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Avril Lavigne|Head Above Water

Head Above Water

Avril Lavigne

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Roughly a year after Avril Lavigne released her eponymous fifth album in 2013, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Her illness informs Head Above Water, which arrives six long years after Avril Lavigne -- the longest time separating Lavigne albums by far. Considering that half-decade gap and all the personal turmoil the singer endured, it scans that Head Above Water unveils a different Avril Lavigne, one who proudly bears her scars and is eager to share her journey. Head Above Water has its moments of darkness, but they're not sad, they're stirring. The album is designed to offer solace while also being a rallying call. Inspirational music, in other words, so it's not entirely surprising that its title track was serviced to Christian radio in advance of its release -- a gambit that proved successful, since "Head Above Water" went to number five on the Christian radio chart. Despite this, Head Above Water can't be called Christian music by any measure -- no album with "Dumb Blonde," a cherry bomb stomp of defiance featuring a Nicki Minaj verse could -- but its quieter, contemplative moments, of which there are many, do veer toward the aspirational pop of Rachel Platten, a sign Lavigne is no longer the mall punk of lore. Although the album is weighed heavily by ballads suited for adult contemporary radio, Lavigne fortunately peppers it with moments of levity: "Tell Me It's Over" sways with echoes of a '50s slow dance, "Crush" is so light it floats into the stratosphere, and "Bigger Wow" swells with strings reminiscent of vintage Vanessa Carlton. Such moments provide a needed contrast to the motivational ones while also connecting to Lavigne's bubblegum roots, a move that makes the overall maturation of the album feel earned.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Head Above Water

Avril Lavigne

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1
Head Above Water
00:03:40

Kevin Fox, Cello - Stephan Moccio, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, Piano, Background Vocals, VocalProducer - Paul Bushnell, Bass Guitar - John Hanes, Engineer - Chris Gehringer, MasteringEngineer - Serban Ghenea, MixingEngineer - Will Quinnell, Masterer - Chad Kroeger, VocalProducer - Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, Cello - Aaron Sterling, Drums, AdditionalEngineer - Chris Baseford, Engineer, Drum Programmer, VocalProducer - Avril Lavigne, Composer, MainArtist - Travis Clark, Composer - Jonathan Martin Berry, Guitar - Jay Paul Bicknell, Engineer, Additional Producer, Drum Programmer - Kylen Deporter, Background Vocals, AssistantEngineer

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

2
Birdie
00:03:35

John Hanes, Engineer - Chris Gehringer, MasteringEngineer - Serban Ghenea, MixingEngineer - Will Quinnell, Masterer - Chris Baseford, Engineer, VocalProducer - Avril Lavigne, Composer, MainArtist - Sam Kalandjian, Engineer - Scott Robinson, Engineer - JR Rotem, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer - zane carney, Guitar

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

3
I Fell In Love With The Devil
00:04:15

Larry Gold, String Arranger - John Hanes, Engineer - Chris Gehringer, MasteringEngineer - Serban Ghenea, MixingEngineer - Will Quinnell, Masterer - Chris Baseford, Producer, Engineer - Avril Lavigne, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - zane carney, Guitar

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

4
Tell Me It's Over
00:03:08

Justin Gray, Composer - John Hanes, Engineer - Chris Gehringer, MasteringEngineer - Serban Ghenea, MixingEngineer - Sam Holland, RecordingEngineer - Will Quinnell, Masterer - Johan Carlsson, Composer, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano, Programmer, Background Vocals, Wurlitzer - Avril Lavigne, Composer, MainArtist - Wojtek Goral, Baritone Saxophone - Mattias Bylund, String Arranger, Engineer, Arrangement Horn, Strings, Synthesizer - Ryan Cabrera, Composer - Mika Lett, Background Vocals - Maiya Sykes, Background Vocals - Tomas Jonsson, Tenor Saxophone - Mattias Johansson, Violin - Noah "Mailbox" Passovoy, VocalProducer - Cory Bice, AssistantEngineer - David Bukovinszky, Cello - Melissa Bel, Composer - Jeremy Lertola, Engineer - Janne Bjerger, Trumpet - Peter Noos Johansson, Trombone

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

5
Dumb Blonde (feat. Nicki Minaj)
00:03:34

Mitch Allan, Composer, Producer, VocalProducer - Chris Gehringer, MasteringEngineer - Will Quinnell, Masterer - TONY MASERATI, MixingEngineer - Bonnie McKee, Composer, Additional Production - Chris Baseford, VocalProducer - Avril Lavigne, Composer, MainArtist - Scott Robinson, VocalProducer - Nicki Minaj, FeaturedArtist - Chantry Johnson, Engineer - Caleb Hulin, Engineer

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

6
It Was In Me
00:03:43

Lauren Christy, Composer, VocalProducer - John Hanes, Engineer - Chris Gehringer, MasteringEngineer - Serban Ghenea, MixingEngineer - Sam Holland, RecordingEngineer - Will Quinnell, Masterer - Johan Carlsson, Composer, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Organ, Piano, Programmer, Tambourine, Background Vocals, Claps, VocalProducer - Chris Baseford, Engineer - Avril Lavigne, Composer, MainArtist - Mattias Bylund, String Arranger, Engineer, Strings, Synthesizer - Mika Lett, Background Vocals - Maiya Sykes, Background Vocals - Mattias Johansson, Violin - Cory Bice, AssistantEngineer - David Bukovinszky, Cello - Jeremy Lertola, RecordingEngineer

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

7
Souvenir
00:02:57

Lauren Christy, Composer, Producer - Jon Levine, Producer, MixingEngineer - Chris Gehringer, MasteringEngineer - Will Quinnell, Masterer - Avril Lavigne, Composer, MainArtist - Corky James, Guitar

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

8
Crush
00:03:33

Michael Zitron, Drums - Johan Carlsson, Composer, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano, Tambourine, Background Vocals, Synthesizer, Marimba, Mellotron, Shaker - Avril Lavigne, Composer, MainArtist - Mattias Bylund, String Arranger, Engineer, Strings, Synthesizer - Mika Lett, Background Vocals - zane carney, Composer, Electric Guitar - Maiya Sykes, Background Vocals - Mattias Johansson, Violin - Noah "Mailbox" Passovoy, VocalProducer - David Bukovinszky, Cello

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

9
Goddess
00:03:41

John Hanes, Engineer - Chris Gehringer, MasteringEngineer - Serban Ghenea, MixingEngineer - Sam Holland, RecordingEngineer - Will Quinnell, Masterer - Johan Carlsson, Composer, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Programmer, Synthesizer, VocalProducer - Avril Lavigne, Composer, MainArtist - Ross Golan, Composer - Cory Bice, AssistantEngineer - Jeremy Lertola, Acoustic Guitar, Programmer, Synthesizer

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

10
Bigger Wow
00:02:55

Lauren Christy, Composer, Producer - Jon Levine, Composer, Producer - Chris Gehringer, MasteringEngineer - Will Quinnell, Masterer - Avril Lavigne, Composer, MainArtist - Serge Courtois, MixingEngineer

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

11
Love Me Insane
00:03:00

Lauren Christy, Composer, Producer - Jon Levine, Producer - Chris Gehringer, MasteringEngineer - Will Quinnell, Masterer - Avril Lavigne, Composer, MainArtist - Serge Courtois, MixingEngineer

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

12
Warrior
00:03:45

Larry Gold, String Arranger - Chris Gehringer, MasteringEngineer - Will Quinnell, Masterer - Chad Kroeger, Composer - Chris Baseford, MixingEngineer - Avril Lavigne, Composer, MainArtist - Travis Clark, Composer

© 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2018 Avril Lavigne Music & Entertainment under exclusive license to BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Album Description

Roughly a year after Avril Lavigne released her eponymous fifth album in 2013, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Her illness informs Head Above Water, which arrives six long years after Avril Lavigne -- the longest time separating Lavigne albums by far. Considering that half-decade gap and all the personal turmoil the singer endured, it scans that Head Above Water unveils a different Avril Lavigne, one who proudly bears her scars and is eager to share her journey. Head Above Water has its moments of darkness, but they're not sad, they're stirring. The album is designed to offer solace while also being a rallying call. Inspirational music, in other words, so it's not entirely surprising that its title track was serviced to Christian radio in advance of its release -- a gambit that proved successful, since "Head Above Water" went to number five on the Christian radio chart. Despite this, Head Above Water can't be called Christian music by any measure -- no album with "Dumb Blonde," a cherry bomb stomp of defiance featuring a Nicki Minaj verse could -- but its quieter, contemplative moments, of which there are many, do veer toward the aspirational pop of Rachel Platten, a sign Lavigne is no longer the mall punk of lore. Although the album is weighed heavily by ballads suited for adult contemporary radio, Lavigne fortunately peppers it with moments of levity: "Tell Me It's Over" sways with echoes of a '50s slow dance, "Crush" is so light it floats into the stratosphere, and "Bigger Wow" swells with strings reminiscent of vintage Vanessa Carlton. Such moments provide a needed contrast to the motivational ones while also connecting to Lavigne's bubblegum roots, a move that makes the overall maturation of the album feel earned.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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