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The Best Damn Thing
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Avril comes tearing out of the gate with a dozen chirpy, teen-friendly, girl-power anthems, enhanced with energetic punk-pop instrumentals and cheerleader ambiance. Reminiscent of eighties groups like the Go-Go's, Avril seems to have cheered up a lot since her last album came out. She also isn't afraid to be direct and snarky on several tracks -- an attitude that tends to overshadow the decent songs on the album. "S--t" is narrowly avoided once with a last-minute swerve and you'll hear "hell" and "damn" a few times. There's a deluxe version with a parental advisory sticker (for "Motherf--ker").
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
With energy, spunk, and cheerful hand claps, Avril Lavigne lets her male friend know, in no uncertain terms, that she doesn't like the girl he's dating. \"You could do so much better/I think we should get together now/And that's what everybody's talking about/Hey hey, you you, I don't like your girlfriend…\" Irresistibly infectious, the song will ring true for many girls who find friendships changing when the boys they hang out with fall in love -- with someone else. When she's not indulging in snarky send-ups, Avril delivers strong girl-power messages (although sometimes heavy on self-absorption) with a flamboyant and direct touch (\"I'm better off without you anyway/I thought it would be hard but I'm OK/I don't need you if you're going to be that way/Cause with me it's all or nothing\" in \"I Can Do Better\").
Is it any good?
Though other lyrics address more traditional lovesick longing, there's an overall sense of empowerment and control, spiced with an ironic wink that helps get these simple, appealing songs across. There's no doubt that tween girls will sing along on the hook-filled choruses, but their parents and older siblings might find themselves surprisingly engaged as well, especially on "Keep Holding On," the album's dramatic finale.