I’m not sure exactly how to say this, so I’ll just get straight to the point. I think it’s time we break up. It’s not that I never liked you. When we started our “thing,” I was looking for something different. I was tired of all those mid-90’s bands. I did love their angsty lyrics and their searches for meaning and whatnot. But at times they got kinda annoying. I mean, come on, “our love is like water?” What exactly is that about?
So when I heard your song “Complicated,” I was interested. Your songs were guilty pleasures, but you didn’t seem like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, or any of those other stupid pop singers. You seemed like the anti-Britney with your punkish attitude and rockier sound. So I was okay with it. And I admit, after listening to a few songs, I fell for you. You were a little bratty, but it almost made me like you more. We both knew it wasn’t serious or anything. It was just something fun and non-committal.
Then came your second album. I was totally surprised. It was dark and had a bit of substance. I loved your song “My Happy Ending,” and I fell for you a little harder. Then I saw your new music videos. I was shocked. All of a sudden it looked like you had grown up. Gone were your weird ties and baggy pants. Instead you looked almost “ladylike” with your new dresses and hairstyles. I couldn’t help think that maybe I was wrong, and this relationship was going to be something more than simple fun.
But then came your new album, The Best Damn Thing. When I heard your new single, “Girlfriend,” I thought you were making fun of the new power-pop crap from Fergie and Gwen Stefani. But as I watched the music video and listened to it more, I realized it wasn’t a joke. You were serious. When you sing “I think you know I’m damn precious / And hell yeah I’m the motherf-ing princess,” you actually believe it. Sorry, but that’s not attractive. You’re not being bratty; you’re being obnoxious. The sad thing is your album only got worse.
As the album went on, I couldn’t believe what I was listening to. You giggled on a bunch of tracks and cursed for what seemed like no reason. Your sound was a cheap, stripped-down, pop-ish mush, and your lyrics were truly atrocious. When you told me “I hate it when a guy doesn't understand / Why a certain time of month I don't want to hold his hand,” I just didn’t want to hear it. I don’t think your period belongs in your lyrics. I’m not saying you are a master wordsmith or anything. “He was a boy, she was a girl / Can I make it anymore obvious” isn’t going to win any awards. But it was sure fun. Now your music is painful to listen to.
What’s even worse is you seem to be going through an identity crisis. Why were you acting like a cheerleader on the track “The Best Damn Thing?” It sounded like a lame rip-off of “Hollaback Girl.” And what’s the deal with “I Don’t Have To Try?” Let’s get past the fact that your lyrics are horrible, you actually rapped “I'm the one I'm the one who knows the dance / I'm the one I'm the one who's got the prance / I'm the one I'm the one who wears the pants / I wear the pants.” No Avril, I wear the pants, and I’m breaking up with you. When half way through the track you screamed like you were in a metal band there was no doubt in my mind that this is the right decision.
I think it’s best we end things. We’ve obviously grown apart. I do appreciate your older music for how fun it was. But now your music it’s laughable for how painfully bad it is. It’s been fun, but it’s time I move on to better things. Besides, I found this new girl, Anna Nalick, who is an actual female artist with substance that I can respect. No hard feelings, I hope you do well.
Best of Luck,
Avril Lavigne’s new album is laughably bad.
- Originally published in Franklin and Marshall College newspaper, The College Reporter on April 23, 2007, which is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.