Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Best Damn Thing (CD/DVD Deluxe Limited Edition)
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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Time To Grow Up
Dave_42 | Australia | 06/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you like the song "Girlfriend" a lot, and I mean a whole lot, then the limited edition CD+DVD of "The Best Damn Thing" from Avril Lavigne is probably for you. Out of the 17 tracks on the CD, three of them are versions of "Girlfriend", and if that isn't enough, then you will also have three video versions on the DVD. For me, this was much too much in the way of "Girlfriend". No doubt it has a catchy tune and the cheerleader like cadence to it is somewhat appealing; but the lyrics are juvenile and mean spirited. I am sure there are many who like this piece, given how much airtime it received, but for me it is only so-so. The lyrics might have been okay when Avril Lavigne was 17 and fresh on the scene, but a 22-year-old should have put high-school behind her. This leaves me with a rather mixed reaction to the song, and that carries over to the whole CD+DVD set as well.
"The Best Damn Thing" is Avril Lavigne's third album, and was released on April 17th of 2007. The opening track is the aforementioned "Girlfriend", though since it is the "Mature" version it includes some rougher language than what one sometimes hears on the radio. The second track is "I Can Do Better" and the obvious retort is that she definitely can (and fortunately does) do better, starting with the very next track. "Runaway" is where the album begins for me; it is the kind of song you want to hear from her, and it makes the listener remember how nice it was to finally hear some pop music with a rock base to it as opposed to the dance oriented offerings of so many others., "The Best Damn Thing", and "When You're Gone" are two more strong tracks which help make the opening two pieces a distant memory. This brings us to "Everything Back but You". One might think that I wouldn't like this song after bashing "Girlfriend", but I find this to be one of the songs I like the most on this album. I suppose it is because she is the person wronged and so when she lets loose with the name calling it is more acceptable, and when it comes down to it, it is a flat out hilarious lyric.
The second half of the original album opens with "Hot". It is decent, though not quite up to the level of some of the other pieces, and in particular to that of "Innocence" which follows it. The album then hits a brick wall with the horrible "I Don't Have to Try", which is easily the worst song on the album. I can appreciate that she is trying different sounds and styles, but this one just doesn't work at all. Things improve with "One of Those Girls" though it isn't as strong as the earlier pieces - it is much better than "I Don't Have to Try". "Contagious" is roughly similar in quality as "One of Those Girls". "Keep Holding On" is a decent closer for the original album, but the flow which had developed from "Runaway" through "Innocence" had already been disrupted and was not restored.
There are five bonus tracks included; the first two are "Alone" and "I Will Be", both of which are solid additions to the album, and the latter being the better of the two. Next is an acoustic version of "I Can Do Better" which is much worse than the electric version, and one has to wonder why that particular track would have been selected for an acoustic version. The final two tracks are two additional versions of "Girlfriend", the first being The submarines' Time Warp '66 mix, and the second being the Dr. Luke remix with Lil Mama, the latter of the two being the more interesting of the two.
There are two sections on the DVD, the first is a series of live tracks including the wonderful "Everything Back but You", "Girlfriend" (of course), "Hot", and "When You're Gone". The second section is the videos, which includes "Girlfriend", "When You're Gone", "Hot", and (you guessed it) "Girlfriend" - the Dr. Luke remix version with Lil Mama.
With nearly a quarter of the selections on the CD and DVD combined being variations of "Girlfriend" it is no wonder that one might have had enough of it by the time one has made it to the end. I am sure that it appeals to an audience which buys a lot of CDs, and that is no doubt why it is featured so heavily. In my opinion that is a shame, because Avril Lavigne may well have much more to offer if she is allowed to develop and grow as a songwriter and performer. There have been promising signs on all her albums, and let us hope that she moves in a new direction before she finds herself singing songs like "Girlfriend" in her 30s and 40s to a bunch of people trying to recapture their youth. This is an uneven album, with highpoints as good as anything Avril has done, and then there are some moments which make one cringe inside. All-in-all it is slightly above average, though I have to round it down to three stars.
The Album that Made Fans Do a Double-Take
JC Ravenstone | Indiana | 11/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Avril Lavigne's third album is rather different than her previous two. In general, this album is more raucous, energetic, cocky, and has a bit of a modern pop/punk sound to it. In a word, this album is catchy. It contains her infamously popular song "Girlfriend," which also has it's own single, music video, and has spawned versions of the song that are in languages other than English. Also, she swears more in this album. Be warned.
Fans of her first two albums may not like this one as much, since it is so different. Songs like "The Best Damn Thing" and "I Don't Have to Try" may turn some listeners off. The latter even caused someone near me listening to say, "little Avril has lost her mind." Some may be inclined to agree, but most attribute this change in attitude to her marriage. Since she was in "wedded bliss" (as some put it), she was much more playful. I'm not quite sure how seriously some of this album should be taken, but I think it's less serious than her first two albums. In short, Let Go and Under My Skin were more serious, and The Best Damn Thing is more fun (she at least seemed to have a blast making it).
If the song "Girlfriend" annoyed you as much as it did me at first, try not to let it put you off too much. Other songs on the album, such as "When You're Gone," "Innocence," and the epic-sounding "Keep Holding On" should redeem some issues you may have with the album. My advice: give the album (or at least some of the songs) a listen. Some of my favorite songs of hers were the ones I never heard on the radio. If you like what you hear upon sampling it, buy the album. If you don't like it, don't buy it. It's not complicated.
Personally, I'd recommend the explicit version. If she didn't want strong language in her music, then she wouldn't have put it in. However, if you are opposed to such vulgarity, you can simply buy a censored version. But with this, you get a DVD, the content of which should provide some insight into the process she went through to make this album."