New Lavigne album focuses on music quality
6:16 p.m. EDT, April 20, 2011
Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne released her fourth studio album “Goodbye Lullaby” in March. The album follows Lavigne’s typical style that she maintained with previous albums. In “Goodbye Lullaby,” Lavigne makes adjustments and advances with her music. Like her previous albums, Lavigne plays a part in writing all of the songs on the album. The overall sound of the album resembles the music that gained Lavigne popularity; however, with the new album, subtle fine-tuning of her image results in a notable difference.
Lavigne began her career as a teen-angst driven songwriter, and that quality boosted her to stardom. As the years progressed, Lavigne changed her music to divert from the role into which she fit. In albums prior to “Goodbye Lullaby,” Lavigne obviously worked diligently to adapt into a personality that was different from what her audience expected. One of the new album’s most admirable qualities is that Lavigne does a nice job of not trying too hard. At this stage in her career, Lavigne’s music does not express an irrational desire to formulate a dramatic variation of herself for the sole purpose of proving a point.
Lyrically, “Goodbye Lullaby” is not an album of marked advancement from Lavigne’s teenage years. Relationship-driven subject matter persists, especially after Lavigne herself experienced marriage and eventual divorce from one of the album’s producers and primary instrumentalists, Deryck Whibley. Because of the time between this album and Lavigne’s last album, this particular record deals with less stereotypical teenage melodrama and instead centers around themes that relate to a wider demographic.
The lead tracks introduce the album with a standard pop sound, placing vocals over synthesized rhythms and repetitions. As the album progresses, the sound tones down to incorporate an increased amount of authentic instrumentation. The album has less of a dark side than some of Lavigne’s previous records, and instead communicates a carefree, enjoyable attitude.
Some tracks on “Goodbye Lullaby” serve as evidence of Lavigne’s actual musical talent and ability, rather than painting her as an artist concerned solely with image. Lavigne recorded the song Darlin for the new album, but the song itself was written when she was 14 years old, prior to acquiring a recording contract. As a result, the song recalls a spirit of innocence its stripped-down performance compliments that mood with Lavigne accompanying herself on acoustic guitar. Likewise, many other songs consist of Lavigne showcasing her vocal strengths and moderate piano-playing ability. Because the album is oriented around Lavigne’s actual talents, the album sounds more sincere and impressive than previous albums.
In the nine years since her debut in the music industry, Lavigne made many changes to her style as a musician. Some constancy has been present through the years, but Lavigne continues to make great strides to prove herself worthy of her status. Her objective is no longer to go against people’s expectations, and she seems to have finally found a comfortable place to settle as a musician. She shifted her focus from mere concern with rebellion and now appears to show primary concern for the quality of her music, producing respectable results.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
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