Review: Avril Lavigne, ‘Goodbye Lullaby’

Review: Avril Lavigne, ‘Goodbye Lullaby’: Aidin Vaziri | With her onetime pop rivals Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera proving to be much more punk rock than she could ever fathom, Avril Lavigne seems at a loss on her long-delayed fourth album. “Goodbye Lullaby” arrives after the 26-year-old Canadian singer’s split from her husband, Sum 41 front man Deryck Whibley. But she’s not using it as a vehicle to work out any particular demons. On “Goodbye,” which Lavigne has described as one of her most vulnerable tunes ever, she merely rattles off a string of cliches over mournful cellos: “I have to go and leave you alone/ But always know that I love you so.” The first single, “What the Hell,” meanwhile, is an interminable Kesha knockoff that knuckles under remedial rhymes (“You’re on your knees/ Begging please”). The bratty poses of her “Sk8er Boi” years seem hollow now, and expertly produced coming-of-age tunes such as “I Love You” and “Everybody Hurts” pack big hooks but little soul. Mostly, Lavigne, who at least used to buy into her own faux-rebellious stance but now uses her music videos to hawk her perfume and clothing line, merely sounds defeated.

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