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CD Reviews: Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne: Under My Skin
June 2004
By: Linda Spielman
album cover of Avril Lavigne's Under My Skin

She's not a girlie girl, yet feels all the same emotions of a typical nineteen year-old girl. Those emotions run the gamut from the frustration of troubled relationships to the somewhat startling realities of becoming an adult. Avril Lavigne is also unapologetic for her anti-pop princess like style. While everyone else is baring their butts (along with other body parts), Lavigne is kicking butts right beside the boys in the music world with her sophomore effort Under My Skin

Not one to shy away from calling it like she sees it, Lavigne's first single from the CD, Don't Tell Me, is a kick in the face to every boy, guy and man who's taken advantage of his girlfriend. Lavigne's "I'm out of here, I can do better" anthem is a perfect introduction for both old and new fans to a grown up and more mature Lavigne.

Enlisting the help of Butch Walker (of Marvelous 3), Raine Maida (of Our Lady Peace) and Don Gilmore (Linkin Park), Under My Skin is darker in content, yet just as guitar-laden and rocked out as Lavigne's debut Let Go. Written primarily by Lavigne and Maida's wife Chantal Kreviazuk, whose instant friendship translated into the consistent and effortless writing of the tracks for the CD, Under My Skin exemplifies the growth Lavigne has experienced since she emerged onto the scene two years ago.

The chemistry between Chantal Kreviazuk and Avril Lavigne transcended into the inevitable recording of much of the CD at the Malibu, CA home that Kreviazuk shares with Maida. The endless nights of recording and producing left the duo with songs ready for pressing. Whether it is the ocean air, the new living/recording arrangements, or a chance to write songs free from any industry overhead, Under My Skin is truly a solid piece of work that Lavigne can be very proud of.

Under My Skin takes you on a wild ride from start to finish. If you were expecting anything less from Avril Lavigne, then you probably didn't get where she was coming from originally. She loves her guitar, and every song has it's own identity when it comes to those melodies and riffs. Who Knows will have your head bobbing along just like Sk8er Boi did. Take Me Away has the dramatic, smoldering verse that makes one wonder how someone so young, could figure out life's complexities. The most brooding of the twelve tracks are Forgotten and Nobody's Home, which reveal the angst and heartache that even so-called rockstar princesses face in their everyday lives. Under My Skin is a powerhouse of musical and mental maturity that Avril Lavigne is quite willing to wear on her sleeve and share with the world.