - esque sound. It sends an almost grown up message that it is alright and completely normal to question yourself sometimes and in life there are going to be ups and downs, but if you hang on things will get better. The simple acoustic guitar that hums away in the background never falters with its chord and it's this type of simplicity that flows through this entire album.
The sole message that runs throughout this album however is the heartbreak and the end of relationships, more specifically her own relationship with ex husband 'Deryck Whibley'. The opening of Not Enough 'I'm sorry if this hurts you' really shows you how much Avril Lavigne has moved on in terms of her music. This is not a boy bashing album; this is a deep album full of meaning where she recognises that everybody plays a part. She doesn't slate Whibley for being a bad husband, but simply lets him know that it wasn't enough. I Love You although not a strong stand out song musically, is in fact a beautifully written song that lets Whibley know that 'Even though we didn't make it through, I am always here for you'. It is this type of forgiving positive attitude that we rarely see from Avril and I've got to be honest it makes great music.
Vocally, Avril is for the most part fantastic. It is this sort of album that really shows off her voice and range of being able to belt out addictive hits, but can become softer and more fragile on the more slow flowing songs. Remember When is a heart wrenching ballad that will hit home with almost everyone who has had a difficult break up in their life. She breaks up her voice at times to produce a soft raw sound that fits perfectly with the slow sounding piano. Whereas Push is a little bit of a disappointment. Before the chorus, her voice is tone perfect, but as soon as the chorus of 'Maybe you should shut up ...' is almost tone deaf. It becomes too high pitched, too rushed and doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the song. If im honest it is too over produced that it becomes an unrealistic sound. I would love to compare the song to a live performance to see how different the two songs would sound.
Ballad Wish You Were Here is arguably the best track on the album. Soft acoustic guitar starts slowly getting faster until the chorus where it becomes loud and very upbeat and addictive. The 'Damn, Damn, Damn' of the hook is also highly addictive getting stuck in your head and wonderfully shows the frustrating theme of the song. Goodbye is also a wonderful song that reminisces of 'When You're Gone' and to some extent Let Go's 'I'm With You'. A medieval string echo makes this ballad almost gothic, but the vulnerability of her voice makes this track easily one of the most honest and memorable of her entire collection. When she can produce songs like this we can only imagine what else she can do in the future when she lives life further gathering more experience. It is a simple song with not many lyrics, but if you loved 'Tomorrow' off of her first album then this is an extension of that.
The main problem with this album is simply that it is out of character to the Avril caricature that blasts out on 'Sk8er Boi' and 'Girlfriend'. This is a raw Avril and to be released so late as it were in her collection makes you wonder if she has lost the majority of her fans already? Let Go was a fantastic album that allowed teenagers to connect their own confusing questions about life with her own fears. Under My Skin, considered by many her best album, garnered more fans with its edgier sound. But with the release of The Best Damn Thing, Avril lost a lot of fans with its overly pop sound and bratty attitude, and instead attracted a new generation of fans, pre-pubescent girls more likely who loved this new sense of girl power. Goodbye Lullaby is a cry out to all the 'old fans' but is their interest in Avril over? The new generation of fans I already mentioned will love 'What the Hell' but sadly will be too inexperienced for the rest of the album.
Bonus tracks come in the form of Alice, her single to be released for the Tim Burton remake of Alice in Wonderland, plus a collection of acoustic versions of the songs already featured. 'What the Hell [Acoustic]' is an interesting track which strips down the poppy beats and instead gives it a different sound, a remix of sorts. As a special treat for fans her jingle for her fragrance Black Star opens the album, the only shame being that it isn't longer than it is. For anyone who saw her live during 'The Best Damn Tour' will love the trip down memory lane whilst listening to Joan Jet's hit 'Bad Reputation'.
I suppose another doubt that can creep into your mind when listening to this album is that although it most definitely Avril at her most meaningful and vulnerable, you can easily tell the emotion that has gone into making this, but it still has an overly 'teenager' sound. Adults will probably skip this without a second thought wanting to listen to something a little more familiar to them. At the age of 26, Avril Lavigne is still young herself, but I've got to be honest more older more mature contemporaries produce much better sounding songs regarding the themes in which she sings about.
With the deluxe edition of the album there comes a DVD with a roughly 30 minute 'Making of' Documentary on it. It is definitely worth watching as you finally get to see the real Avril Lavigne, an Avril that is calm and collected and can talk about her music with such passion and conviction. She talks you through each of the songs and what it means to her and how she was inspired to write. You can tell in her voice and eyes just how much this album means to her and it really does let you see a different Avril than we are use to. Some studio sessions are also included in the DVD which are worth watching just to see how great her voice can sound without the need for music or instruments.
Overall 'Goodbye Lullaby' is an album of tremendous highs but still not polished enough to shake the lows. It has some great standout tracks which can easily make the goosebumps rise on your arms. Emotion flows through the songs with ease and the stripped more raw feel is a step forward both musically and lyrically. It does sound 'teenager' ish though at times and I do question the success of this album commercially. For its audience it sort of sits in a limbo world where it tries to hang on to older fans who have now grown up and left her alone, where as it is far too mature in terms of themes and lyrics for her new generation of fans. It does have something for everybody though and when you are in the mood to look back at the past, or you yourself are in the middle of a breakup or have been hurt by something, this album can bring out feelings you never knew existed. It's definitely worth a listen and I would arguably say it is her best album to date.
***I'm so glad Dooyoo is functioning again so I can post this on time :D***
It has been four years since Avril Lavigne's last record, The Best Damn Thing, so the release of this new album, "Goodbye Lullaby" was extremely highly anticipated. About a year or two ago, it was announced that the album was complete, but was delayed from November 2009 to April 2010 and again to November 2010, only to be told that the album would be postponed yet again!
This is the best album cover by Avril Lavigne to date, it is extremely mystical and fairytale like perhaps inspired by her "Alice" musical contribution to Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland film.
1) Black Star 4/5
This was written for Avril's first fragrance, Black Star, released in 2009. The 20 second or so piano intro found in the advert was so mesmerising I listened to it on Youtube several dozen times- and was SO pleased it would be featured on this album. Whilst it isn't a full length track, it acts as a perfect [chronological] bridging point between her last album and this one.
The piano intro is truly enchanting and so addictive (tunes like this make you wanna learn how to play it)- I like that there is limited vocals and that the focus is on the piano. I've been wondering how they were gonna end it and they did it quite well with a sudden stop, though I would've liked a follow through of a few single notes like how it started to just round it off slightly better.
2) What The Hell 4/5
Lead single "What the Hell" reminds us all why we loved Avril Lavigne- the sheer pop sound that makes you want to jump about and go crazy is present in this song, especially the chorus- I like to call this "Girlfriend 2.0" as it is just as catchy and just as bad-ass if not more. I can really relate to these lyrics and this album really posesses some great writing by Lavigne.
3) Push 4.5/5
"Push" is one of those songs which exhibit some great lyrics like "And you know when push comes to shove,
It's gonna take the both of us, Baby, this is love". I'm not entirely sure about the whole arrangement, I feel like it could be far stronger, deeper and more dynamic to match the lyrics, but it suffices.
4) Wish You Were Here 4/5
The verse is quite raw and I liked the stripped back backing which leads to a strong chorus which is also catchy with the repeated "Damns" and "Heres". I'm not too fond of the bridge near the end with the spoken/whispered parts, but it leads to a great layered chorus which ends the song with great emotion- one of Lavigne's most emotional vocals to date.
5) Smile 5/5
Smile is one of the few upbeat tracks on this album and from the first play I knew I'd love it. With lyrics such as "You know I'm a crazy bitch" and "All I wanna do is lose control", it's a long shot from the rather innocent title. Despite being told "What the Hell" would be the only really pop track on the record, that is completely false as "Smile" is extremely catchy and excels as it reaches the chorus with an insane backing beat- this is one of my favourite tracks!
6) Stop Standing There 4/5
A playful tone resonates throughout the song through the stripped back verses and chorus with an upbeat backing which is fun and different from anything we've heard from Avril before, again exhibiting some good lyrics "Don't waste another day, don't waste another minute, I can't wait to see your face" and "Open up your heart, help me understand, please tell me who you are so I can show you who I am".
7) I Love You 5/5
This song gets top marks from me as it is sublime both lyrically and musically. From the first line "I like your smile, I like your vibe, I like your style, but that's not why I love you" this song exuberates meaning, all through simple short lyrics in the chorus: "The reason I love you is you, being you, just you". There is a strong beat, intricate and melodic backing and a stunning bridge that takes this track to new heights and Avril Lavigne to a whole new level.
8) Everybody Hurts 3.5/5
Whilst I first thought the catchy guitar intro was the only thing to come back from the "Let Go" era, there is a "Let Go" vibe from the whole song that pops up every now and then in an unexplainable way. The best thing about this song is the bridge which elevates the song from its rather repetitive structure. Not the best track on the album, but it redeems itself for the lyrics and the fact that the tone matches the song well.
9) Not Enough 4.5/5
This song is super dynamic and all the different layers used to create this fast paced track makes it so engaging and captivating, again with super lyrics "It's not enough, it's not enough to get me, everything I need
and I, I wish it was, I think it's time, to give this up". The soft bridge offers a slight break which then throws us full throttle into the action for one final explosive chorus. Another fav!
10) 4 Real 4/5
I don't like that it is called 4 Real... why can't it just be called "FOR Real"? I can't NOT give this song 4 stars now can I? Apart from this annoyance, this track does offer some upbeat and catchy tunes. I particularly like the chorus with the meaningful lyrics "When you look me in the eyes like you did last night, I can't stand to hear you say goodbye" and "So don't let me go, cause you have my soul". There is again this "fun" tone to the song previously found in "Stop standing there".
11) Darlin 3.5/5
The chorus sounds a lot like "I Love You" especially the line "I'll love you the best I can". Personally, this song doesn't stand out to me as we near the end of the album. It is a good song, catchy, but doesn't offer anything better than any of the tracks we have heard before... perhaps if it was placed earlier on it would have a stronger impact.
12) Remember When 5/5
A song with full piano backing reminds me of "Innocence" but this has so much more to offer as it brings in a slight rock sound. The variation and dynamics of the song is phenomenal especially the more shouty second verse and the explosive bridge and final chorus. This is Avril Lavigne at her best. And I won't forget to mention the beautiful lyrics here such as "I remember when it was together 'til the end, now I'm alone again".
13) Goodbye 4/5
A lullaby-like track which carries that same "airy" euphoria feel as "Black Star" and makes a superb finish to the album, not only as it is titled "Goodbye" but because this has a stripped back backing, showing off Lavigne's vocals; the song itself ends with a slow and subdued violin finish. Perfect end.
14) Alice (Extended) 4.5/5
It took me a while to grow to like the normal lengthened version of "Alice". The extended version is about a minute and a half longer and features an additional verse and a far longer ending. I love this version soo much more as it is so explosive and enchanting- love the change in the second verse.
SONGS TO LOVE: Smile, Push, I Love You, Not Enough, Remember When, Alice (Extended)
SONGS TO SKIP: None
The album can be purchased on Amazon.co.uk for under £10, with a deluxe available just over £10, featuring 3 acoustic versions and a cover of "Bad Reputation" (Joan Jett) with an additional bonus DVD: Making of Goodbye Lullaby.
Avril Lavigne's fourth studio album brings us music at a whole different level to all of Lavigne's previous stuff. A great development from "The Best Damn Thing", Goodbye Lullaby could be classed as a break-up album, expressing a mellow tone with meaningful and deep lyrics (the best lyrics she has ever written in my opinion) which many can relate to.
For those who love Avril's pop rock tracks, this album offers "What the Hell" and "Smile", but all in all, most tracks have a different sound to what we have heard before, taking a darker tone but equally addictive. My favourite tracks include "Push", "Remember When" and "I Love You".