Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Avril Lavigne-- So Much for a Happy Ending


           Nostalgia's a funny thing, the last two days have made that blatantly obvious, not only has the passing of 2014's Record Store Day helped people re-connect with some of the music they may have left behind, but non-other than Avril Lavigne has made hordes of young people around their early 20's long for the days when things were simpler, you didn't have to worry about money or jobs, and 'Sk8er Boi' was the coolest thing you could listen too.

          I remember these 'good old days', twelve years ago in fact, so being around the age of ten I could listen to the 'Let Go' album around the house feeling all punk and cool whilst at the same time there was more than enough pop on that album to be completely safe. So even my mum could listen to it. Still that album remains on my Ipod as sort of a nostalgic memorandum as I listen to some of the lesser known tracks on the album such as 'Mobile' and 'Anything But Ordinary' for some epiclly nostalgic pop moments.

          But the point of this is too look at the progression of Avril herself, I don't take what she said about herself as an 18/19 year old self very seriously. I don't take anything an 18/19 year old says about themselves very seriously so we can instead look to how aesthetically she's changed. I suppose anyone who can remember her second album '04's 'Under My Skin' saw and heard the change in both style and substance, whilst there there was less of the pop-punk velocity sometimes seen on 'Let Go' 'Under My Skin' instead seemed wholeheartedly more in the Pop-ish Post-Grunge vein.

          And when you consider musicians such as Josh Freese, Butch Walker and Ben Moody helped on the production on this album this in retrospect should come as no surprise. Visually there was a change in style as well, from Avril's pop-punk 3/4 trousers and slim t-shirts developed into a more Gothic look matching the the music and probably the changes a lot of her younger fans were encompassing too. Despite not really owning the airways like 'Sk8er Boi', 'Complicated' or 'Nobody's Home' had done, Avril still seemed genuine and exciting. And then she seemed to disappear.

          And she petty much did, unless you really went looking for news of her online, she seemed to have evaporated and then out of no-where returned with something no-one really seemed to expect. The next time we saw her in early 2007, everything that was once cool for us young adolescences had long gone. Believe me, I was 17 at this stage and was far to busy being in love with 'Rise Against' too really care. But there was nothing of her former self in the album or singles. If you're looking hard-enough the 'Girlfriend' video show's a visual mish-mash of someone really struggling with their identity.

           Is the real Avril the bleach blonde girl singing, is she the really horrible bully with dark hair used for comedic value but in reality was a big middle finger to the girl who wrote the lyrics for albums on the first two albums. Or is she the poor red dead girl, mistreated and undervalued? the video seems to be a collection of issues where nothing is really addressed but  alot can be looked into. But on the other hand, she is at the time writing at the age of 23/24, obviously brewing with sexual confidence and probably wanting to take advantage of that. Pretty much the same way attractive girls tan themselves up and wear short dresses and muscular guys wear the tightest shirts ever.

          So lets fast forward to 'Hello Kitty' cause there was an album in between but I don't know anything about it except the realize date and the vague memory of trying to listen too it and just not being bothered. Well it certainly has brought more attention to her, but as songs go it is not terrible, and if I'm honest I can see this being a hit, for anyone but Avril. There lies her problem. Probably anyone who still gives a shit about her are going to remember her being the skater girl, and the goth and probably even the girl in the shorts with blonde hair, and the girl we saw grow up on our screens with a piano.

          Basically the issue is that we've watched her grow up from the young skater, to trying different things with her image, to finally becoming a woman all through 12 years of music video's. 'Hello Kitty's' main problem is not completely the lyrics nor the music, it is just the artist who is performing the track. Avril Lavigne is a victim of her own success.

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