“A lot of the stuff on this record is not literal,” says Lavigne, 22, whose first two albums have sold a combined 23 million copies worldwide. “That's what I like about this record: it's not a diary like my other records -- especially my last one, where there were all these feelings and emotions I was going through. This one is mostly just stuff; it's just fun topics. It's not serious at all.”
The album, her third since debuting in 2001 with Let Go and the follow-up to 2004's Under My Skin, is a mix of big, gorgeous ballads that showcase her enormous voice (“Keep Holding On,” her hit from the Eragon soundtrack, and “When You're Gone”); fun, fast rockers (“I Can Do Better” and “Everything Back But You”) that would do any Warped Tour band proud; and lighter pop-rock (“Contagious”).
Some of the songs are ideally suited for a call-and-response with a live audience -- perfect for when she finally tours at the end of 2007 or in early 2008. The title track, for instance -- one of the best damn songs on The Best Damn Thing -- includes lines like “Let me hear you say ‘Hey, hey, hey'” and “Let me hear you scream loud.” But Lavigne says that when she's writing a song, she never envisions what it might be like to perform it.
One rather ambitious thing she did do -- after finishing the new album in Los Angeles, her home base, with producers Dr. Luke, Butch Walker, Rob Cavallo and Whibley -- is re-record the chorus to “Girlfriend” in seven languages: Japanese, Spanish, French, Mandarin, German, Italian and Portuguese. “The song is really fast, and there are a lot more syllables in some of the other languages, so the challenge was trying to fit all the words in,” says Lavigne. “I had a translator for each language, but it was really, really hard.”
Image courtesy of Sony BMG Music Canada
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