Let Go is the debut album by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne, released on June 4, 2002. For a year after signing a record deal with Arista, Lavigne struggled due to conflicts in musical direction. Lavigne relocated to Los Angeles, California, and recorded there her earlier materials for the album, the kind of sound of which the label was not amenable. She was paired to the production team The Matrix, who understood her vision for the album.
The album was credited as the biggest pop debut of 2002. It was released to generally positive critical reviews, although Lavigne's songwriting received some criticism, Let Go was 6x platinum in the United States. It also did extremely well in Canada, receiving a diamond certification from the Canadian Recording Industry Association, as well as reaching multi-platinum in many countries around the world, including the UK in which she became the youngest female solo artist to have a number-one album in the region.
As of May 2008, Let Go had sold over 16 million copies worldwide, becoming Lavigne's highest-selling album to date. According to Billboard Magazine the album was the number 21 top-selling album of the decade. A Rolling Stone readers poll named Let Go as the fourth best album of the 2000s.
User Album Review
Musical snobs over the age of 21 are likely to be highly suspicious of Avril Lavigne. She's only 17, she's pretty, she's sold a zillion albums already, she talks a lot about keeping it real: she must be rubbish, right?
Wrong. Avril's current single 'Sk8ter Boi' is brilliant. It's a classic high energy pop song with crunchy guitars and a great hook. Its tale of a snobby girl who rejects the loser who becomes a grunge superstar while she turns into a single mum is as slick and clever as an episode of Buffy. It bowls you over with its energy and sticks in your mind.
It's one of the best tracks on this uneven debut album. 'Losing Grip', the opening track, is another absolute cracker. When the guitar and the scratching cuts in at maximum volume and Avril starts wailing about some boy who did her wrong, I'm with her all the way: it seems real enough, exciting enough to me. And in the quiet bits her voice has the purity of a folk singer.
'Complicated' you already know about: a classic radio friendly pop song that lodges in your head. And 'I'm With You' is a sweet and rather touching power ballad, and must be the next single.
But about half the album plays far too safe: not enough raw guitar, too many weak songs. Every one needs to be a potential single and some aren't. 'My World' contains some horrible rapping that even an eleven year old would find embarrassing. Lyrics like "Sometimes I get so weird I even freak myself out" are pretty naïve.
But these are the mistakes of someone still learning. I'd take 'Losing Grip' over the supposedly more adult but actually more self indulgent angst rock of Tori Amos or Alanis Morrissette. There's nothing better than anger combined with a great pop hook. More quality control, more grit and Avril will build her current success into a long, bright future.
External Album Reviews