on June 5, 2002
Avril Lavigne burst onto the music scene with "Complicated," a mid-tempo pop-rock tune that was a hit in the land of both radio and video. "Let Go," her debut album, shows that this teenage singer-songwriter-guitarist has a lot of energy and a witty outlook on life.
"Losing Grip" kicks the CD off with an angst-ridden song that begins mellow and builds to a roar. "Why should I care? / 'Cause you weren't there / When I was scared / I was so alone." It's for everyone who has suddenly realized that everything isn't okay and who feels as if their cries are going unanswered. This is probably my favorite track on the album.
"Complicated," the breakout hit, is all about being yourself instead of pretending to be something you're not. I love that the lyrics are both realistic and optimistic.
The bouncy "Sk8er Boi" should definitely be a future single. It tells the story of a girl who passed up a chance with a boy because her friends didn't care for him, and she regrets it years later. The guitar-driven song is very bouncy.
Avril belts her heart out on the ballads one moment ("I'm With You," "Naked" and "Tomorrow") and demands to be noticed the next ("Unwanted"). From the observant ("Mobile" and "My World") to the strong-willed ("Nobody's Fool") to the inquisitive ("Things I'll Never Say" and "Too Much To Ask"), she is not afraid to rock out and speak her mind. At times, her voice and style reminds me of the band Fisher, but with a little more edge to it.
This album is "Anything But Ordinary." It is sure to please folks who heard of her through her first hit, and may she have many others to come. Her style is very refreshing. While she's not necessarily mainstream, she is also not acting different simply to get attention. She's proud of who she is.
I strongly recommend this album to folks who like an album that plays well from start to finish, music that easily transitions from rock to adult contemporary, and lyrics that resonate the emotions and questions we all possess.
on September 2, 2002
Let me preface this review with the fact that my CD library consists of endless metal and hard rock CDs and that my purchase of "Let Go" is way out of character. I begin with this because despite my attraction to hard, guitar driven, often times loudly screaming artists, this CD by this young girl from Canada is very appealing.
After a lot of contemplation I finally bought this CD, and I have to admit that I enjoy it. The only initial attraction was the attitude of Avril herself - "skater," "I don't give a damn," etc. But after listening to the album, I found that her very deeply personal writing style was great. Her poetic lyrics and soothing voice invite singing along, and while I'd say the musicianship of the group is clearly that of a bunch of teenagers, the songs are nonetheless very well put together.
The single "Complicated" represents the album well, some songs being more challenging personally and some being more uplifting. It is also the midpoint of the depth of the music, some other songs being very much more involved and some being much more shallow emotionally. There are a number of songs that are much heavier as far as plain guitar jamming is concerned, while others are ballads featuring only acoustic background guitar. All in all the album offers a good amount of non-repetitive pop music from a young woman's heart that appeals to both me and the 12 year old girl alike. Call me crazy.
on July 18, 2002
Avril Lavigne's album Let Go has easily become my favorite CD. I'm not here to discuss her authenticity as a skater girl- this CD, on it's own, is an amazing effort and has shown that music can be unique and be real and still have mainstream appeal. I purchased this CD when i heard the song "Complicated". I truly enjoyed that song and was expecting a lot from Avril. I was not disappointed. Here is a song by song account of what this album has to offer.
1.Losing Grip- A guitar driven pop song. It is something unusual to find in a teen pop artist. Lots of Avril's lyrics can apply to many different situations, that is what I like about this song. I like that it's angry but not to the point of Alanis, there is still a sweetness, she's angry but she's over it and will survive.
2.Complicated- I'm not going to go into detail explaining this song, we've all heard it or you wouldn't be reading this review. A very melodic song with a catchy chorus.
3.Sk8ter Boi- Avril's truly punk song. The story is about a skater boy who likes one of the popular girls, she rejects him even though she likes him (peer pressure). Later he has success on MTV and Avril is his girlfriend. Musically is could have been done by a group like Blink 182.
4.I'm With You- not a bad song but not that good. this is the reason it's only 4 stars and not five. it's a slow song but i didn't think it was that great. the lyrics are alright and the melody is fine. nothing special
5.Mobile- one of the best songs on the album. has a good folk kinda sound. with the guitars. there is a very catchy chorus. the songs is about changes which we can all relate to.
6.Unwanted- a rock sounding song. Another song that also applies to so many different situations. I love how this song sound so loud and you can just picture is being played live. Another great song from this album. I love what Avril does with her voice, it sounds so pure and every word is so strong and so serious. amazing song.
7.Tomorrow- A very beautiful slow song. Simply about not being ready for something today but tomorrow is another day. I think that the message is good for everyone and can apply to so many situations. It's about being true to yourself and not doing what other people want you to until you are ready.
8.Anything But Ordinary- Most people don't want to be average and this song is about not being average. That is a great message. Life isn't about fitting in but doing your own thing. Great beat, an uptempo song. You will love it and be singing along with the song before you know it.
9.Things I'll never say- this song is about having so much inside that you can't say to the person even if you want to. I can personally relate so this has become my favorite song. A great beat and chorus that is catchy. This is where Avril's song writting skills excel.
10.My World- A song about the place where Avril grew up. It applies to so many aspects of average american suburbia (even though she is from canada). It's the mindset of those who grew up in suburban areas. A nice song. What I like is that it is truly authentic, this is the story of avril's life.
11. Nobody's Fool- Avril sorta rap/talks the verses of this song. I don't like that part to much but I love the chorus, it is so catchy and has a message- do what you want and don't change just because someone else wants you to. This is what Avril did, she didn't become Britney Spears but became her own person.
12. Too Much Too Ask- a song about a relationship that didn't work out. she says "you can't see the world through a mirror" which is so true. i think it has a similar theme to the song "complicated" but has a completely different feel musically. I really love this song. great chorus.
13. Naked- it's about being vulnerable and learning to be vulnerable to the people you trust. a very pretty song and i believe it makes a perfect end to this album. Very true lyrics. it's good to listen to the words because you can learn some valuable lessons about becoming who you are.
Avril Lavigne has an amazing voice and can write great songs. I hope that she has a lot of success in the future because she is very talented. I suggest that you purchase this album because it is worth every penny. thank you
on September 15, 2002
I'm mostly the anti new music sort of girl, but once in a while, I pick up something new. I saw Avril's video and liked the song "Complicated" so I hesitantly picked it up. Being 30, I still remember being into the skater punk thing 10-11 years ago and this music kind of reminds you of being 17. So if you are that age, you will identify with that.
Its also refreshing to see young female singers that aren't using sexy songs and clothes to sell records. Though this is teen pop in a way, its better than quite a bit of what's out there. The songs are catchy, their enjoyable to listen to and definitely have appeal. If you are open to some new music and female singers, pick it up. Its actually quite good.
on June 4, 2002
Avril's been praised for being independent and real - for being herself. But she's also been criticized for being a "fake" independent. Critics say she's just another pop sheep dressed up in a punk wolf's clothing. But what is important here is not necessarily Avril's image - it's her music. And whether or not Avril is truly a punk/sk8er or another Britney, her music is not affected and remains solid and true.
Her first single, "Complicated" is more on the pop side of things, according to Avril herself in an interview. But it isn't the super-sweet, syrupy love songs typical of pop artists. The theme that permeates the song and Avril's first album, "Let Go," is "be real." "Complicated" is about the facades people put on, about those of us who "become somebody else, 'round everyone else." Avril promotes a respectable message of being true to oneself, and she does so to the tune of original melodies and down-to-earth lyrics.
"Anything But Ordinary" is similar in its message and its pop sounds, but is a different song altogether. As a 17-year-old, Avril has been called an "old soul" and for good reason. She somehow manages to have a deep insight into the true value of life, as she sings, "I want to know that I have been to the extreme/So knock me off my feet/Come on now, give it to me/Anything to make me feel alive." We have but one life, and Avril sings enthusiastically about making the most out of that life by refusing to put on facades and just being oneself.
"My World" is another pop song. Upbeat and lighthearted, Avril writes of her life as a smalltown girl from Napanee, Ontario, population 5,000.
The more lyrical songs "I'm With You" and "Things I'll Never Say" are beautiful works of musical talent. Avril's sweet side comes through, as she sings with powerful emotion about past love experiences. She said in an interview that she needs to sing what comes from her heart; listeners can't doubt that these songs are her personal experiences, as her passion and emotion shines elegantly through.
The alternative "Mobile," "Tomorrow," "Too Much to Ask," and "Naked" demonstrate Avril's wide range of genres. While not considered "slow songs" like "Things I'll Never say" and "I'm With You," but not as bouncy and poppy as the first songs mentioned, these alternative tracks provide the same raw emotion of a 17 year old who is wise beyond her years.
Avril's eclectic mix is nearly completed with the funky "Sk8er Boi," reminiscent slightly of surfer music, and the soft rap of "Nobody's Fool." A white rapper? Avril does it tastefully and with amazing style to portray her stubborn attitude towards giving in to fake facades and images. The aforementioned "Sk8er Boi" is perhaps the only fictional song on the album, although it is rooted in personal experiences, as Avril said she is frequently annoyed by judgments passed because she's a skater. Critics have snubbed her lyrics as juvenile, especially "We rock each others world," but they undoubtedly fit the song's tempo and style, and moreover fit Avril's personality and tendancy to stick with what she thinks fits.
Finally, two slightly darker pieces complete the album. "Unwanted" is more of a rock song in which Avril's deep, powerful vocals have been likened to Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette. "Losing Grip" actually may not be considered dark by most. It's simply darker than the pop of "Complicated," the track immediately following it. Nevertheless, it is my favorite track on the album because it displays her voice beautifully. Her breakdown into the simple repetition of "I'm crying out loud, crying out loud..." always fills me with awe as I listen to her voice tinkling up and down the uneven scale of notes that makes her voice sound slightly (and beautifully) Irish or Gaelic.
All in all, Avril is the best artist to have come onto the scene in a long while, especially among the popular artists. She is real and she plans on keeping both herself and her music real. She has a beautiful and powerful voice, and lyrics that offer deep insights into life and relationships, even though those insights may manifest themselves into teenage lyrics. But hey, all this is much more than anybody should expect from a mere 17-year old, and Avril deserves two thumbs way up.
on June 19, 2002
17-year-old Avril Lavigne isn't pretending to be anything she's not. Her lyrics are down-to-earth while catchy, and the melodies range from punk rock to soft ballads. It's hard to define exactly what genre this CD falls into, but let's just say that she's a little bit of Alanis Morissette, Michelle Branch, Pink, Bif Naked, Sarah McLachlan, and Heather Nova wrapped up in a semi-skater punk, semi-teenage-girl-in-love package. "Anything But Ordinary" and "My World" are probably the two most autobiographical tracks on the album, the first an empowering individualistic anthem describing wanting "to know that I have been to the extreme", the second talking about growing up in the 5,000 population town of Napanee. Each and every song is worth repeat listenings, and this album deserves a place in the CD racks of every non-Britney-... music-obsessed teenage girl.
"If you don't like me for who I am, then don't like for who I am - and all you're going to get is who I am," Avril tells us in the video interview on the CD. That's what you've got here. No pretending, just great music.
on August 18, 2002
Since I'm a fan of pop/rock and I heard that Avril Lavigne was a talented pop/rock artist and after hearing the catchy 'Complicated' on the radio, I decided to check her out. Boy was I NOT dissapointed! After hearing the rest of the album, it turns out that her first single doesn't nearly match up next to the rest of the rocking tunes! Check this out, definately. Here's a quick over-view of the songs on 'Let Go' and my rating (1 to 10).
1. Losing Grip- A rocking track with a hard chorus and catchy verses. I love this rock track, although it's not my favorite it has an awesome angry feeling to it. 8/10.
2. Complicated- I'm sooo sick of this song (waayy overplayed) but it's still good. Everyone's heard this. 7/10. (Originally 8/10.)
3. Sk8er Boi- This track is a bit, well cheesy. Anyway, it sort of tells a story of a girl who dumps a guy at her first impression. It's ok but nothing special. One of the weaker tracks. 7/10.
4. I'm With You- A more sad, deeper soft rock song. Excellent choruses and verses and it's more of a ballad. Her vocals are imprssive here too. One of the highlights. 9/10.
5. Mobile- Another 'weak' track. Has some punk and guitar plays, but that's about it. Nothing that great about it. 6.5/10.
6. Unwanted- Awesome raging hard-rock track. Guitars to match! She's beyond angry at someone for shutting her out before they get to know her. Excellent! 8/10.
7. Tomorrow- Another soft ballad, but this one has a more depressed feeling for it. This is one of my favorites. She sings beautifully. She's basically saying that she doesn't know what to feel anymore. 10/10.
8. Anything But Ordinary- Another one of my favorites. Perfectly describes anyone who doesn't want to be just a normal girl including Avril herself. Pretty easy to relate to, this one is very very good with extremely catchy and creative lyrics. Should be the next single after 'Sk8er Boi'. 10/10.
9. Things I'll Never Say- A good popish track about not being able to tell someone how you feel. Another great track that's easy to relate to. 9/10.
10. My World- Ok, if you live in a small suburban town this one is for you! I live in one and this is a track that perfectly captures the feeling of it. 8.5/10.
11. Nobody's Fool- She sort of in a way talks/raps the verses which is surprisingly catchy! 8/10.
The last two tracks 'Too Much To Ask' and 'Naked' are both okay but nothing impressive. Anyway, be sure to pick this up. Avril has promising potential of being a classic female rock artist!
on October 15, 2002
So it's Avril Lavigne, a young pop singer who wants to walk a little closer to the edge than the average young pop singer.
-A solid pop record filled with catchy hooks
-A fun attitude from Avril
-Some rock guitar parts, particularly in "Losing Grip" and "Unwanted."
-Josh Freese, one of this reviewer's favorite studio drummers, recorded many of the songs on this album.
-Her voice is nicely done on the album.
What's not so good:
-Avril's lyrics. They leave a lot to be desired.
-More on lyrics; they are one-dimensional in that almost every song on the album is about the same thing.
-Her voice is not so great live. There are clues to this here and there on the album, but as a whole I'd rather listen to the CD than go to her concert.
-A couple of the songs are blatant attempts to capitalize on a growing trend in music: The songs "Sk8er Boi" and "Nobody's Fool." The latter especially sticks out like a sore thumb in an album of otherwise solid pop tunes; it's the worst song here and really should have been left off entire.
-This material may not have lasting value.
For the average pop fan, Avril may be seen as a groundbreaking new artist. For those of us who are into "other" types of music, we may hear stark reflections - warped into pop territory - of grittier and edgier music. But I don't see a problem here. As a modern pop offering, Avril's "Let Go" can stand on its own and is definitely worth a purchase.
on August 2, 2005
Avril performs a function. She plays music for the kids who have outgrown Spongebob Squarepants and Barney but aren't ready for the likes of Strapping Young Lad or Wilco. The kids are too young to go to clubs to see real bands. They're too young to understand more mature bands or music. How could they when the only thing they are exposed to is the mind numbing commerciality of MTV and commercial radio? How could they when the lyrics might be about love or loss? I don't think most kids have any experience with those kinds of adult themes. So I can't blame them for liking Avril. She has great songwriters to provide her with meaningful teenage and preteenage material about Sk8ter boys and such and a competant band of studio musicians to back her. For Junior High or Middle School kids Avril is entirely age appropriate and I can't begrudge the kids their fun. Eventually when they get into highschool they'll move on to more "mature" bands like Good Charlotte or Interpol or maybe even Elliot Smith or classic bands like Black Flag or Led Zeppelin. Until then, have fun wearing ties and T-shirts, I know my twelve year old does. But seriously if you're over the age of 18 and think that Avril is one cool and righteous babe, it's is definitely time to open up your eyes and get off the farm. If you want righteous music made by strong, intelligent women who rock I'd get some Ani Defranco or Sleater Kinney and leave this commerical, manufactured kid stuff behind.
on February 20, 2004
Once I heard what some "critics" consider good music, I felt ashamed of the music industry. The image she presents in contrast to her music don't fit. She looks like she is going through a childhood phase and her music sounds like it is too. Originality in mainstream music has died and I'm severely disappointed when I hear of someone that proclaims that they are original like Avril Lavigne. It's ridiculously typical and just by a change of instruments, it can be borderline country music but not just any country music, typical country music. This is not music. This is no better than bubble gum teen pop. In fact, it has sunk to a deeper level. This is selling out people and there is no complexity to the music and to the riffs or scales I've heard. I've heard all this crap before. Obviously she can sing. But she is way too easily amused if this is what she "honestly" believes is music.