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Head Above Water

"Avril Lavigne"

May 10, 2019

Head Above Water by Avril Lavigne, mixed feelings

Written by @JorgeDiaz from Electro Arpegio / 6 mins read

First of all, I want to clarify that it will never be my intention to offend or criticize people who are going through the terrible experience of suffering from Lyme disease or the aftermath of it. This, is a critique strictly to the most recent record material that Avril Lavigne has given us in her album Head Above Water and if I mention her condition of suffering the sequels of the aforementioned disease, it is only to equate her with her creative stage in these days. As she says at the end of the video that opens the album, I also make votes for all of us to unite: "To find resources on Lyme Disease PREVENTION ... Educate yourself on doctors and TREATMENT ... Learn more about the must current scientific RESEARCH ... And JOIN OUR FIGHT AGAINST LYME, Visit:” – Having said that, let's move on to the record. Undoubtedly, one of my favorite singers in her beginnings, with a style that nevertheless was fresh, had enough elements to be taken seriously and not, as in many of the cases of the female singers in each stage of the pop and commercial rock, to pass as a hollow and silly girl who only showed a pretty face to ensure success. Always attentive to what happened with those of her age, Avril Lavigne, projected the problems, dreams and aspirations of her generation. We all remember with love her first album in 2002, Let Go and those who came until 2013, Avril Lavigne. There came an understandable pause of almost six years and came the disc that we are analyzing today, I must say that Head Above Water, causes me mixed feelings. While there are a couple of themes that can be rescued from the musical point of view, the production and the arrangements in most of the songs lacks the enough strength to hook a demanding audience. Of course, her base of followers of all times, should be grateful and very happy to have her again, which I really celebrate, because, after all, an artist is due to its most devoted audience. On the side of the lyrics, I find deep moments and, at the same time, depressive. The constant in the background of the themes is perhaps, the terrible experience of her illness that does not leave her in peace. Unfortunately, it is a distractor for fully concentrate on creating songs as before, but nobody can blame her for that.

When It Is Said, But It Is Not Expressed

If we consider that the songs have two basic elements: music and lyric, we accept that both have to be connected both in the sense of what we want to say with the lyric, and in the emotion that is wanted to be transmitted through the musical language. If we wanted to put the lyrics of a Black Sabbath song in the melody of some Britney Spears song, we would surely be condemned to the electric chair. Of course, I'm exaggerating, and this is not the case of Avril Lavigne's album; all I want is to illustrate how the two elements are linked in a union difficult to divide and that they should show coherence between them. And that's what I think Avril's album lacks, an organic connection between lyrics and music. The depth of a song with the lyrics of "Warrior" is admirable but, disappointing the musical arrangement and interpretation that lacks strength and becomes a theme very close to the style of Celine Dion, far from what Avril Lavigne would have wanted to convey. Is it the moment that is happening? Is it the lack of interest on the part of her producers to advise her in moments where it is impossible to be concentrated one hundred percent and delivered completely to the creation of this record precisely because of the consequences of her illness? That's where a direct claim comes to everyone involved in the project, since they were obliged to take more care of their artist and make her see that there was a lack of connection. It could have been the case that, regardless of the advice, Avril would have decided on this style because her mood was far from the energy and determination that characterized her. We will never know what was behind these decisions and there will only remain the idea that it is an incomplete or disjointed record. Something that I will never forgive in this album is the inclusion of Nicki Minaj in the song, "Dumb Blonde", horrendous!!! I do not want to say more about this because I do not want to be offensive, but I want to make it clear that it is the worst mistake of this record. Do not re-mix the water with the oil please!!! With some brushstrokes of the influence that Pat Benatar has had in her career, the album passes with little Glory.

What Is Next

In the career of a singer there are always ups and downs, you cannot always maintain a level due to many circumstances ranging from the personal, professional, fashion trends and even the economic aspect, so no one should panic after listening to an unfortunate record of their favorite artist. We must have patience and wait for what follows. For the time being I wish for her and all the people in the world who suffer from Lyme disease who soon find in science and doctors something that allows them to fully recover their health. In the case of Avril Lavigne, I'm sure she will soon be in tune with her next album and will recover the best times of her musical stage. For now, the Canadian born in 1984 keeps the love of all her fans who will fill their concerts and sing with her each of the songs that have made her famous. As few, has more than 21 million followers in Twitter around the world and many more in other social networks, that shows the love and loyalty of those who will be with her forever. Time flies by and soon we will be enjoying a better album of this great star.