Avril Lavigne

Under My Skin (Arista)

Ever heard the old saying, "You can't polish a turd?" These are the exact words I would have spoken to the incomparable Butch Walker before he signed on as producer of this record. He did a damn good job on the production end -- as good as one could do, given the material. Apparently, Avril has decided to stop taking flak for not penning her own songs. To take her revenge on all of us, she made sure she had a hand in every song on the album. That's great, because I never realized there are oh-so-many ways to rhyme the words mad and sad and light and bright. The greatest accomplishment on this album is how she manages to rip off Alanis Morissette, Evanescence, and even the Donnas -- often within the confines of a single song! That is no easy feat.

OK, I'm sure Avril isn't the satanic ho-bag we all make her out to be. We shouldn't hate her. She's just trying to work out her issues with lame-o boyfriends and the hardships of being a 19-year-old millionaire on autobiographical ditties like "Together" and "Don't Tell Me." Avril's true fans will stick with her on the pop-tastic Under My Skin. Otherwise, this CD makes a great coaster. -- Maggie-Margret

 
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