Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Here's To Never Growing Up | Avril Lavigne

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Avril Lavigne has been hard at work for the past two years preparing for a new album release, and the lead single has finally surfaced. "Here's To Never Growing Up" was released yesterday, after weeks of promotions and Twitter hash-tag trends sent out by Lavigne herself. Overall, the song has met pretty positive reviews, while I can only give it a lukewarm response overall.

Before I say anything negative, I must say that this song has got a killer chorus. The chorus is infectious, and has already gotten stuck in my head plenty of times, so at least the song has that going for it. Plus, overall, it's a really feel-good song. "Here's To Never Growing Up" has the same effect on me as most of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift's discography does: it just makes me feel happy inside. Sure, it's nothing innovative or groundbreaking, but it just makes me feel carefree and 

The chorus may be amazing, but the verses are completely the opposite. They're boring and monotonous, and I find myself wishing for the chorus to be pop back up so I can start singing along with Lavigne again. I wish I could describe the verses in deeper detail, but I really can't; they're repetitive and just simply boring.

And what is the purpose of the autotune? Lavigne pulled the same stunt that Cher did over a decade ago with the release of "Believe" by using autotune to add a little spice to the song, but in turn making her perfectly fine voice sound a bit like a robot. Avril, you've got a great voice; don't try and cover it up with autotune! It isn't extremely irritating and doesn't really kill the potential of the song, but I do want to know why Lavigne thought she needed to use the effect in the song.

Although I liked her last release, Goodbye Lullaby, I've always felt that the album was an attempt by Lavigne to try to regain some fans after she completely split her following with The Best Damn Thing, and "Here's To Never Growing Up" fits in the same category as Goodbye Lullaby. She's got the lyrics that appeal to the punks and misfits that she used to aim for with Let Go and Under My Skin, while it has the pop sound that The Best Damn Thing used to pull in a new set of listeners.

I'm really not sure how to process the modern day version of Lavigne. On one hand, she definitely has become what she set out to destroy in the first place. She used to act like the little badass rocker that hated everybody, and then somehow suddenly switched into the queen of faux-punk rockers and found an obsession with pink and bleach blonde hair. However, she's still turning out halfway decent music, and that's really all I care about as a casual listener to an artist. If Lavigne was my favorite artist and pulled a stunt like she did with The Best Damn Thing, I would have boycotted her to be completely honest, but as a casual listener, I really don't care.

"Here's To Never Growing Up" was originally sitting at a three-and-a-half star rating from me, but I like to round up or down to a whole number. If it was a bit more innovative and the verses were beefed up to fit the excitement of the choruses in the song, I would have no problem giving the song four out of five stars, but that just isn't the case. But overall, it was a solid attempt from Lavigne, and I will gladly be checking out her upcoming fifth studio album when it drops later this year.

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