The Truth About Music

"What's hot, what's not, and whats next in pop music"

Harris’ Song of the Week: What The Hell by Avril Lavigne

Whatever your current thoughts are of Avril Lavigne, this song has two things most people will hate right off the bat. First is that the songs title is just terrible. It is a reiteration of the chorus, a disease that almost all artists have caught in this day and age. Second is the blatant product placement in the music video. In the first ten seconds you get three Sony products with brand names clearly visible. While this is a trend we’ll all have to live with in all of the arts, this placement was a little to irrelevant for my tastes.

Moving past the superficial sides of Lavigne, you actually boil this down to a pretty rocking song. Always known as a bridge between bubble gum pop and punk rock, Lavigne succeeds once again in creating a rock and roll fantasy in which she plays the starring role. What really sells this song is the chorus. While her ability to actually sing the song effectively live is still up for debate, there is a great vocal run during the chorus that makes you smile. While my music days are behind me, the combination of notes is perfect. Listen for yourself, it hits the first time right before the minute mark and comes back in each and every chorus.

Most people I know on a musical level despise Lavigne. Having seen her live show before, I can understand why. She is the ultimate idea of a “sellout.” While I don’t believe that idea is relevant in music anymore, if there ever was a case for it she would fit the bill. From singing about being a punk rock girl to collaborating with Missy Elliot, she has come a long way. One thing that has never changed is a knack for picking perfect songs.

“What The Hell” was written by Lavigne, Max Martin (made famous by the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, writing “I Want It That Way” amongst other songs for the two artists) and Martin’s co-writer, Shellback. This seems to be another smash single for both Lavigne and the songwriting duo and will be the lead single from her upcoming album Goodbye Lullaby.

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