Avril Lavigne Shows Vulnerability with ‘Goodbye Lullaby’
It’s been four years since the release of her last effort, 2007′s platinum selling album The Best Damn Thing, and with the passing of time, we see a completely new and tender side to the former punk rock tomboy. The 26-year-old has evolved as a person and as an artist, and she brings that maturity and insight to this latest labor of love.
“I pushed myself and didn’t hold back,” Lavigne says of Goodbye Lullaby for which she wrote or co-wrote every song, and also wrote and produced two — “4 Real” and “Goodbye” — entirely on her own. “I allowed myself to be vulnerable. I think it’s during the real moments that people can relate the most. Those who have heard the album have had very strong emotional reactions to the songs, so I realized that when something is so real, it will probably touch somebody. The beauty of music is that it’s open to interpretation.”
The album finds the rock and roll wild child in a bittersweet mood, foregoing the angst of her previous records in favor of appealingly relatable, heartfelt songs that convey a variety of emotions. On songs like “Everybody Hurts,” “Push,” “Remember When,” and “Wish You Were Here,” we see Lavigne exploring what it means to push through the tough times and emerge stronger for it.
Nowhere is this feeling better expressed than on the title track, a delicate piano-and-string ballad that closes out the album.
“’Goodbye’ is the most raw and vulnerable track I’ve ever written and recorded in my career,” remarks Lavigne. “It’s a very special song because I wrote and produced it myself. It’s so real and truthful. You can’t fake that.”
“Whenever I hear ‘Darlin,’ I think of the family room I wrote it in and playing it for my mom,” says the Canadian-born and raised singer. “So it’s really special for me to have it on the album.”
Despite her track record of success with upbeat rockers, Lavigne was determined to tone things down this go-around and strip back instrumentation. Several songs feature acoustic guitar and piano, with an orchestra added on “Darlin’,” “Remember When,” and the title track.
Still, on infectious rockers like “Smile” and a cover of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation,” the “Sk8er Boi” singer delivered the trademark sass and spunk that has moved 30 million albums and filled stadiums worldwide to capacity. Anthemic lead single “What the Hell” is also irresistibly feisty and the perfect bridge to this new body of work.