It was five years ago that a then 28-year-old Avril Lavigne released her last hit song ‘Here’s To Never Growing Up’: “I got a bottle of whatever, but it’s getting us drunk/Singing, here’s to never growing up”. Despite her apparent fear of getting older, Lavigne does seem to have grown up quite a bit.
Her latest release ‘Head Above Water’ sounds cleaner. The up-tempo beats we know from hits such as ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘Sk8ter Boi’ are replaced by heavy drums and dramatic violins. And though the result sounds unlike anything Lavigne has created before, it is far from original; the chord progressions and structure are like any other power ballad. According to Lavigne, the song references her battle with Lyme disease: “One night, I thought I was dying […] I prayed, ‘God, please help to keep my head above the water.’ In that moment, the songwriting of this album began.” It is clear that a sudden interest in the spiritual is heavily influencing Avril Lavigne’s new music. We just have to wait and see if that influence will be positive. ‘Head Above Water’ is not too promising.
Image: Rosa Casapullo via Wikimedia Commons