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"Love Sux" contradicts its own title


     Pop punk, the rock subgenre, has taken a new turn in recent years, creating a new wave of music that leaves fans with very mixed feelings overall. However, one good thing about its return to the radio is old superstars releasing new and exciting tracks. One of those artists is the incredible Avril Lavigne with her newest album, “Love Sux”.

     After an almost three-year hiatus, Lavigne brought back the magic and power that pop punk brings to listeners. From her powerful vocals to its happy, fast-paced music, "Love Sux" brings out the power of freeing yourself from a terrible relationship while trying to fall in love with yourself. Some tracks may be under two minutes, but they still show the confidence that Lavigne has gained. 

     The album begins with the track, “Cannonball”, which gives off 90s riot grrrl vibes mixed with the sound of her debut album, “Let Go”. This track is a great opener as it gives the listener an idea of what exactly they’re getting into. Though this track may be a banger, the next track isn’t as good. 

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     Track two, “Bois Lie”, features pop punk punching-bag Machine Gun Kelly (MGK). His flat-note singing almost overpowers Lavigne’s as he childishly responds to the title of track by saying, “girls lie too!” Not only that, but the lines, “Girls lie, I can too/Revenge is my sweet tooth/Bois cry and so will you/Bois lie, but girls lie too,” and vice versa, is probably the most childish stanza I’ve ever heard in a song. That’s probably why this is ranked as my least favorite. 

     However, Lavigne saves the day when the next track, “Bite Me”, plays. This is the first single released from the album, and to be honest, it got me really hyped for its release. It kind of reminds me of her hit song, “Girlfriend”, by giving off the same pop-like vibes and fun vocals. The only complaint I have is that it’s very repetitive, which makes it sound like every other radio song, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. 

     Another banger single released was “I Love It When You Hate Me”, featuring the amazing rapper Blackbear. To be honest, any time I see him in a song, I just know that it’s going to be good, and he did not let down that expectation. His groovy rapping gives more of a happy feel to the track, bringing back my high hopes for other featured artists on the album. 

     One notable thing about this album to mention is Blink-182 members being featured in a few tracks. Drummer Travis Barker is featured in track nine, “F.U.”, and singer Mark Hoppus is featured on track 10, “All I Wanted”, — sadly, this isn’t a cover of Paramore’s song. Both musicians add a lot to the tracks to make some of the best work on the album. It helps get Lavigne’s old feel back, especially since this isn’t the first time she worked with Barker. 

     Another nostalgic feel she brings is the amount of vulnerability Lavigne showed in slow songs. She continued this in tracks seven, “Avalanche”, and 11, “Dare To Love Me”. 

     “Avalanche” tries to keep up with the fast pace of the previous songs while Lavigne sings about trying to pick herself back up when feeling stressed, comparing it to “running from an avalanche”. It’s a sad song in and of itself, but I feel the most powerful song was the ballad, “Dare To Love Me”, where Lavigne almost challenges the listener to love her for who she is, even in her darkest moments. 

     We finally end with what Lavigne called “a party”, on her Spotify storyline. Track 12, “Break Of A Heartache”, is our last upbeat anthem where she sings about ending the cycle of taking back someone who says they’ll change but never do. This is a good way to end the album as it sounds like a closing chapter to a short novel. Hopefully, it’s not the end of her music career because I don't think fans could ever get enough. 

     "Love Sux" did an amazing job bringing back the roots of pop punk while also incorporating a modern feel. I feel that elder-emos will surely love this one, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants an instant throwback to the late 90s and early 2000s.

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