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Avril Lavigne Under My Skin BMG
· Produced By: Various

· Running Time: 42.00

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released: WORLD

· Musical Style: Modern Rock

· Links: Avril Lavigne
94%
Songs: 92%
Sound: 98%
Make no mistake - Avril was under a whole world of pressure to come up with another chart topping mega-success, but the girl has made a mockery of her young age with a truly great set of songs that will ensure this album doesn't carry the sophomore jinx. Featuring production and writing help from Rock God Butch Walker and several other high profile names, Avril expands her repertoire with a darker, heavier and moodier album with a lot more attitude and some very personal songs.
What's best of all is to see her name alongside the writing credits for each and every track – a route so often shunned by other chart topping stars.
Her vocal range is tested and expanded successfully and the songs of Under My Skin have hit written all over them.
I'm very impressed by her willingness to push the boundaries a little and experiment beyond the frame of the expected hit single format. At times the maturity expressed with the songwriting is nothing short of fantastic.
The use of several producers to create this album means the styles are a little different throughout. This can sometimes be rather off-putting to the listener, and while it is evident here, the album has been constructed in the best way possible to minimize this and as a result it flows cohesively.
Track By Track:
Take Me Away is a classic opening track utilizing all the expected ingredients – hard hitting guitars, snarling vocals, a big chorus and the first sign that Avril's voice has matured since her debut.
Together is the first surprise of the album. This is a dark and melancholy rocker, with some haunting effects such as Tori Amos style piano and a Kate Bush sense of going right over the top. The chorus is simply massive – a huge guitar fuelled vocal that soars over the top of the song and shows what a great vocal talent Avril can be.
Don't Tell Me is the single everyone knows. I still love the track to bits and love the emotional vocals and the excellent lyrical theme. A big hand to co-writer and producer Butch, who is all over the track.
He Wasn't is a punk fuelled modern pop rocker with attitude. The chorus is punk-pop, but the chorus is as commercial an anthem as one could expect, a la Sk8ter Boi. Expect this to me another massive single.
How Does It Feel is a personal favourite. This is a massive ballad, with powerful and emotional vocals far beyond the singer's age. And the right turn the track takes mid-track sends the track right over the top.
My Happy Ending is the new single and another Butch Walker co-write. Simply put, it's another hit single and a great example of modern pop/rock.
Nobody's Home is a mid-tempo, emotion filled rock track that starts slow and builds to another great chorus. It picks up tempo from there and continues through a series of bridges and choruses. Great track with another powerful lyric.
Forgotten has a really dark vibe to it – it features a slow, haunting intro, which builds slowly into an angst filled song, with another powerful chorus which reminds me of Alanis Morrisette at her angry best.
Who Knows is another massive hit single in the waiting. Watch for this one…The chorus is somewhat laid back and reflective, featuring a cool electric/acoustic combination. The chorus is something else though – a feel good, anthemic sing along if ever there was one.
Fall To Pieces is a good, catchy mid-tempo pop rocker. More simplistic than several other album tracks, but most welcome due to a very catchy chorus.
Freak Out is a mid-tempo modern rock track with a heavy, catchy chorus that features a great vocal and an impressive wall of guitars.
Slipped Away closes the album perfectly. This is another classy, heartfelt power rock ballad. The track continues to build throughout and is a fitting climax to a great album.
The Bottom Line
As I have stated earlier, regardless of preconceptions of the artist's public profile or her age, this remains a very classy album filled with brilliant songs – all of which feature the very vital ingredient of great choruses and memorable hooks. Add to that a heavier, darker feel than the debut and a wider ranging taste of vocal styles, plus some of the heaviest, catchiest, most dramatic songs to be featured in the Top 200 and you get an album which is a real winner – especially for fans of modern rock.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Let Go
· Under My Skin

Line Up
Promo: Not Listed

Essential for fans of:
· Avril Lavigne
· Alanis Morrissette
· Commercial Modern Rock
Track Listing
· Take Me Away
· Together*
· Don't Tell Me*
· He Wasn't
· How Does It Feel*
· My Happy Ending
· Nobody's Home*
· Forgotten*
· Who Knows*
· Fall To Pieces
· Freak Out
· Slipped Away
--*Best Tracks


17/11/04: Gemma - snapaleks@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
very graceful album. Seems she is more mature. "Let go" was more punk and not very slow, but "under my skin" has various differences. It has less punk, more gotthic and more songs about her relationships! I like both of them very much.

12/09/04: Jonny B - froloth@hotmail.com
Rating: 48
Avril will always be a product, and future victim, of the american record scene. Maybe it's fine if you like recycled teen pop with guitars thrown in, maybe that's an improvement over the crap pop like Britney Spears. But this has been a strong year for female rock, and when compared to Lullacry, Nightwish, Shiva, or even last year's Evanescence, Avril Lavigne is still, and always will be, a rock pretender. "Under My Skin" hardly deserves of the highest score for a female rocker on this site. If you want some REAL female rock with REAL attitude, check out Shiva "Desert Dreams" instead, which is still my pick for best female rock album of 2004.

04/09/04: bob g - bob@gerszewski.net
Rating: 86
You know this new Avril album is great (highly 'listenable') but:

I sure hope this is the last 'produced' album of hers...I hope on the next album we get some more variation in the way the songs sound. And maybe they will not put Avril behind a 'wall of backup vocals'. I want to hear her voice 'uncovered' if you will, without tons of electronics and background layers. I want to know if she can really sing, or if simply she's just another way hot female Canadian singer.

New era power POP at its finest, slick and sharp, if a bit sugary. Just...a.....bit.

TIP, try Alanis Morrisette's new album instead. While not 'Jagged Little Pill' fans of Avril type sounds may find Alanis' new reocrd to be more fulfilling.

23/08/04: scott - azalea@aol.com
Rating: 95
Great follow-up to Let Go. Love Avril's voice. Love her PERIOD!! Excellent album. Love it, love it, love it!

09/08/04: MIDMAN - CMIDMSB@AOL.COM
Rating: 95
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YA ANDREW.......THIS GIRL HAS GOT IT ! SHE CAN SING, PLAY AND SHE WRITES ALSO. THIS IS NOT.....NOT PURE PUNK/ALTERNATIVE CRAP.......IT'S JUST ROCK ! IT IS GOOD , ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC. THESE ARE GREAT SONGS ! I LOVE BOTH OF HER CDS. I MUST BUY FOR BOTH OF HER RELEASES !

28/07/04: Jerry - sgtpeppers2001@lycos.com
Rating: 95
I find this album to be much better then her first one. I am not ashamed to admit that I'm an Avril fan.

19/07/04: John Elway - megjimp@cableone.net
Rating: 0
Sheesh, this is terrible. I picked this up after it was so strongly recomended on this site. Boy, did I waste 15 bucks. This disc is chalk full of boring music backed up by some really cheesy lyrics. I don't mind modern rock when it's done right, but this is just weak. This doesn't appeal to me on any level. Maybe if I were a spoiled 16 year old girl who wore a levi jacket with an anarchy patch on the back, this would seem awesome.

06/07/04: Andy - thean@bonbon.net
Rating: 70
a good album, but not melodic nor prog whatever. like freddy said, it's alt and modern rock. you won't find beautiful melodies, sure.

06/07/04: Scott - slb@sbcglobal.net
Rating: 95
I totally agree with Andrew's review. Great album. Great follow-up to "Let Go". Lot's of great songs which sound comparable to the first album, while also progressive and fresh. Excellent album, simply put.

05/07/04: Freddy De Keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 10
With all respect : don't know what this is doing on a melodic website. This is pure punk/alternative/modern CRAP !!!!
AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE ! An insult for every lover of MUSIC !


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