About The Artist
The Set List
Soundcheck recently traveled to L.A. to hang with Canadian rocker Avril Lavigne and preview tracks from her much-anticipated spring release, The Best Damn Thing. Rocking a dancier, "poppier" sound, Lavigne's third disc is a much more upbeat affair than her last album. The 23-year-old singer/songwriter tells us that she wanted a light, breezy collection of songs that would reflect where she's at today. That doesn't mean she's not still feisty, and still pop-punk; as one listen to new tracks like 'I Can Do Better,' and you'll hear it firsthand. The sound may be different, but the Sk8er girl still knows how to rock the house.
The first single off The Best Damn Thing is a major departure for Avril, and she's the first one to celebrate. Heck, she's even dancing! Explains the singer: "I'm on my third record and I've experienced it all, and I've always been in control. This new record was a lot of fun (to make) and it comes across on the CD. My last record was about a lot of personal things I was going through... more like a diary. It was darker and deeper. This one's really light and I like that!"
On the Big Tour:
Avril's getting ready to take her new record on the road, and she promises us that she'll really be getting down. "My vision was having a really super-energetic record that would make a good live show. My show is just going to be a lot of me running around (and) dancing... I just put a whole new band together. There's about eight of us on stage, so it's a bigger band (plus) two dancers with me. It's going to be very different and a lot of fun, and definitely the best I've done... so far."
On The Best Damn Thing
We asked Avril about the starkly different new sound on her new disc. How does it differ from her first two efforts? "My new record is very upbeat," she explains. "Pretty much every song is fast. I have three ballads, but besides that, the energy is just very bratty and playful and very aggressive. It's very light compared to my last record. I did this one on my own. I picked my producers and the musicians and made it all on my own. Spent six months by myself and then I handed it into the label."
Third records, like third singles, are traditionally tough terrain for artists. It's also a time when many artists like to experiment with their sound and travel in a different direction. With the release of The Best Damn Thing, Avril Lavigne is temporarily abandoning the harder-edged sound she's become known for - and having some much-needed fun. After all, the girl's only 23 years old.
We hope you have as much fun listening to Avril's new sound as we did. It's something new and exciting for her, and we think you'll enjoy.
Till next time.
-The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck
- Avril Ramona Lavigne was born September 27, 1984 in Ontario, Canada. She is the daughter of a French-born father and a French Canadian mother.
- Avril is married to Deryck Whibley, the leader singer of punk band Sum 41. Whibley proposed to Avril in Venice, Italy in 2005. The couple married in Montecito, California a year later in July, 2006.
- Avril's a self-confessed on-again, off-again vegetarian
- She's also a budding actress with an impressive movie resume. She's appeared in the Richard Gere movie, The Flock, and Richard Linklater's feature, Fast Food Nation. On television, she made an appearance as a lounge singer in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
- She began playing guitar when she was just 10 years old
- Avril co-wrote Kelly Clarkson's hit, Breakaway
"Hey you! I could be your girlfriend!" sings Avril in this energetic wake-up call to a guy who's dating the wrong girl. The first single from The Best Damn Thing, 'Girlfriend' is Avril at her most playful. Armed with two backup singers, she rocks the stage with some tightly choreographed moves. Irreverent and infectious, 'Girlfriend' is a tongue-in-cheek tune that's impossible to get out of your head.
I Can Do Better
Avril tells us that this track is her personal favorite from the new album - and it's easy to see why. In the same vein of Beyonce's 'Irreplaceable,' the song is a hands-up-in-the-air hook about female empowerment. Sings sassy Avril: "Don't deny that you're a waste of time. You're gone. So long. I can do better."
Avril takes us back to her highly successful debut with this bittersweet classic about payback. 'Sk8ter Boi' is a punk anthem - and an all-too-familiar tale of success and revenge. Rumor has it that this tune is actually about an ex-boyfriend who once criticized Avril's style. Happily, in this love-gone-bad story, the girl wins. A triumphant Avril declares: "I'll be at a studio singing the song you wrote about the girl you used to know."
When You're Gone
"Do you see how much I need you right now?" begs a stripped-down Avril in this poignant ballad from the new album. Showing her sensitive side, the artist tells us of an all-encompassing relationship where absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder, just colder. It's one of the new record's strongest tracks.
I'm With You
Closing the set with one of her most popular singles, 'I'm With You' showcases one of Lavigne's finest moments, lyrically and musically. Here, she offers up a different vocal, but somehow unfamiliar territory: "I don't know who you are, but I'm with you."