Verdict: 2.5 / 5
When looking at the CD cover for Avril’s newest, self-titled album, it proudly declared: “Featuring the hit tracks Let Me Go; Rock and Roll, Here’s to Never Growing Up.” I thought to myself, “Hang on, why haven’t I heard any of these; I’m usually quite up to date with radio hits, have none of them made it to South Africa yet?” Upon playing them though, the problem became abundantly clear. I did in fact know each of them. Each and every one of them had caught in my head in that weird pop-ish way this genre works. And every single track I had previously assumed was Taylor Swift’s. Something like that happening might be quite worrying for dear old Avril.
The songs on this album aren’t bad songs by any means, they’re very decent pop songs, and are very catchy and well made. But Avril seems to have disappeared into the gaps between Katy Perry, Kesha, Taylor Swift, and others, and I really can’t find her doing anything that makes me think of her as being better than those ladies. What uniqueness she does have comes from her maintained bratty, punk, skater girl aesthetic and lyrics, but that actually makes me dislike her more than I normally would have. When Avril literally has a song called “Here’s to Never Growing Up;” I kinda see what shes getting at, but Avril is going to be 30 next year. And while that isn’t old by any means, it’s starting to get very creepy for me when she continues to act like a brattish teenager, however much of an act it is; it all just rings quite sad. Like the first stages of a crazy cat lady or something. It’s not that she shouldn’t have fun, but I feel a more mature artist would have expanded and kept her youthful energy, while being more able to not sound like she was literally ignoring the world around her and pretending she was still in high school. A song like that, and lyrics similar to it on other tracks, would be far more suitable for an artist who was 21, not almost 30.
So Avril, you have a good voice, and I hope your fans still like you, but you’re starting to annoy me now. Do something else.