Single Review: Avril Lavigne – What the Hell

By on Friday, 4th February 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

At age 26, you could say Canadian singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne has grown up – not sure if she’s gotten any wiser though. It’s hard to believe that her fame began almost 10 years ago, by singing about ‘Sk8ter Boi’ and how ‘Complicated’ life was, messing up malls with her motley crew of mates. Now we’re at 2011, she’s a divorcee, and judging from her latest single, it appears she’s ditched the pop/punk genre that initially made her famous for a more straightforward pop sound. Bring in ‘What the Hell’, released in North America on 11 January. Her fourth album, ‘Goodbye Lullaby’, is scheduled to be released in the UK on 7 March.

Lavigne is not the type of artist normally featured on TGTF, but this song is so damn catchy, I felt it was worth talking about on a Friday when you’re ready for the weekend and want something light, not brooding. If she’s singing without any vocal crutches, her voice box is definitely getting a workout: just have a listen to the chorus. Surprisingly, the lyrics aren’t as inane as you might think: “all my life I’ve been good but now / I’m thinking what the hell / all I want to do is mess around / and I don’t really care about / if you love me / or you hate me / you can’t save me…” It’s highly possible I’m looking into these words far too deeply, but the whole song says to me what women have been wanting to say to their boyfriends for years.

It’s empowering, just in a weird way. It’s a ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ anthem for 2011. If blokes can flirt and play around without any consequences, why can’t women insist on the same, if it’s all in ‘good fun’? It may be irresponsible, but hey, at least it’s not Ke$ha irresponsible. The only unfortunate part is that Lavigne is dressed in lacy undergarments at the start of the video, and it looks like she’s dressing the part of Britney Spears; not very feminist, eh?

‘What the Hell’ won’t change the world or win any awards (we hope), but it’s bright, it’s poppy, it’s peppy…and you better get used to it, because it’ll probably be coming soon to a radio near you.

8/10

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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