Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water (Cover Artwork)

Avril Lavigne

Head Above Water (2019)

BMG Records

Avril Lavigne is as wholesome and well adjusted as they come. This album covers all the classic modern pop bases - shiny, digitally rendered funk ("Birdie", "Crush"), huge power ballads ("Head Above Water", "It was in Me") and even a bit of gospel, namely "Tell Me It's Over". It's what you would expect - a mix of Mariah, Sheryl, Katy and even Taylor. In fact, Ms. Lavigne's usual arranger is brought in to provide extra firepower for the ballads. The standout cut is "Dumb Blonde" with Nicki Minaj which sees Avril get into Fall Out Boys' territory - she's been cheated on by her man and gets appropriately annoyed on what is easily the her best performance on the record. 

Though at times, the song itself is particularly odd, attempting to come over like an unapologetic boast of being a proudly sexual woman, yet lyrics like “there’s some women out there who talk and stare, who never seem to let down their hair” seems to have problematic implications.

But hey, the woman can sing. "Warrior" morphs from heavy duty ballad into an gospel tinged slow jam, showing maybe that there are other opportunities for Ms Lavigne other than those on show here. What does she care, anyway... the album's just gone Gold in the States.