This Thanksgiving, it’s Avril’s world, and we’re just writing about it. After winning our Pop Star Poll earlier this month on who should take over the site this holiday, we now bring you all that is Lavigne.
Oh, Avril. Since bursting onto the scene in 2002 with “Complicated,” Avril Lavigne has dropped five studio albums and released 18 Hot 100 singles — and yet, as her fans know, some of her best tunes never received a single release at all.
In honor of our Avril Lavigne Thanksgiving takeover, we’re counting down the best album tracks from each of Avril’s five releases over her decade-long career. Give them a listen, then sound off in the comments to share which songs from Av’s back catalog are your favorites.
“Anything But Ordinary” — Let Go, 2002
Spunky guitars and light synths leading into one of the sweetest choruses in Lavigne’s catalog elevate this Let Go track, helmed — like much of that first album, this song was produced by The Matrix. But it’s the chorus that really makes this one magic: Consider the hook, “I’d rather be anything but ordinary, please,” as a sort of statement of intent for Lavigne’s debut, as well as one that’s gone on to define her career.
“How Does It Feel” — Under My Skin, 2004
Lavigne’s sophomore LP saw the songstress scaling back with the big-name producers and taking the lead on writing the songs herself — and “How Does It Feel,” a track penned with fellow Canuck Chantal Kreviazuk, feels like an especially personal effort. Toying with existential themes on the delicate song, she lets the tension build until the bridge unleashes to spectacular effect. Just call her Avril Lavignietzsche.
“Alone” — The Best Damn Thing (Japanese Edition), 2007
For reasons that are beyond my ken, “Alone” was relegated to a bonus track on the Japanese edition of Avril’s third LP The Best Damn Thing, but it’s one of my favorites from that album, a fuzzy, buzzing pop-rock number that features writing credits from Max Martin and Dr. Luke and a properly soaring chorus. It is, as the kids say, a total bop.
“Push” — Goodbye Lullaby, 2011
Goodbye Lullaby standout “Push” doesn’t start off like it’s up to all that much, initially; the verses here have never been my favorite. But man, if that singalong refrain isn’t one of the most terrific in recent memory: “Maybe you should just shut up / Even when it gets tough,” she cries over “Complicated”-worthy moody guitars. Penned by Lavigne with longtime collaborator Evan Taubenfeld and produced by her ex, Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley, there’s a lotta feeling in this one.
“Bitchin’ Summer” — Avril Lavigne, 2013
There were so many killer evocations of youth on Avril’s fifth self-titled album, but even more so than the obvious highlights like “Here’s To Never Growing Up” and “17,” “Bitchin’ Summer” has become my fave, like a mash-up of Katy Perry‘s “Teenage Dream” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” It’s sweet, wistful, and riotous. Who knows — maybe Epic will wise up and drop this one as a single for summer 2014.