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There was no saving Avril Lavigne’s album Head Above Water

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Avril Lavigne released a new album? In 2019?.

I know, I couldn’t believe it either; I thought that Lavigne’s music days were over, but apparently, I was sorely mistaken. Immediately, I was excited by Head Above Water, and ready to be brought back to singing to “Here’s To Never Growing Up” in the basement of my aunt’s house. Maybe this was just the rush of nostalgia I didn’t know I needed. So I sat back, hit play, and waited for the tunes to take me back to my happiest times.

Unfortunately, I would be waiting forever.

Right away, I knew that the child-like lens I was planning on listening to her music through was sadly blackened. The first song I heard on Lavigne’s new album was “Dumb Blonde.” I quickly began to realize there was no hope for this song. To put it gently, it reminded me of Jojo Siwa’s music, specifically “Boomerang.” Lavigne’s song quickly made me realized that although I grew up and time went on, Lavigne never did. She is still stuck in 2011 with her black eyeliner and “Sk8ter Girl” look and sound.

It has been a long time since her most recent album — the last one Lavigne released was in 2013–but the quality of this music does not scream “six years in the making.” More like “every cliche wrapped into 12 songs,” which I will say is quite impressive that she fit them all in. Maybe her goal was to appeal to a younger audience. Maybe her genre was and will forever be for the little girl that I was when I first began listening to her. But at 34 years old, it’s not hard to believe that this album simply missed the mark by about six years.

Continuing on with the idea of being cliche, the most heavily concentrated song on the album that applies to this criteria is “Birdie.” Now, if you’ve ever listened to music, I’m sure you can automatically guess what this song is about. In fact, this idea has been attempted so many times, when looking up the hook of the chorus “little bird,” at least eight different songs appear. With lyrics that are overused and simply predictable such as “fly away little bird,” there is no surprise to what the song may contain. Even if the lyrics were dull, there could be hope in the vocals. And yet, once again, Lavigne does not deliver.

Lavigne maintains the same sound since she first began in the music business in the early 2000s, and while it may say something about her character to stay committed to the same sound for such an extended period of time, music changes with the times and so must artists. Say what you will but Taylor Swift has been able to come out with a new sound every album, and whether you like her style or not, it cannot be argued that she keeps in track with all the latest music trends. However, the same cannot be said about Lavigne.

“Tell Me It’s Over” was a song that had potential yet continued to let me down. While casanova-type songs may be overused, I was excited to hear Lavigne in her element with her typical “break-up” songs. And maybe it’s me and my age that prevents me from being able to enjoy her songs, but I still found the tune more fit to play on a soundtrack in Teen Beach Movie rather than on an album.

Lavigne’s single “Head Above Water” was possibly the only song that matched her age to the lyrics. However, with lyrics such as “God, keep my head above water…I’ll meet you there at the altar,” maybe the match isn’t a good one. However, even if the song was not executed as well as it could have been, it tells the story of her battle with Lyme Disease, as seen at the end of her music video in which the “Lyme Disease Foundation” name flashes across. So, although the song could have had better lyrics, they tell a personal story for Lavigne, which I think can be respected.

I wanted so badly to be brought back to my “Complicated” days when everyone was upset with the boyfriend they didn’t have. But maybe I was putting too many expectations to be taken back to dancing in my aunt’s basement. Maybe Lavigne knows her style and is continuing to play to her younger listeners. Or maybe Lavigne has had her time, as hard as it is to say.

I wanted to love Head Above Waterbut instead, I was let down, and there was nothing that could keep her music career afloat.

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About the Writer
Sarah Wordhouse, Public Relations Manager

Sarah is a senior and entering her second year as a writer for The Central Trend. During her free time, she likes taking drives and finding hidden gems...

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There was no saving Avril Lavigne’s album Head Above Water