The first single from Avril Lavigne's Goodbye Lullabye has hit the airwaves, and if "What The Hell" is any indication of the album's overall tone, people won't be calling this album a "mature" effort.
The Max Martin-penned tune will likely be ubiquitous by this time next week, so it's time to get familiar:
The garage-rock organ at the outset might give a hint that Avril's getting rough and tumble on her new record, but once her voice kicks in, the brattiness and digital effects combine to let you know she hasn't changed a bit since the release of "Girlfriend" a few years back, right down to her tendency toward incorporating cheerleadery chants into her expressions of rebellion: "If you love me, if you hate me, you can't save me, baby, baby / All my live I've been good but now, whoa, what the hell," she petulantly screeches at one point.
Thanks to the deadly combination of Lavigne's insouciance and Martin's ability to create pop gold out of even the most noxious elements, "What The Hell" is one of those songs that will hang out in your head for way too long. Our apologies in advance.
1 1/2 BOLTS