Avril Lavigne’s ‘Love Sux’ brings early 2000s sound to 2022

Avril Lavigne’s most recent album, ‘Love Sux,’ was released Feb. 25. Lavigne’s album sports talent like Machine Gun Kelly, Mark Hoppus, and Blackbear.


Guy Rhodes/USA Today Sports

Feb 28, 2010; Vancouver, BC, CANADA; Avril Lavigne performs during the Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics at BC Place.

Ariana Lessard, Arts Reporter

Her newest album makes it clear: Avril Lavigne hasn’t changed much over the past two decades. On Feb. 25, Lavigne released her seventh album, Love Sux. The 37-year-old Canadian artist has returned to her roots, as her new album stays true to her signature pop-punk style while showcasing newer talents.

Lavigne first appeared in the pop-punk scene in the early 2000s with her album Let Go. Lavigne has proven herself to be an unapologetically bold artist over the years, with a sound that rings similar to Blink-182, but with lyrics centered more around female empowerment.

Some may have stopped keeping tabs on Lavigne after 2011, but she has not stopped producing music. Her previous album, Head Above Water, was released in 2019. Over the course of her career, Lavigne has not strayed from her traditional sound, releasing testament after testament to the early 2000s. Love Sux is no exception.

“Cannonball,” the opening track on the album, starts off just as fiery and loud as its name implies. “Like a ticking time bomb, I’m about to explode,” Lavigne declares, starting the song at a sprint, with quick vocals and intense accompaniment.

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“Love Sux,” one of the pre-released songs on the album, as well as the album’s namesake, sounds like it could play over the opening getting-ready-for-school montage in an early 2000s teen flick. In fact, I can hear almost every song on the album being played over a scene of Lindsey Lohan or Hillary Duff in their Disney years, applying makeup in front of a dresser. The combination of unapologetic teenage angst with a quick-paced pop-punk background reminds me of the aesthetic curated in those opening montages of teen movies that I grew up with as a kid in the 2000s.

“Dare to Love Me” delves into Lavigne’s romantic trust issues. The song is a declaration that she will not accept any false love — announcing, “So don’t tell me that you love me if you don’t mean it.” This song fluctuates its speed, at points moving quickly and precisely, and at others slow and purposeful.

In reference to the title of her previous hit “Sk8er Boi,” one of the album’s songs, “Bois Lie,” features Machine Gun Kelly. Both their voices and attitudes complement each another beautifully. The whole song depicts a self-sustaining cycle as Lavigne declares, “Boys lie, I can too,” while Kelly argues that “Girls lie, I can too.”

“Avalanche” discusses how it feels to run from pain. Lavigne opens with, “I keep just trying to make it to the end of the day, you know I hate it,” and the song only got sadder from there. Still, her heartbreaking lyrics are set to another pop-punk backtrack, making the message more digestible.

Lavigne ultimately released a tribute to the early 2000s pop-punk movement with Love Sux. Her voice hasn’t aged a day — neither has her sound — and this album is exactly what I was hoping for: classic Avril Lavigne brought to the year 2022.

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