Love Sux – Avril Lavigne

It feels inevitable that every 2000s pop-punk act makes a comeback nowadays. In the case of Avril Lavigne, the latter part of her career has consisted of forgettable forays into pop-rock and adult contemporary albums that could barely leverage her mediocre songwriting skills. While her 2002 debut Let Go remains a vital part of the early 2000s skate/pop-punk canon, she’s never quite matched up to those initial power chords and addictive hooks. It’s no surprise then that she makes a return to her pop-punk roots on Love Sux. With a pop-punk revival in full-swing thanks to the crossover of emo rap over the past few years, Avril Lavigne enlists the help of Machine Gun Kelly and blackbear to try and give Love Sux a modern edge.

Featuring production from Travis Barker and Mod Sun, Love Sux brings a ton of energy despite its unapologetic regression to Avril’s old sound. Sure, it doesn’t distinguish itself from any of the other pop-punk revival style albums but it’s nice to see that Avril can still carry a song through her anthemic hooks. The songwriting is pretty juvenile but let’s be honest: was “mature” Avril Lavigne any less awkward? It’s easy to be cynical of Love Sux but it still manages to be a blast most of the time. The Travis Barker influences are obvious yet Avril manages to keep her distinct style of pop-punk. A lot of what makes Love Sux so fun is how it highlights Avril’s innate ability to create earworms and addictive harmonies.

Let’s be honest here, Love Sux is a pretty vapid attempt at marketing Avril Lavigne to the new generation of pop-punk kids. The rap features are awkwardly placed and don’t stand up well compared to the solo songs. The snare drums are noticeably obnoxious against the pristine production and the angst-filled lyrics aren’t anything you haven’t heard before. The slower ballad-style songs like “Dare to Love Me” are completely forgettable and often feel out of place. There are a few songs that simply don’t stick their landing despite strong starts. Yet for all of the obvious flaws, Avril Lavigne manages to make Love Sux a fun half-hour trip down memory lane. It’s shameless but unrelenting in its quest to bring 2002 to 2022. Regardless of what this might mean for Avril Lavigne’s career from here on out, I think everyone can agree that this is much more of a return to form than whatever Head Above Water was.

Must Listens: Cannonball, Bite Me, Love Sux


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I turned my incoherent ramblings on music, anime, and video games into an entire blog.

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