‘Head Above Water’ will make you ask ‘What The Hell’ is Avril Lavigne’s style.

Abi Marines, Staff writer

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Avril Lavigne’s “Head Above Water” doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Does it want to kidnap its listeners and take them back to 2012, or to be Avril Lavigne’s true comeback into 2019? It’s hard to tell. But one thing is for sure; her sixth studio album is not worth the 41 minutes it takes to sit through all of the songs.

 

Opening track “Head Above Water” really doesn’t deserve to be the album’s namesake. It’s not a very new style, it’s not catchy, and its vibe is nothing we haven’t seen before. Instead, it

feels like a confused cry from Lavigne, who is not quite sure what she wants her music to be. Not strong enough to make an impact but not weak enough to bring down the entire album, it’s just a mediocre song from an overall mediocre album.

 

The album doesn’t feel like the same Avril Lavigne that sung “What the Hell” in 2011 and “Complicated” in 2002. Each song feels like an artist caught between modern pop music and an older style that has fallen out of fashion. The biggest offenders of this are “Dumb Blonde,”  which plays like a worse version of 2013’s “Hello Kitty,” and “Souvenir,” which sounds like something that wanted to be her 2011 song “Smile” but not as bold as that song dared to go. The entire album is confusing in tone and feeling but still somehow manages to be slightly consistent in sound.

 

The only songs that even remotely make this album good are “Birdie,” “I Fell In Love With The Devil” and “Goddess.” Each one has the same sort of sound as the others but makes an impact in the delivery of the lyrics. “Birdie’s” lyrics are fairly generic, but it’s sung with such a level of passion that it sounds captivating to the listeners. “I Fell In Love With The Devil” has the same level of feeling embedded in the lyrics with the added bonus of the music actually being pleasing to the ear, not just the embodiment of a copy and paste backtrack. “Goddess” is just a cool song with amazing vocals that showcase Lavigne’s vocal talents.

 

Overall, though, the album suffers from a serious case of identity crisis, which is a shame because Lavigne’s work in the 2000s and the early 2010s was amazing and defined the scene-pop style. This new album, however, just doesn’t feel like anything special. “Head Above Water” is a solid C- for lacking the spark that usually defines Avril Lavigne’s music.

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