A gentler, mellower Skater Girl?
Hard to tell, going by Avril Lavigne's single for new album. -TNP
By Seto Nu-Wen
FOR a singer who once boasted that she could write 10 songs a day, Avril Lavigne's fourth album Goodbye Lullaby seems to have taken a long time.
The album's release date has been pushed back several times.
But now, fans can look forward to March 7, when Goodbye Lullaby hits the shelves here.
It's not like Lavigne has been quiet.
Between recordings, she's been doing the tried-and-tested merchandising route - parlaying her new clothing label Abbey Dawn and releasing not one but two perfumes.
She even contributed the beautiful number Alice for Tim Burton's movie Alice In Wonderland last year.
As to what to expect from Goodbye Lullaby, it's hard to tell from the first single, What The Hell, which is already getting lots of airplay here.
It's punchy, girly and leverages greatly on Lavigne's obnoxious in-your-face style.
Set it next to her former hits like Girlfriend and Sk8ter Boi and it'd be right at home.
A bit of a downer, then, seeing that Lavigne had worked on Goodbye Lullaby for a good 2 1/2 years.
Yet, we are hoping for more.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in September 2009, she had promised that the album could take a more acoustic slant, with a mellower, more emotional touch.
That's the Lavigne we would really like to see.
After all, while the 26-year-old Canadian started off by posturing herself as the poster girl for teenage angst and female rebellion, the act soon grew as tired as those pink streaks in her hair.
Yes, we like her angry, but we prefer her a little more subdued.
And it's her more sombre hits like When You're Gone, Keep Holding On, I'm With You and Nobody's Home that really showcased her songwriting talents and ability to convey raw emotion to her listeners.
So perhaps what will really make Goodbye Lullaby worth listening to is how much Lavigne is willing to tap into her personal life for inspiration.
After all, in an interview with the Kingston Herald last August, she said: "I write my own music and, therefore, it takes me longer to put out records 'cause I have to live my life to get inspiration."
Since Lavigne's last album, 2007's The Best Damn Thing, she has had a much-publicised divorce from Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley.
Soon after, she was also linked to socialite and oil heir Brandon Davis, Hoobastank's Doug Robb and actor Wilmer Valderrama.
The man on her arm these days is TV personality Brody Jenner.
But Whibley was more than just Lavigne's emotional backbone or muse - Sk8ter Boi was reportedly about their relationship.
The 30-year-old songwriter was also the producing touch that made The Best Damn Thing one of the best well, damn pop albums of 2007.
And he and Lavigne continue to be on such amicable terms that he produced one song, aptly titled Darlin', on the new album.
Is it a love letter?
Is it a chance at a reconciliation?
Or is the answer really in what Lavigne is wearing on the album cover that looks like a tattered wedding dress?
We shall see.
This article was first published in The New Paper.
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