“Here’s To Never Growing Up” is Avril Lavigne‘s unapologetic anthem that she doesn’t plan on changing. At 29, how much longer can she keep up this teenage act? On her fourth album, Goodbye Lullaby, she seemed to be moving towards adult contemporary, Chantal Kreviazuk-territory, but with her self-titled fifth album, she returns to the pop/rock sound singing about things that she’s way too young for.
“Bitchin’ Summer” has her yearning for the school bell to ring to signal the beginning of summer vacation, “17” has her singing about teenage love, and “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” is a cute love song. From these tracks, you’d think Avril was trying to be the new Taylor Swift, but then Avril goes jarringly dark.
“Give You Want You Like” focuses on drunken sex, and “Bad Girl” goes to profane and angry places with the help of Marilyn Manson. I feel like young girls will burst into tears listening to these tracks. Then “Hello Kitty” brings in the dubstep and creates an absolute mess. You’re not really sure what kind of identity Avril is trying to create. She’s in that awkward teen phase where she’s trying to figure herself out, so sometimes she’s really sweet and sometimes she just wants to rebel…which would be fine, if she wasn’t 29!
She does have some decent pop moments, like first single “Here’s To Never Growing Up”, “Sippin’ On Sunshine”, and her first duet with husband Chad Kroeger, “Let Me Go”, could have been much worse.
But overall, Avril’s so stuck in where she’s always been that it’s starting to become uncomfortable, and her small attempts to branch out don’t work at all.