Avril Lavigne‘s self-titled fifth studio album isn’t due out until November, but the few songs that have surfaced make one thing clear: She’s really, really resistant to growing up. That probably seems obvious — it doesn’t get much more literal than a single called “Here’s To Never Growing Up” — but the theme of being ballsy and carefree persisted on the also-excellent second single “Rock N Roll.” Now, the most promising track from the Avril Lavigne sessions has surfaced in demo form, the brilliant stomper “17,” which she premiered live a few months back.
To the extent that the Nostalgic Pop Song About Lost Youth has become a genre in its own right — I always cite Katy Perry‘s “Teenage Dream” as the best example — “17″ might be the new gold standard for the form, soaked in a sweet regret, all about memories that linger after the moment has passed. The details are finely honed (“tasted like cigarettes and soda pop” is so perfectly evocative), and the chorus is explosive in exactly the right way.
Lavigne’s singles from this era have underperformed and the hype remains at a murmur at best, but even so, this is shaping up to be her best effort yet. All it needs now is an audience.
Avril Lavigne — “17″