Avril Lavigne: Avril Lavigne – review

3 / 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars.
Avril Lavigne
Bratty nostalgia trip … Avril Lavigne

Rock'n'Roll, Here's to Never Growing Up, Bad Girl: the titles on Avril Lavigne's fifth album are self-explanatory. Her reversion to her brat-punk roots, after the relative reflectiveness of her last record, is probably not unrelated to recently turning 29 and marrying for the second time (to Nickelback's Chad Kroeger). Confronted by a decline into thirtysomething respectability, who wouldn't emit a cri de coeur? And Lavigne's is heartfelt. On Rock'n'Roll – a chrome-plated stomper that recalls Joan Jett's I Love Rock'n'Roll – she lists everything she holds dear, from tattoos to "having a couple issues", concluding: "Don't care, bad reputation, might be living in the wrong generation." The rest of the album, most of it co-written with Kroeger (who adds uncalled-for rasping to Let Me Go), similarly rages against the dying of the light. Particularly pungent are the clattery new-wave love song 17, which yearningly gazes back at the time she met her teenage sk8er boi, and a grubby duet with Marilyn Manson, Bad Girl. This bratty nostalgia trip is the best thing she's done in years.