By Zach Hester

Just like me, unless you heard about the ridiculous theories that she was replaced with a clone after her debut record, you might’ve forgotten that Avril Lavigne still made music. Her sixth studio album Head Above Water is intended to be an emotional journey that draws on real experiences from Lavigne’s life.

After a few unnoticed albums, this record feels like an okay comeback in terms of 2000s rock stars wanting to turn things around.

The title track is easily the best on the record. Lavigne’s collaboration with Nicki Minaj on “Dumb Blonde” feels disingenuous and just seems to be a ploy at returning to top 40 radio.  

The record boasts a few similarly sounding tracks, most notably “Crush”, “Goddess” and “Bigger Wow.” The few songs that do stand out aren’t exactly great and that’s the problem with this record overall.

For the most part, Head Above Water feels forgettable despite the clear emotion that was pressed into its grooves. You do get the sense that Avril is coming from a place of pain and rebirth throughout the majority of the album, but it isn’t enough to break past the bland lyrics.

In spite of some real winners on this record, the return of Avril Lavigne leaves a lot to be desired. It definitely isn’t a failure and Lavigne is vocally at her best in a long time, but it just feels a little flat to me.

Best Songs: Head Above Water, Love Me Insane


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