Let’s remember back to the year 2002, Avril Lavigne releases Let Go, every pre-teen girl then proceeded to dress/act in this new punk/pop style so people think they are a badass. I witnessed it first hand in middle school, this new hybrid clique developed full of girls who acted just like the rest of the girls and were socially well accepted, but portrayed themselves as rebels and rejects because it was edgy. Doesn’t that sound like the worst kind of person you can remember? Avril Lavigne was the embodiment of this image, she was more edgy and had attitude even though she grew up a spoiled princess just like the rest of the solo female artists.
Now that edgy/punk is out and party queen is in, Avril found herself irrelevant in the mainstream for quite some time. I can’t remember the last hit she had since “Girlfriend” which some would argue is one of the worst songs of my generation, and that was in 2007. She also got a lot of flak for possibly lip syncing on different occasions. A lot of people confuse lip syncing with recorded backtracks and point the finger when the singer makes a mistake, but the backtrack continues to play, making it seem as though the singer was not singing the entire time.
I’m done defending her, this song sucks.
For personal reasons I am going to start off talking about the Radiohead reference. Anyone who actually likes Radiohead would hopefully never associate themselves with this, and she claims to be singing Radiohead “at the top of our lungs.” Have you ever listened to Radiohead? It’s not something you sing at the top of your lungs; it is mostly calm and slow. This makes me question why she uses this band in association with a fun night out, and if she is even familiar with their style at all. The real reason behind the reference is obvious; it’s strictly a name drop to make her seem endearing to fans of “good music.”
Also a song about not growing up that is also about getting really drunk on “a bottle of whatever.” Endorsing underage drinking? Your target audience will LOVE that Avril. Their parents however, will not.
Alright, enough about what she is saying. Let’s talk about “her” intense guitar playing skills. Avril Lavigne can definitely play guitar, it’s not like you can ignore footage of her successfully operating the instrument (not this music video). Now listen to the guitar part during the first verse of the song.
Wait for the note to change… wait…wait…
The bottom note of the major triad is the only note to change, and only twice. The other two notes remain the same THE WHOLE TIME. This does entirely change the harmonic makeup of the chord, but it is also LAZY SONGWRITING. Why do the work of completely re-establishing the key in the listeners ear every cadence (basic level songwriting) when you can instead just play that note the whole time (Lavigne level songwriting). We wouldn’t want our musically retarded listeners to get confused as to what is going on in the song.
Now onto the chorus, the pride and glory of every pop-hit. The majority of the phrase is the same 3 notes descending-ascending over and over until the song drops its own title “here’s to never growing up.” The catchiest part of the song is that line, and it is also the only well written measure in the entire song. The perfect authentic cadence really catches the ear nicely, as it is at the end of an extended phrase and gives us the harmonic resolution that we need. The problem with this chorus overall is that there are too many words. If you want this song to be a party song, played at clubs and bars, it has to be easily ‘singable’. I can’t believe I am recommending catchy and simple melodies, but nobody is going to listen to this shit in their free time, nobody is going to put the effort forth to learn all those lyrics, keep it simple and people will eat it up in those situations. It will still be awful music but it will at least be more successful.
And that is why ‘Here’s To Never Growing Up’ by Avril Lavigne SUCKS.