“Sk8er Boy” by Avril Lavigne

This was Avril Lavigne’s second hit, and it was the first sign of what would happen to her in the declining days of her career. Granted, this song does have the one defining virtue that marked all of Lavigne’s early work…it’s extremely distinctive, with a unique Punk-influenced style that stood out among the generic Pop princesses that dominated the genre at the time. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most annoying songs of the early 2000s, with its grating melody, irritatingly cutesy rhyme scheme, and insufferable lines like ‘He was a boy/she was a girl/can I make it any more obvious?’. But perhaps even more intolerable is the almost unbearably smug attitude that permeates the song, a problem that would follow Lavigne into her declining later work in such songs as “Girlfriend” and “What the Hell”. Lavigne’s first album was on the whole actually quite good…the other two singles, “Complicated” and “I’m With You”, were much better, and there were many album tracks that sounded little different from Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway” (which, let’s recall, was originally an outtake from this album). Sadly, “Sk8er Boy” has given the album as a whole a negative reputation that it’s never been quite able to shake, which is a real injustice, given that it was, on the whole, one of the great Pop albums of 2002, standing with Pink’s Missundaztood, Christina Aguilera’s Stripped, and Justin Timberlake’s Justified in their attempt to make Pop music interesting again.

Verdict: Bad.

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