"Goodbye Lullaby is lovelorn and introspective, full of gusty tunes with a surprising message: Avril cares" - Rolling Stone
"Goodbye Lullaby is loaded with glossy confections and quieter reflections" - CNN
"Searching for a more adult voice, Ms. Lavigne has chosen an unexpected prototype: a fellow Canadian teenage star who grew up, Alanis Morissette" - The New York Times
"She proudly calls herself crazy and out of control, before leading into a chorus that’s all gushy about love. It’s the little girl fantasizing in the quiet moments after a grown woman’s excesses. And you better not have a problem with her wanting it both ways" - Los Angeles Times
"Goodbye Lullaby is at heart a breakup album, prone to pretty, indistinct heartbreak ballads with swelling strings. Some are generic ("Everybody Hurts," not an R.E.M. cover) and others ("Goodbye") are genuinely affecting" - The Washigton Post
" A divorce and two-year break left Lavigne with plenty to ponder, and her newest album is one of her most personal and introspective albums to date" - Meta Critic
What The Hell
Wish You Were Here
Stop Standing There
I Love You
What The Hell (Acoustic)
Wish You Were Here (Acoustic)
1. What The Hell
"What the Hell" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne. The song was written by Lavigne, Max Martin and Shellback for Lavigne's fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby. The single was released in the United States and Canada on 11 January 2011 as the lead single from the album.
Writing and Recording
Goodbye Lullaby is the upcoming fourth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne. It is scheduled to be released on 8 March 2011 through RCA Records.
Lavigne began recording in her home studio in November 2008 with "Black Star" only a month after completing The Best Damn Tour. To help promote her first fragrance, Black Star, Lavigne needed a short theme that would be used for the TV spots. "Black Star" was composed in a Malaysian hotel during her tour. The jingle was eventually expanded into a full song, which Rolling Stone later described as "an ethereal lullaby that turns epic with tinkling Coldplay-like pianos and soaring strings.
Recording began with minimal instruments, usually starting with Lavigne singing only to acoustic guitar, with additional instruments added later. Lavigne described the process: "It’s stripped down. I love performing that way, so I really felt like it was time to make a record like that. To just make it all about the vocal and the performance, and the vibe, and the emotion." Because she has a studio in her home, Lavigne was able to compose and record at her leisure. She also used the piano to compose the majority of the songs. "The piano is more of an emotional instrument. It stirs up different emotions for me and moves me in a different way than the guitar can. By July 2009, nine tracks had been recorded, including the songs "Fine", "Everybody Hurts" and "Darlin'". Several of the tracks were written in Lavigne's youth. "Darlin'" was the second song Lavigne wrote as a 15-year-old while living in Napanee, Ontario. Lavigne stated that this album would be different from her previous work, "The other albums I've done, the songs are all over the place. This is the most consistent album all the way through.
The entire track listing for the album was revealed on 21 December 2010, after some were announced in early December. It was also announced that two songs on the album, "4 Real" and "Goodbye", were both written and produced solely by Lavigne herself. The remaining tracks were either written by Lavigne or co-written with longtime collaborators Evan Taubenfeld, Butch Walker and Max Martin. Lavigne stated that her vocals were the most important instrument to her during the album's recording, "typically the lead vocal gets buried in the track and you can’t always hear the quality, character, or emotion after a certain point. I wanted my voice to be the main instrument.
Lavigne described the album as being about "life". She stated, "It's so easy for me to do a boy-bashing pop song, but to sit down and write honestly about something that's really close to me, something I've been through, it's a totally different thing. The album is expected to be a return to Lavigne's older musical style and may be largely acoustic. With the exception of the album's lead single, Lavigne describes the songs on the album as different from her earlier material, "I'm older now, so I think that comes across in my music, it's not as pop-rock and it's a little more mellow and it's deep". She said, "[For] this record, I just really, really wanted to sing.... I just wanna have silence around me, and have these acoustic songs and really deliver. In November 2010, British producer Alex Da Kid, who worked with Lavigne as of August 2010, stated that some songs on the album will have a hip-hop sound. "We've got some things that are hip-hop leaning, and we've got some things that are more pop/rock leaning". In December 2010, it was announced that the songs produced by Alex Da Kid would not be on the album but Lavigne stated, regarding the songs he worked on, "we’re gonna do something with that stuff, I’m just not sure what yet".
Lavigne described the first single off the album, "What the Hell", as "a broad message about personal freedom", calling it her "most pop track on the record", the least personal song from the album and the song most reminiscent of her previous work. Another track, "Stop Standing There", has been described as having an "early- '50s girl-group feel" and "Smile" is about Lavigne's gratitude for special people in her life. "Push" is about relationships and "Wish You Were Here" shows Lavigne's vulnerable side. Lavigne described the track "Everybody Hurts" as "different…but not different to stray away from who I am and what I am."Goodbye", one of the two songs Lavigne wrote and produced on her own, is about moving on in life. Lavigne stated that "Goodbye" is the most personal song on the album and was the inspiration for the album's title.
Release and Promotion
The album's and lead single's release dates have been pushed back several times. The album was originally scheduled for release on 17 November 2009. Later, in January 2010, Lavigne stated that the album cover had been photographed and the first single would be released in April, followed by the album in June. In May, Lavigne said that she considered the album too serious and "mellow" and would return to the studio to balance the album out. "With an album, I don't want to rush it out.... I have a very serious record, so I think I need to put a couple upbeat, fun songs on it.
In August 2010, Lavigne returned to Henson Recording Studios with producer Alex Da Kid. During these sessions, Lavigne hadstrep throat, and the people involved were required to wear surgical masks. Despite her doctor's warning, Lavigne recorded vocals. "I wasn't able to sing for the last forty-eight hours because I could do permanent damage to the vocal cords. My doctor told me not to, but I sang today. She revealed that she had been "trying new stuff" and that she was "exploring." Lavigne also added that she had enough material for two records.
In October 2010, Lavigne was featured in Maxim for the November issue. During the interview she revealed that she had finished Goodbye Lullaby after two and a half years. However, in November, Lavigne announced that her album had been completed for a year, citing her record company as the reason for the album's delays.
Lavigne premiered the lead single, "What the Hell", on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on 31 December during a pre-taped segment along with a performance of "Girlfriend". "What the Hell" is] a really fun, upbeat party song, so it worked out really well to play it for the first time on 'New Year's Rockin' Eve. The following day, "What the Hell" was available as a free download for 48 hours from Lavigne's official Facebook page. The video for the single will be released in January 2011. Goodbye Lullaby is scheduled to be released on 8 March.