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"Head Above Water" Avril Lavigne

by Shay Gauthier - 89.1 The Point
Tue, Mar 5th 2019 10:35 pm

Avril Lavigne is back with the album “Head Above Water” which left me with mixed emotions. It was genuinely nice to hear a familiar voice from my early childhood years and to see how Lavigne has transformed as an artist.

“Head Above Water” is the album’s titular track and making it the first song was a no brainer. The song addresses her relationship with God and although I am not religious, the words still impacted me. The following song is titled “Birdie,” which has similar motifs as “Head Above Water” and unfortunately a similar sound too, both being power ballads.

My favorite song on the album is definitely “I Fell in Love With the Devil.”  Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the album’s first two songs, Lavigne redeemed herself with this one, describing a charming lover that eventually broke her heart. She stood consistent with her use of religious metaphors but this time around they hit closer to home. Heartbreak is a universal emotion, allowing for a wide audience to empathize with her sentiments. As someone who can relate, I appreciated the lyrics and understood where Lavigne has been.

About halfway down the tracklist, the album took a turn for the worst with “Dumb Blonde.” Not only is it unlike any song on the album, but it’s ultimately cheapened with Nicki Minaj’s rap in the middle. A Minaj and Lavigne collaboration is one that I would have never expected and with good reason. Lavigne should have removed the song completely or released it as its own single. “Dumb Blonde” may be good for radio play but in terms of fitting in the album holistically, it was a bad move on Lavigne’s part.

After the mishap of “Dumb Blonde,” the album gets back to Lavigne’s focus on relationships.  The album turns from a sad breakup album to one of new love. “Crush” and “Goddess” focus on how she has fallen “head over heels” for someone. The songs are catchy but cheesy at the same time. At one point she says “The more I am a hot mess/ The more he goes bananas,” choosing lyrics that aren’t as sentimental as the ones in previous songs.

 The lyrics to “Bigger Wow”’ don’t help either, as the song sounds like an attempt at a summer jam. She went from having solid power ballads at the beginning of the album to really cheesy, juvenile love songs. To finish the album, Lavigne tries a powerful song with “Warrior.” I don’t know whether to be happy the album is over or mad because Lavigne created an album that leaves the listener feeling indifferent. 

Overall, the album was alright. I was hoping her comeback album would be substantial and genuinely thought that Lavigne was going to give her fans an amazing album. Contrary to my wishes, I can honestly say I only liked one song. The second half of the album was cheesy and needs lyrical revisions. If you are a long time Lavigne fan, you should still listen but try not to be too disappointed by the end result.