As much as she may like to be, Avril Lavigne isn’t 17 anymore – she’s now 29. Yet the first phase of her new, self-titled release sees Ms. Lavigne dealing with a creative mid-life crisis. Songs like `Rock N Roll’, `Here’s To Never Growing Up’ and `17’ reflect problems that Lavigne is having in dealing with her current situation. No she’s not the `Complicated’, `Sk8er Boi’ kid that shattered the charts 12 years ago, times have changed. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus have all taken over her spot in the rotation, which means Lavigne has to re-position herself to re-establish the impetus that was lost with her 2011 “Goodbye Lullaby” release.
Yet songs like `Rock N Roll’, `Here’s To Never Growing Up’ and `17’, as good as they are, see Lavigne stuck in some kind of twilight zone. Yet there is hope! Her duet with new hubby, Nickleback’s Chad Kroeger on `Let Me Go’ is exactly the type of song she needed to record to re-establish her credibility. There’s a much needed maturity about the melodic song and arrangement which suggests Lavigne is capable of singing songs that reflect her age. It’s a quality also reflected in two other songs; the salacious `Give You What You Like’ and `Sippin On Sunshine’ which at least hint that a change in direction is forthcoming.
Unfortunately, Lavigne provides a couple of songs too many as she starts to run out of steam on tracks like `Hello Heartache’ , `Falling Fast and `Hush Hush’. Still, there is quality here and `Let Me Go’ should provide sufficient radio ammunition to bring her career back to life.
Download: Let Me Go, Here’s to Never Growing Up, Give You What You Like.