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VINE VOICEon March 10, 2011
Avril Lavigne built a strong fanbase and then caught herself in something of a conundrum: her first album was a pop/rock fusion with catchy radio tunes such as "Sk8er Boi" and "Complicated" mixed in with darker fare like "Unwanted" and "I'm with You"; her second album was a raw, darker rock sound with excellent hooks and still one or two pop sounds ("He Wasn't", anyone?). Then, something changed -- literally, everything. "The Best Damn Thing" was Lavigne's third album and saw her with blonde hair streaked with pink, and every song on the album drenched in goopy bubblegum pop. With this move, Lavigne's fanbase seemed to split itself in two: those who were perfectly fine with the 'new Avril' and those who desperately wanted to see her 'return to herself.'

"Goodbye Lullaby", the oft-delayed, much-anticipated fourth album from the challenging singer-songwriter, is both a rich return to roots, a powerful maturation of what we've already seen, and also a simple look at life.

There's been some genuine criticism of "Lullaby" from critics who decry the simplicity of the songs, but one of the complete charms of the album is that it genuinely feels like Lavigne invited listeners into her living room while she sat at her piano or strummed her guitar. There's no grand procession of chords because Lavigne cannily realised, she didn't need them. "Lullaby" is not just a song detailing her failed marriage, it's a firm introspection on how far she's come from the teenage mall-punk she started out as. The singer stated herself that most of the songs were written in her bed or whatever hotel room she was staying in, and it truly, truly shows.

But there's still so much of the Avril that we all have come to know and love over the years as well. "What the Hell", written with Max Martin, could have jumped right off of "The Best Damn Thing", while the Alanis-like kiss-off "Smile" reaches back to the feel of "Under My Skin", and for those thirsting for the innocence of "Let Go" tracks such as "Things I'll Never Say" is echoed in "Darlin'", a song written by Lavigne when she was still fifteen years old. Opening up with the oddly eerie piano tinkle "Black Star" written for Lavigne's new fragrance line before moving into the rest of the album, "Goodbye Lullaby" has proven itself to be perhaps Lavigne's best album yet.

Intimate, beautiful, and above all simple, "Lullaby" lets go of all of the old tricks while still echoing everything that made Lavigne likable in the first place. Sad and introspective yet never whiny, gorgeous tracks like "Wish You Were Here" and "4 Real" are longing ballads, while "Not Enough" is perhaps one of the best musings of the album as Lavigne comes to grips with the fact that some relationships fail, despite love still being there, through no real fault of the participants. Her ex-husband Derrick Whibly is a member of Sum 41 and his presence was overpowering in the music of "The Best Damn Thing"; on "Lullaby" he is a gentle guider and also a phantom hovering over the most longing ballads while still allowing Lavigne to poke a bit of fun with "Smile" and "What the Hell".

"Goodbye" is the true lullaby of the album and the sweeping piano ballad that provided the album's name, bringing everything to a close as Lavigne stretches her vocals beyond what we've really heard before. An extremely good decision was to provide a bonus track of sorts and close the album with the power ballad "Alice" that Lavigne wrote for the 2010 film "Alice in Wonderland". The song puts Lavigne in the point-of-view of Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole to Wonderland and making the decision to control her own fate and take charge of her life. It's a powerful song and the extended version with a whole new verse provides an uplifting, beautiful end to the album as she assures the world that she is, indeed, alright.

"Goodbye Lullaby" is far from a perfect album - the chords aren't too terribly original and the lyrics aren't going to be winning any awards for poetry anytime soon. But the simplicity of the album is its true strength, as Lavigne wrote every song herself (or at least had a heavy hand in them). She invited her listeners in on the most intimate record she's yet produced, and while critics may not have been impressed it was everything that her fans have been waiting for, perhaps joining the fans of the split-personality-Avrils together again and proving that this is one artist with true staying power. If anything, "Goodbye Lullaby" is a powerful break-up album with quite a few standouts, and a marvellous entry into Lavigne's discography.

I eagerly await her fifth album and I, for one, feel justly rewarded in waiting for the release of "Goodbye Lullaby" after skipping out on "The Best Damn Thing".

Five out of five stars.
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on March 8, 2011
For an older guy like me, Avril Lavigne's first two albums were the ultimate guilty pleasure; I couldn't resist her infectious brand of rock despite her youth and the average age of her fans.

While I didn't much care for the direction of 2007's The Best Damn Thing, I still recognized her undeniable talent and remained hopeful her music would mature as she grew older.

Goodbye Lullaby is quite different from her previous releases, mainly from the standpoint that most of the musical rock edginess and looseness is no longer present. This is a collection of simple & repetitive, mid tempo, light pop songs. You'll hear a lot of strings and electronic percussion, familiar pop rock chord progressions and melodies, and thankfully a minimum amount of crazy special effects. If you were hoping for more upbeat, catchy pop hits like "What The Hell", you're basically out of luck. Don't get me wrong, there are hooks all over this album. But the songs seem to lack power, and it certainly doesn't help that there are no distorted guitars to be heard.

While the majority of tracks are very similar, a few do stand out. It's hard to not get excited listening to "Push", a song that really pushes Avril's vocal range, and good luck getting the chorus of "Wish You Were Here" out of your head after you've heard it a couple of times. Its triple-trifecta of hook phrases ("Damn, damn, damn", "here, here, here" and "near, near, near") is the finest example of crafty pop songwriting on the album. "Not Enough" includes real drums, good dynamics and edge, easily making it my personal favorite. "Remember When" and "Goodbye" are respectable ballads, containing perhaps the two finest vocal performances from Avril on the record. "Remember When" builds in intensity and is wonderfully melodic, and the excellent falsetto on "Goodbye" is something I haven't heard from her before.

A different approach to production would have helped this record, and Avril Lavigne is capable of much better. But overall, this is still an album I believe most fans will enjoy.
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on March 8, 2011
This new CD from Avril Lavigne is completely different than her three previous albums. This is is full of ballads and for the most part are well written. Standouts include Push, Goodbye, Wish You Were Here, Stop Standing There, and Smile. This album, while unique, sounds more like her first album, if any. It took a couple of listens to get hooked but on the third time I found myself digging the new sound. I enjoyed this album two-fold more than The Best Damn Thing because this album is personal and has a deeper feel to it. I'd really like to see these as acoustic numbers during her next tour. Try it!
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VINE VOICEon March 11, 2011
Avril Lavigne releases her best album yet! The world of female dance artists in popular culture is a touched market that's for sure. With Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, it's very easy to not be able to tell them all apart, especially if you're not a follower of the genre.

Then you get Avril Lavigne, an artist among the bunch who does stand out. And with her new album release "Goodbye Lullabye" she does just that tenfold. She stands out and not with marketing, dancers, lights and sex. No she does something else, she focuses on the music. This didn't come without a fight from her record company of course. They pushed her to make a dance record since that's where the money is. Avril decided to instead let it sit on a shelf for a year not releasing it at all until they gave in.

Having just recently ended a relationship Avril cracks herself open and raw to reveal a greater more mature album to date. Every track is better than the last. This is saying a lot since her weakest track is the bubbly poppy single release, "What the Hell". I hoped the rest of the album wouldn't be that way and luckily it's not! It's more rock and more Avril back to her roots. It's emotional. It's melodic. It's forceful and strong.

She took a nosedive with her last release four years ago with "The Best Damn Thing". An album which I put up there as not one of her best. I felt she sold out to the teen queen pop machines the music industry has been force feeding us for ten years. Now she comes back with what I consider to be her best work to date.
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on December 19, 2012
When Avril Lavigne entered the 2010’s in full force, she would present a mature, but
high-rocking blockbuster CD that again shot to the top of the album charts and became
another important landmark achievement for the celebrated rock icon when it first came
out in 2011. Officially hailed as one Avril’s her most personal and introspective albums
to date, Goodbye Lullaby showcases a solid set of stunning solos, highly supercharged
performances and utmost virtuosity, Goodbye Lullaby as it proves that Lavigne is in top
form and she takes another fresh turn in her music that is backed with sparkling energy
and evocative mood. Backed with an enthralling track set that features the electrifying
Top Ten smash hit What The Hell?, as well as other unique first rate tracks that include
Stop Standing There, Not Enough, Push, 4 Real, Everybody Hurts—not to be confused
with R.E.M.’s 1992 hit single) and Wish You Were Here, as the superb CD gives us yet
another great music experience heralded with Girl Power and original rock and roll that
makes it a time-honoured classic. What you even get on the deluxe edition of are a set
of acoustic versions of What The Hell?, Push and Wish You Were Here, and her direct
take on Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation that ends with a making-of-the-album video, which
makes it sound much better from start to finish. Described as successfully dealing with
heartbreak and overcoming obstacles, Goodbye Lullaby brilliant explore what it means
to push through tough times by emerging stronger than ever, while it takes on a whole
completely different approach which marked both her coming of age experience and a
return to her old musical style she perfected well from day one in the electric- acoustic
mode as the chemistry emphasized the album’s burgeoning success which makes this
timeless masterpiece a top drawer must to own in your MP3 set.
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VINE VOICEon March 11, 2011
With "Goodbye Lullaby", Avril Lavigne has proved that she's still relevant. The explicit version of this album drops the language in unusual places--it's not gratuitous, but it definitely puts her on the other side of that 'kid-friendly' line that defined her early career. This album isn't an extension of 'Under My Skin', it's more a celebration of her musical capabilities--while she doesn't stray into experimental territory or do anything really unlike her, she does do well to stretch herself. I compare Avril Lavigne's work on 'Goodbye Lullaby' to The Offspring, who sounded much the same across three albums and then suddenly dropped 'Americana' on the world and surprised everybody.

Lavigne still has that sassiness about her: What the Hell is the obvious song, but she also does a good job of laying down the law in "Push", a song about relationships. She uses "Wish You Were Here" to hearken back to her 'Alanis Morissette soundalike' days, then "Stop Standing There" seems more Radio Disney friendly. I'm expecting my pre-teen daughter will love this one: it's an excellent showcase of her vocals, where the instrumentation drops to the background.

"I Love You" should have been released in February - it's a sweet love song and it comes from her young heart. "Everybody Hurts" is the kind of 'It's okay--we all have that happen' song that makes me think this is the direction Miley Cyrus should have gone in. As the album winds to a close, you have some softer musical tunes: "4 Real" is acoustic with an easy percussion beat, "Goodbye" and "Remember When" are heavily piano-driven, and Goodbye ends the album in a lovely way with just strings and her voice.

Musically, "Goodbye Lullaby" is a four-star album--what gives it that last kick into 5-star territory is the production. Guitar and drum parts are really well balanced, passages with string instruments or piano mesh evenly with Avril Lavigne's voice, and everything really just comes across as well mixed.

If you're familiar with Avril Lavigne's earlier work, see this as her next step forward, a good step with confident stride to it. If you're new to Lavigne and like pop music and female vocalists, you're guaranteed to find something you like.

This review is for the explicit MP3 version of the album (and yes, you may be reading this in another flavor of "Goodbye Lullaby" - Amazon does that sometimes). A nice thing about the downloadable version is that the explicit tracks are tagged with '[Explicit]'--this makes it easier to know which ones I can share with my daughter and which ones probably shouldn't be dropped onto her iPod. The collector's edition of the album adds acoustic versions of her vocally-challenging song 'Alice' (from the recent Alice in Wonderland film), 'What the Hell', 'Push', and 'Wish You Were Here'. These are good picks for the acoustic treatment, if only because most of the remaining tracks are laid-back piano and string pieces already.
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on May 2, 2014
I am so happy this artist is still creating. As it's harder and harder for music artists to continue to create their magic. It's an absolute joy to see Artist like Avril (if there is anyone else like her), continue entertaining. The quality and heart behind this and all her masterpieces are treasures to keep and share for a life time, and generations beyond.
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on August 17, 2013
Technically I bought this CD after it wasn't "new" anymore, as it's been out for a couple years. I love it! I loved the old Avril with her spunky rock songs, but I love love love this CD! Her songs are definitely a lullaby-type music and I love it. They're great sing-along songs and the music behind is beautiful. The lyrics make you stop and think for a minute. I just loved it!
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on April 16, 2014
well i love avril lavigne,s fourth cd i own it,s her painful and sadness album to me when she done it with her past journey she is in the studio reflecting on her ex husband in everybody hurts to remember when was heartfelt as to goodbye i grasp life i fell apart and cried myself anthems she was in the climax to things to come as the avril fans may choose their part and differ with her lyrics meant to them as the black star i,m one
of them in her community.i like the whole tracks as her
fan posting my thoughts because i ,m 4 real like next as
she changed her style to preppy aftermath to let go was
her impactive move to a career direction i,m over that
phase she gone to market her product into a farewell anthem when you moved on to find yourself and not be down and replaced your love life with a another guy.
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VINE VOICEon November 29, 2012
My biggest issue with Avril is that she has basically become lazy. I don't know if she's running out of ideas or talent or both, but with each release she seems to regurgitate songs she's already made big and she isn't expanding any of her horizons. `Goodbye Lullaby' is practically `Under My Skin' with marginally different lyrics. She has some really good tracks here, and then she has a slew of mediocre tracks that take of large segments of the album.

I basically listen to tracks 1-4 and then skip to track 12.

`What the Hell' is fun, but nothing new. `Push' is hushed and moderately edgy. `Wish You Were Here' is one of the best tracks on the album with the perfect use of a catchy chorus in a thoughtful ballad, but the truth of the matter is that this song sounds like a hybrid of `Tomorrow' or any of her other ballads; the same generic rhythm. Still, I love the song. My favorite track is probably `Stop Standing There'. It balances the ballad aspects with the pop overtones with a fresh effect.

Then the album falls off a bit.

`Smile' is flirty but conceptually dumb and lazy. It became apparent at this track that this album was going to blur into itself after a while. There really is no definition in these songs. They are just marginally differing variations of the track that came before it (or two songs before it). Still, the chorus is catchy (aren't they all?) but that verse structure is unfortunate. `I Love You' is just stupid. This is the definition of lazy. The lyrics are ridiculous, that chorus, so skeletal and pre-teenish. `Everybody Hurts' carries the torch into yet another uninspired `boo-hoo my life is so hard' song that has no relevance because it doesn't say anything at all. It also suffers from sounding like an early 90's track that was rejected off a Four Non Blondes album or something.

A little redemption is found in `Not Enough' that has some dramatics in the right places to give it something special.

It's short lived, since the next song is `4 Real', which is just bland for bland's sake. It goes nowhere and does nothing with nothing. The hate that `I'm for real' line, which is so dated. `Darlin' is stripped down, which should have been a nice change of pace, but it comes across boring. There just isn't anything special about half of this album. Like I said, they sound like the song that came before it. No effort was made to make these songs unique or worth listening to even.

I really love `Remember When', which is emotional and heartfelt and the chorus is spectacularly constructed. Like I said, I skip to track 12 (with a brief stop at track 9).

`Goodbye' tries something a little different actually, giving it a fairytale like quality and it somewhat works. Not entirely (her vocals come off strained in parts) but the intention was right and I respect her finally trying something different (it doesn't sound like anything else on the album). It was a nice way to end the album, even if I only find it marginally effective. The album doesn't really end there though; for some versions have the extended cut of `Alice' from Tim Burton's miserable `Alice in Wonderland'. I've always defended Avril, for I feel like she has a great voice, and she demonstrates that here. Sadly, the song is a forced piece of screaming that never ends. So, while she shows off her vocal range, she doesn't show any restraint and by the end I wanted to shove a sock in her mouth.

TOO MUCH!

So, sadly, this album is a mess. It just doesn't work. There was a time when I really loved Avril, but it is apparent that she is losing touch with what makes you a relevant artist; change. If you want to be considered a true artist you have to find that balance of `being yourself' and `adapting to the change in the times'. Avril is still stuck in late 90's/early 00's view of alternative punk and she hasn't figured out how to make her sound more modern.

Better luck next time.
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