Avril Lavigne released her seventh studio album this morning, and while it may be called ‘Love Sux’, the record does not. Signing under blink 182 drummer Travis Barker’s new label DTA Records, these marks the first major release she’s had in years.
To me, it’s like she heard that punk music was making a major comeback (primarily thanks to Barker, but that’s another story), and said, “let me remind them who the real mother f*cking princess is.” She came back with force like a strong storm who just won’t quit.
The album is seriously packed with a mixture of upbeat punk numbers, pop and very few slow jams as well. The lyrics are infused with angsty adolescents type lyrics, yet even as an adult they’re relatable. But what I love most about almost every song on the tracklist, they almost always highlight how boys suck; and we love an “I hate boys” anthem.
I knew the album would be amazing when I heard the first single released from it, “Bite Me”, but even I (a diehard Avril Lavigne fan) couldn’t predict just how fun and fiery it would be.
But let’s break it down track by track.
The title track ‘Love Sux’ is basically about going through a breakup and the emotions one tends to experience during the journey, but in a fiery manor rather than a depressing one. Then you have a track like ‘Déjà vu’ where it’s a little slower in tempo but calls out toxic people and how they just never change with some of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard to call someone out on their behavior. And the song “FU”, well, you can only imagine the vibe of this one based on the song title.
And we can’t forget about the ballads.
‘Avalanche’ is arguably one of the more powerful songs on the record. It’s not particularly about anything at first listen, but it’s really a song for the listener to decide how they interpret it. I personally think of it about a general feeling of being in a rut in your adult life. Meanwhile “Dare to Love Me” is more vulnerable and sincere in regards to falling in and out of love.
We also need to take a second to appreciate the collaborations.
The 37-year-old singer chose a mixture of up and coming artists and industry veterans, one of which she already released as a single. I thought ‘Love It When You Hate Me’ featuring blackbear was amazing, but out of the three collabs on the record it’s actually my least favorite. She also chose to cooperate with Machine Gun Kelly for the track ‘Bois Lie’, a fun duet where each other basically points the blame on the opposite gender as to why a relationship sucked. Truthfully, it’s one of my favorite songs on the album.
But the most impressive collaboration was with Travis Barker’s bandmate (and punk icon) Mark Hoppus. The track ‘All I Wanted’ was definitely one of the more serious ones selected, but the two trailblazers harmonize so beautifully. To be honest, I never thought the two would actually collaborate, but it brings me such joy that they did simply because of their contributions to the genre respectively. It’s nice to see them join forces for a song during such a special time in punk music.
All in all, ‘Love Sux’ to me is an unapologetic excuse to go back to your roots and really dig into bad relationships and have fun reminiscing about them. Did certain songs bring back memories with people from the past? Absolutely. But I loved the fact that some of the songs brought me back to that time period and how much I wish I could be jamming in the car with my friends singing this at the top of my lungs. Hell, I don’t even have anyone to be upset over right now and I still wanna belt this with all of my heart in my car.
It’s totally opposite from her last album ‘Head Above Water’ but is a true mixture of ‘The Best Damn Thing’ meets her first album ‘Let Go’. There’s a reason she’s well respected in the punk world, and that’s because she fought so hard with her lyrics to be.
I will say, this punk release is bringing me such happiness, but I have to wonder; am I reliving my glory days, or am I seriously just not over the late 90’s/early 2000’s punk era? Maybe I’m obsessed with the nostalgia it brings? Either way, this really was the best damn thing since she released ‘The Best Damn Thing’ back in 2007 and I am so happy love sucks because this album really highlights on every feeling of why.
“Love Sux” is now available for streaming on all music platforms or to be bought in stores.
Featured image via Unsplash