Never Grow Up

Music this week

Avril Lavigne

Sony Dadc

Rs 399

rating: ***

Bubble gums, strawberry blonde hair and a reckless attitude worn on her sleeve with a middle finger shown to the world, Avril Lavigne was the ultimate "punk princess". Or so we thought in our teens. But with a pinch of nostalgia and an indulgent attitude we were surprised to see that 29-year-old Lavigne — even after her 5th studio album and epic tracks such as Sk8er Boi to Girlfriend and the underrated number Complicated — had not grown up.

Her album, also titled Avril Lavigne, consists of 13 tracks and features several artistes, including Chad Kroeger and Marilyn Manson. The album opens with the number Rock n Roll. With a comic book-inspired video and lyrics such as, I ain't never gonna cover up that tattoo, the album also has some very interesting guitar riffs. In the next number, Here's to never growing up, Lavigne raises the aforementioned middle finger to the world at large, and shows the world the price of living in Neverland.

The next track, 17, which talks about her teen years, is accompanied by her powerful voice, a steady and strong beat and acoustic strums. Bitchin' summer talks about the end of school (almost a decade has passed since Lavigne's high school days, oh my!) as she sings "I'll pick you up at the liquor store/Hurry up, we can fit one more," convincingly.

We were surprised to see her collaborative number with her husband and Nickelback frontman Kroeger's number called Let go, to be a painful break-up song. While Lavigne holds perfectly on her own, Kroeger doesn't sound "right" with her. While Bad girl, featuring Manson, is a funky, cheeky rock-inspired number, Hello kitty is a sort of a meh number, as Lavigne tries her hand with techno-pop. The last track on the album, Hush hush, is our definite favourite. A surprisingly deep number, Lavigne mixes complicated emotions, ranging from heartbreak to regret, in an enticing pop-inspired manner.

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