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  • ruby crowhurst


Avril Lavigne saw people trying to bring pop-punk back in a mediocre fashion, and decided to revert back to her own pop-punk era and show them how it's done. And that she did.

Avril Lavigne has slowly but surely been working her way away from the pop-punk sound of the mid 2000s in her most recently released albums, in a way that feels like she was trying to mature and move beyond her roots. But Love Sux has brought it right back aground, filled with angst and fun.

Love Sux hits right on the nostalgia chord that many have longed for recently. With everyone looking back at the early 2000s with rose-tinted glasses, Lavigne has taken the golden opportunity to launch herself back into the mainstream.

There are some interesting collaborations on the album Machine Gun Kelly, blackbear, and Mark Hoppus, and these songs are perfectly fine and fit in with the album generally, but they don't stand out so well that they would be missed if replaced with versions solely featuring Lavigne.

The upbeat tracks are fun and anyone who grew up with this pop-punk era will fall in love with them. They're full of punchy guitar riffs and heavy drums, but of course, the star is Lavigne's distinct vocals that still sound like they did in her 'Girlfriend' era. The songs could have easily sipped into a cringe-fest of someone trying desperately to cling to their prime, but it didn't. The uptempo songs are far from being stuck in the past though, as they take aspects of pop, hyper pop, dance, and electronic music under their wing to elevate the powerful rock and roll filled instrumentals. What we're left with is something that scratches the retro itch whilst seemingly not making the listener bored. In fact, the last thing this album is is boring.

It doesn't matter that these tracks feel like they're from another decade rather than 2022 because they're so damn good compared to a lot of what else has been released under the guise of pop-punk recently.

This being said it's on the slower songs that Lavigne shows she has seen more of the world now and she's loved and learned. 'Avalanche' is far less boisterous compared to the rest of the album, but it's this simplicity that really makes the song work with its lyrical content about anxiety and a low state of mind "Tonight, I don't feel alright on the inside

It's like I'm runnin' from an avalanche". The song then builds into an electronic-esque fanfare at the bridge, so the song ends up feeling more uplifting than anything else.

This introspective look-in from Lavigne ensures this album doesn't feel like a release by a teenager, despite that feel in some other songs. It shows the conscious choices to not only seem more immature on other tracks but make them that way because they sound fun, not because that is necessarily where her own mindset is.

Love Sux is a fun journey into a world that one corner of your brain that always held on to the love of Fall out Boy, early Panic! At The Disco, and of course, Avril Lavigne. It's really great to see the Canadian singer-songwriter delve back into a genre that suits her so well, and refreshing to see people taking her return so positively. The meshing of modern genres with retrospective ones allows Love Sux to shine and shows Lavigne as an artist nobody should be dismissing as a bygone of another era.


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