The Best Damn Thing

Artist: Avril Lavigne
Listenability Scale: 92%
Released by: Arista Records
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

When I got Avril Lavigne’s latest CD, um, download, um, I don’t even know what to really call things anymore, but in any case I downloaded all of the songs off of “The Best Damn Thing” from iTunes, and for whatever reason, the songs were what I found myself listening to when I would take my weekend walks. “Girlfriend” was the quick pop tune to filter into the airwaves, and I found myself singing along. I had planned on doing a review of the CD soon after I got it, but I got too wrapped up in getting the web site redesigned so, well, I didn’t. But as her next single, “When You’re Gone,” is now being released, and The Rubinoos are claiming she ripped off their single “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” I figured now might as well be as good a time as any to review the CD. Here we go…

First I have to admit to the fact that I am a fan of teen, girl, pop music, and always have been, and yes, because I’m older now, I will also admit I even own some Debbie Gibson CD’s (look her up if you don’t know who she is). There is usually just something bouncing about the music, sometimes sad about love lost, sometimes happy about being in love, and as I was listening to “The Best Damn Thing” I couldn’t help but wonder where all of Avril’s anger and sadness was coming from, her being a newlywed and all. There she is during “Girlfriend” looking to have a dude break up with his then girlfriend and become Avril’s; she hates someone now and wants them gone in “I Can Do Better”; “Runaway” sounds like sort of sort of sad song because it starts as one of those kind of days, where the blue skies are there but the sun isn’t coming out, but Avril feels so alive, so maybe I don’t know how she feels (such are women sometimes). “The Best Damn Thing” comes around, and she’s not happy because here dude isn’t paying the tab, doesn’t understand that time of the month, and doesn’t open up the door for her, and as the CD was pumping along for the first few tracks, here comes the ballad, “When You’re Gone” where strings punctuate the music and I can’t figure out if the dude left her and she’s sad, or if she’s just sad because her man had to go away for a while, even knowing he’s coming back soon.

So much sadness, so much angst, and it’s pure Avril, and I’m liking every song so far.

But then asshole guys come back in the rollicking “Everything Back But You.” The song simply starts “Today was the worst day, I went through hell. I wish I could remove it from my mind.” It seems her man went away, sent her a postcard, which would have been a nice note if it said, “I wish you were here.” Sadly the dumb-shit, as Avril puts it, left off the “e.” (I nominate this for the third single because this song has every bit of anger any jilted girlfriend could feel, with the musical, rocking influence of her husband, Deryck Whibley from Sum 41).

Happily, though, things seem to got better for the girl during “Hot,” slow back down for another ballad, “Innocence,” that had it been released in early spring could have been a nice Prom song for the girls to drag their boyfriends on to the dance floor.

But Avril is a sassy girl, as we have also found out from some tabloid stories, and in “I Don’t Have to Try” we find out she’s the one who wears the pants and to get ready because she’s happenin’.

Alright, I’ve been simply tracking through the CD, and I think why I have liked the CD so much is, as I have been doing my self-prescribed walking, because it is a great mix of rocking, dudette pop, mixed with a decent ballad just about when I need a catch my breath a bit. The music is sassy, sad, with the part of pop music that I like because usually there seems to be a light at the end of tunnel for the girl to fall in love again.

Of “The Best Damn Thing” about the only song I really don’t care for is “Contagious,” and I guess I can’t give a great reason for my dislike of the song other than the rest of the CD is so strong in balancing girl, teen pop, with the ballads it needs, that I tend to fast forward through it to get to “Keep Holding On.” Maybe I’m just a sucker for the ballad.

I’m a fan of Avril’s, have been since her first release of “Let Go,” and since “The Best Damn Thing” has twelve songs, of which I never skip past eleven of them, the CD simply gets a 92% on the Entertainment Ave! listenability scale. As far as that lawsuit from “The Rubinoos,” hell, I don’t know. Sure, the lines “I wanna be your boyfriend” and “I can be your girlfriend” are close, even with the “Hey Hey Hey’s,” I just wonder where in the hell Avril would have ever heard that song to lift it. I guess some judge will decide, but I don’t care because I like “Girlfriend” a lot more than that boyfriend song anyway.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!