Under My Skin is the second studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne, released worldwide on May 25, 2004; It was her last album with Arista Records. Under My Skin debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 albums chart and according to Billboard magazine, was ranked number 149 on the list of top-selling album of the 2000s. It has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, three millions of which were sold in the USA, ranking the album #148 on the Billboard 200 Decade End Chart.
Having no plans of working with producers or professional writers, Lavigne wrote much of the album with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, with whom she had developed a friendship in the summer of 2003. Kreviazuk, whose husband Raine Maida's band Our Lady Peace opened for Lavigne's concert in Europe, introduced herself at an after-party for the SARS benefit concerts held in Toronto in June 2003.
The following day, Lavigne and Kreviazuk ate lunch together, during when Lavigne shared how she wanted the development of the album to be. They wrote songs for almost three weeks at Maida's warehouse in Toronto. Kreviazuk invited Lavigne to continue working in a Malibu, California house she shared with Maida, which contained a recording studio. Many of the tracks in the album were recorded in Malibu.
User Album Review
With her self-penned songs stamping a bovver-boot over the vagaries of adolescent angst, this tomboy of teen rock kicked into the chart two years ago, providing a refreshing alternative to the bubbling broth of confectionary pop.
So, has the 19-year-old matured from the punk pixie doing time in the skate park and finding things just oh-so complicated? Well, the stock loaded guitar riffs, ambling piano melodies and brooding vocals suggest that Avril is desperate to ditch the mantle of youth and be taken seriously as an artiste.
But this is where she goes wrong. We enter the world of dating with Avril and what a gloomy, dire place it is. Too many tracks, such as 'Take Me Away' and 'My Happy Ending', pivot on the pain and despair of relationships going off the boil and, despite the stadium-rousing choruses, her whiney vocals and trite lyrics imply that madam is merely having a strop rather than wearing the hair shirt of Alanis Morrissette-style suffering.
'Don't Tell Me' turns all coy with the finger-wagging warning to her boyfriend, "Did I not tell you that I'm not like that girl, the one who gives it all away". So it's with relief that 'He Wasn't' leaps out with all the plucky cheek of old-skool Avril. A punchy chorus harks back to the kohl-lined rock chicks of yesteryear but possesses enough contemporary verve to set it up alongside the best of Busted. Similarly, the final track on the album, 'I Always Get What I Want' delivers a healthy slap in the face of authority, smacks heavily of Transvision Vamp and suggests that Avril isn't quite ready to grow up.
The combined writing efforts of band mate, Evan Taubenfeld, ex Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody and the watchful eye of Linkin Park producer Da Gilmore infuse the album with a nu-metal edge that might levitate this release from the ashes of forgettable rock but until Avril learns to take herself a little less seriously and manage a glimmer of a smile, she will continue to sound like a petulant teenager having a strop.
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