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Avril Lavigne is a girl who knows what she wants. And when it came to writing her eagerly awaited third album, The Best Damn Thing, she had one very clear goal in mind: To make it fun. While touring in 2004 for her last album, Under My Skin, which sold more than 8 million copies worldwide, the Canadian-born punk-pop dynamo found that her favorite songs to play were the faster, more up-tempo songs so she resolved to make a record that captured the kind of high-spirited, full-throttle energy that she loved to unleash on-stage.
The Best Damn Thing is brimming with gutsy guitar riffs, instantaneously catchy sing-along party-starting choruses, power pop punk, and rebellious rock 'n' roll attitude. It's a marked departure from the darker, more introspective tone of Under My Skin and on tracks such as the defiant, riotous, kiss-off-to-a-cheating-boyfriend "Everything Back But You", Avril took pleasure in creating scenarios for her lyrics that weren't, as she says, "straight out of my diary." The result is a collection of songs that reveal just how far she's evolved as a songwriter and singer, from the sassy, empowering "I Can Do Better" (one of Avril's personal favorites) to the irrepressible first single "Girlfriend" which unexpectedly combines a hip-hop beat with beefy power chords, hand-claps, and a chanted girl-group-style chorus with a punk rock twist to the emotional ballad "Keep Holding On", which she wrote at the request of 20th Century Fox for the studio's fantasy/adventure film Eragon.
Of course, all of the spiky, buoyant energy that drives the album will come to life in the live show that Avril is planning for her tour later this year. She has assembled a new band, and is even bringing along two dancers ("I'm doing choreographed dancing for the first time ever," she grins. "It's going to be such a blast").
She may be a bit more sophisticated these days, but she's still peerless, and still fearless. The Best Damn Thing is Avril Lavigne at a new stage in her life; she's passed through the shadows of teen angst and emerged in a spotlight, ready to have fun and rock out and yes, even dance. It is, just as she intended, the best damn thing she's ever done.