By Michelle Anne P. Soliman, Reporter
Music ReviewLove Sux
By Avril LavigneDTA Records
WITH strong guitar riffs, hard-banging drums, and songs about love and heartache, Canadian rocker Avril Lavigne returns to her signature pop punk sound on her new album.
After a three-year hiatus, the eight-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter makes a comeback with her 7th studio album, Love Sux. The album was produced under DTA Records, a record label founded by Travis Barker from the pop rock band Blink-182.
Unlike her last album Head Above Water in 2019, Love Sux re-emerges as a version of the 37-year-old singer trapped in the mind of her 17-year-old (but more mature) self. The album is reminiscent of the edgy Let Go (2002) and playful The Best Damn Thing (2007).
The 12-track album opens strong with intro track “Cannonball” and Ms. Lavigne screaming, “Like a ticking time bomb, I’m about to explode,” followed by hard-banging drums and electric guitars — teasing the listener on the entire mood of the album.
It is followed by “Bite Me” and “Bois Lie” (featuring Machine Gun Kelly) which are upbeat and passable “last song syndrome” ditties about breakups.
Ms. Lavigne’s favorite song, “Love Sux,” illustrates her relationship status at the time she was recording the album. In the track, she sings: “Do you think I’m stupid? I keep killing Cupid. Shot an arrow in my exes, this is my confession. Never learned my lesson, no.”
When the album reaches the 7th track, the upbeat mood takes a break with the ballad “Avalanche,” which talks about not being at your best. In the chorus, Ms. Lavigne accurately describes the feeling: “I say that I’m just fine,
but I don’t feel all right on the inside. I say that I’m okay that I don’t feel okay right now, no… It’s like I’m runnin’ from an avalanche.”
“Love it When You Hate Me” (featuring Blackbear) and “All I Wanted” (featuring Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus) show that Ms. Lavigne still has fun writing and singing about careless experiences in relationships.
“Dare to Love Me” is the sole mellow love song in the entire album. She expresses it baldly in the chorus: “So, don’t tell me that you love me if you don’t mean it.…Only tell me if you care….” It has a melody slightly similar to her 2007 single, “Hot.”
Aside from evidently having fun going back to her roots in pop punk, Ms. Lavigne’s voice continues to improve and maintains a clear chest voice, and high-pitched tone — the kind that is challenging to belt out in solo casual singing or a sing-along.
Another highlight in the album is Blink-182’s Travis Barker who showcases his distinct drumming, which add to the flavor of the 2000s pop rock sound.
The album can be considered part of the current resurgence of pop culture trends from the 2000s, an example of rekindling a music genre that kids and teenagers grew up with 20 years ago.
Running at 33 minutes, Love Sux feels like a quick escape, to childhood memories of wearing neckties and sneakers, sporting side bangs and raccoon-like black eyeliner, looking back at the early self-discovery and lessons of young love.