Sunday, January 02, 2005

I just watched the video for "My Happy Ending," and I'd guess that Avril Lavigne is my least favorite musical artist at large. All of her singles are unsympathetic pouts about how men continue to fail her, except for the one where she reveals her lack of sympathy for other women ("Sk8terboi," which I deeply regret voting for in Pazz'n'Jop) and the one where she begs for sympathy to justify hooking up with a stranger ("I'm With You," a relatively hate-free fave by default). There are tons of dude bands that are similarly egocentric and cruel, but they're all generic, turgid and forgettable. Avril's work is comparably literal and detailed. On one level it's an artistic achievement, but it also means that nobody represents the kind of self-involved, ultra-critical woman I can't stand like she does. This song is about the guy who refuses to go to Hot Topic with her (oh cuz preppie clothes can't be the real somebody, racoon-eyes). This song is about the guy who got fresh (I like how she floats up to Heaven - where this fault-free angel belongs - at the end of the video). THESE songs are about the guy who didn't live up to her dreams. Neediness and the belief that one's shit doesn't stink are a deadly combination. Especially if you're female, which means I'm actually paying attention. At least Fred Durst puts in goofy raps (she should share the humor behind her Hooters/"Hey Ya" cover on record) and talks about how he should know better. Avril lacks the "fool me twice, shame on me" instinct, and that makes me want to use half-ironic misogynstic epithets.

Are there album tracks that flesh out her persona in a more likable way? Has she ever had a kind word for anyone other than the guy who's "slammin' on MTV"?

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