No doubt Avril Lavigne's third album was a tricky one to put together. Every tween-queen wannabe from Kelly Clarkson to Lindsay Lohan had successfully co-opted Lavigne's sound, threatening to make her sound so, like, you know, 2004. Considering this, much credit goes to Lavigne or whichever manager or producer or committee that came up with the career-saving The Best Damn Thing. If you've heard the second single, the driving cheerleader-pop of "Girlfriend," you know what you're in for: 12 tracks of relentless, hooky rock-pop — relentless is the key word here, as even the power ballad breaks ("When You're Gone," "Innocence" and "Keep Holding On") don't slow the tempo down much. Fortunately, there isn't any filler to bog down the proceedings. Lavigne has found another standout sonic niche with The Best Damn Thing. (Sony BMG)
3 stars out of 5
About Robert J. Ballantyne
Robert J.Ballantyne is a senior editor at Popjournalism and Creative Director at Artsculture.ca. Previously, he was a journalist at the CBC on a number of news programs including the fifth estate, Marketplace and The National. He also worked as a staff writer at the Toronto Star.