Since releasing her debut album Let Go in 2002, Avril Lavigne has enjoyed unfathomable success. His album sales exceed 40 million worldwide, with his singles totaling 10 million more than that. She is the third best-selling Canadian female artist of all time, behind Celine Dion and Shania Twain, and is widely considered one of the defining artists of the 2000s alongside Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and P!nk. His impact is still felt today, as artists like Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo credit the singer-songwriter with major influence.
To celebrate the upcoming release of his seventh studio album, Love Sux, GAY TIMES has ranked Avril’s discography from worst to best. Has fan favorite Let Go made it all the way? Maybe The Best Damn Thing hit number one, just like Girlfriend did worldwide? Or maybe Head Above Water managed to swim to the top?
Keep scrolling to find out…
6. April Lavigne (2013)
Noteworthy tracks: give you what you like, 17, Hush hush
Avril’s fifth album was filled with radio-friendly pop-rock songs, representing a break from the softer sound of Goodbye Lullaby. It saw her experimenting with new sounds, most notably on Hello Kitty electronics – something that eventually became one of the era’s most defining moments thanks to her viral video. The self-titled effort was also the first of her albums to include featured artists, one of whom was her husband at the time, Chad Kroeger. The record marks a bold step forward for Avril in terms of mixing genres, concept music videos (especially Here’s to Never Growing Up and Rock ‘N’ Roll) and the carefree attitude that defines most of her songs. Despite its ranking, it’s by no means a bad album. As Yara Sofia told Mimi Imfurst on the first season of Drag Race All Stars, “they need someone to come home first” — just like this list needs a last spot.
5. Head above water (2019)
Noteworthy tracks: Head above water, birdie, It was in me
It’s high time Head Above Water got the respect it deserves. Released more than five years after her fifth album, the record primarily saw Avril detailing her ongoing battle with Lyme disease and the impact it has had on her life. Songs like Head Above Water and It Was in Me are among the best of her career, with the title track delivering an unprecedented cinematic music video Avril has ever released. These, along with Tell Me It’s Over, I Fell in Love with the Devil and Birdie, among others, show that Avril can tell deep stories as easily as a catchy pop anthem like Girlfriend or What the Hell. “Come save me, I’ll be waiting / I’m too young to fall asleep,” she sings on the lead single and title track, referencing a time when she thought her life was coming to an end. Although it was Avril’s least commercially successful effort to date, peaking at #13 on the Billboard 200 and thus being her only release to miss the top 10 in America, it offered a kind of maturity. which had not yet been seen from the singer-songwriter. . Had the record benefited from a stronger promotional campaign (and, let’s face it, a better album cover), it’s likely that Head Above Water would have marked a much stronger comeback for Avril after five years out. spotlights and would have been more appreciated in the dominant.
4. The best fucking thing (2007)
Noteworthy tracks: Friend, I can do better, Innocence
The fact that such a good album ranks number four only speaks to the quality of Avril’s music, as it might as well snatch the top spot. After the worldwide success of her first two albums, Avril is under pressure for her third album. The Best Damn Thing was a risky departure from the sounds of Let Go and Under My Skin as the Canadian kween fully embraced pop-rock, resulting in what is widely considered to be her most commercial effort and an era. extremely successful. Her debut single Girlfriend (her first number one on the Billboard Hot 100) perfectly represented what one would expect from the album, with its follow-up, When You’re Gone, featuring the epic power ballads peppered throughout. along the disc. Catchy hooks and fierce lyrics dominated The Best Damn Thing and leave no doubt as to how Avril became one of the biggest artists of the 2000s, as she was clearly able to effortlessly switch genres and maintain the quality of its sound. With a pop-punk resurgence right now, The Best Damn Thing has proven to be a timeless masterpiece that might as well be released today as it was 15 years ago.
3. let go (2002)
Noteworthy tracks: I am okay, Anything but ordinary, Losing weight
I know it’s not socially acceptable to rank Let Go anywhere other than #1 on an Avril Lavigne album chart, but I just did. Now what? JK, don’t see his third place as a hatred for April’s debut because it’s easily one of the best albums ever made and there’s literally no dumpsters found. Released at a time when female artists like Avril simply didn’t exist in the mainstream, Avril controlled her own narrative and refused to let the industry mold her into something she didn’t want to be, which she didn’t want to be. probably didn’t realize he was leading the way. for the next generation of musicians that would eventually follow. For anyone to make an album of this quality is impressive, let alone a 17 year old who did it on her first attempt. Working with legendary trio Matrix, Avril’s sound and lyrics managed to capture all the elements of teenage angst, but did so in a way that remains accessible to listeners of all ages. “Walking within limits / Making my life so boring / I wanna know I have / I’ve been to the extreme,” she sings on Anything but Ordinary, a track recorded two decades ago that could might as well refer to the COVID -19 pandemic we’ve all been experiencing since 2019 if it came out now.
Avril’s unique picks on Let Go are the best of her career, as the release of Sk8er Boi, a catchy pop song, as well as I’m with You, a powerful emotional ballad, showed her range and quickly gained traction. built up a loyal fan base. . The record became the 21st best-selling album from 2000 to 2009 in America, made her the youngest singer to top the UK Albums Chart and proved that winning a Grammy Award isn’t what defines a good album, considering it didn’t win any of the ones it was nominated for. There’s no denying that Let Go has aged like fine wine and is still as listenable now as when I bought it on CD 20 (!!) years ago.
2. under my skin (2004)
Noteworthy tracks: no one is home, To fall into pieces, escaped
If there’s one record that shows how you make a second album, it’s Under My Skin. Holy shit, it’s good. It saw Avril experiment with a darker sound that critics said was reminiscent of post-grunge rock music. Don’t Tell Me was a smart choice before the album because it bridged the gap between Let Go and Under My Skin maintaining Avril’s strong attitude combined with a fresher sound and a new level of maturity. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling 381,000 copies in its first week, which remains the highest first-week sales of her career as well as her first number-one album in America. .
It includes the likes of Nobody’s Home, Fall to Pieces and My Happy Ending – all of which have become fan favorites and some of Avril’s signature songs. It’s a crime that Fall to Pieces didn’t get a unique treatment and isn’t performed live anymore, as it’s arguably one of the best songs of Avril’s career. This flaw doesn’t take away from what is an excellent album and where Under My Skin really shines are its bridges. Every track has one worth mentioning, so to save time, let’s focus on Nobody’s Home. “Her feelings she hides / Her dreams she can’t find / She’s losing her mind / She’s falling behind,” Avril sings as she serves only voice and emotion for part of the rock ballad . Although it came out just two years after Let Go, it showed just how far Avril has come and that she still has a lot to give as an up-and-coming artist. Alongside her debut and The Best Damn Thing, Under My Skin was rightly hailed as one of the defining albums of the 2000s and gave Avril longevity by keeping her audience hooked.
1. goodbye lullaby (2011)
Noteworthy tracks: Black Star, What the hell, To push, wish you were Here, Smile, stop standing there, I love you, everyone is suffering, Not enough, 4 real, Dear, Remember when, Bye
Some of you might think I’m picking chaos with Goodbye Lullaby as number one, but it’s really a little thing called taste. This record blends all that Avril does best as it features epic pop anthems that stand side by side with an array of deeply personal tracks. Songs like Remember When, Wish You Were Here and Goodbye show a vulnerability rarely seen in Avril’s other music, which isn’t surprising considering her release came after her divorce from Deryck Whibley. What the Hell and Smile are as infectious as some of his greatest hits and are a welcome change of pace from the album’s rather mellow tone.
The biggest flaw of this album? Its bachelors. Avril said her label wanted to recreate the success of The Best Damn Thing with radio-friendly hits, which resulted in releases that didn’t reflect the overall tone of the record and plagued Goodbye Lullaby with delay after delay – eventually released four years. after his third effort. Although this weakened public perception at the time, the music itself still shined – especially on Avril’s self-penned tracks which showcase his abilities as a solo songwriter. While this was arguably her most personal best to date, Avril was able to maintain her signature attitude in more subtle ways than fans had seen of her at the time. “It’s really great to be with you / This is how I could spend my life / But I’m able to take care of myself / So if you fuck it then go for a hike”, sings – she defiantly over Push, trading the belittling nature of The Best Damn Thing boys for confidence that she can thrive on her own.
There’s no denying that Goodbye Lullaby is slept in by both Avril fans and the general public alike, but when you really give this record the time it deserves, there’s a lot to unpack and that makes for a great experience. listening. Its lyrics are deeper than ever, its sound stayed true to its roots but with a new breath of life and the overall aesthetic of the record was breathtaking. Now we just have to wait and see if Love Sux can knock it off the top spot…