Rock N Roll
Album: Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne reminds everyone she’s as cool as she was 11 years ago in the oafish “Rock N Roll.”
Muffled vocals open the single, setting a live tone. In the intro, she announces she’s the same punk she’s always been. (“Let em know that we're still rock n roll.”)
She’s not a girly girl, choosing not to wear any makeup when she goes out. She prefers the casual look. Her usual outfit is a band t-shirt and jeans with homemade holes in them, which came about through washing and or she simply tore herself. Even though she’s nearing 30, she will talk back. Her sniveling ticks off her boyfriend but she shrugs her shoulders and continues with what she was doing. She likes standing out. She sees people in the city wearing the same fashions but in different colors walking to the latest trendy hotspot. Ironically, she references a lyric from her 2007 hit “Girlfriend” when she was in her glamorous phase. (“I don't care about my makeup/I like it better with my jeans all ripped up/Don't know how to keep my mouth shut/You say “so what” (what)/I don' t care if I'm misfit/I like it better than the hipster bullshit/I am the ************* princess/You still love me.”)
In the pre-chorus, her boyfriend knows the nuances of her personality, viewing her as a whole person and not a stereotype. No matter where she goes, she would like to share her experiences with him. She manages to stick in a reference to her hit “I’m With You.” He knows what to expect from her and doesn’t have any desire to change her. (“Some some way/It's a little different when/I'm with you/You know what I really am/All about/You know how it really goes/Some some way/We'll be getting out of this/Time one day/You're the only that I/Want with me/You know how the story goes.”)
In the chorus, it’s her and her boyfriend versus the world. They won’t people label them. They’ll drown out the mainstream pop with classic rock. They’ll remain defiant to any rules they encounter. They are tough and will be doing the screwing. No one will screw them over. (“When it's you and me/We don't need no one to tell us who to be/We'll keep turning up the radio/Well it's you and I/What if you and I put up a middle finger to the sky/Let them know we're still rock 'n roll.”)
In the break, she chants “rock n roll/hey, hey hey” twice.
At her job, she’s gotten several lectures about her behavior. She recently got a tattoo on her arm. Late that afternoon on Monday, she was called in for a meeting. She was told by her boss to put a band-aid over her tattoo. While she’s working, she’s planning a design to put on her other arm. Her problem with authority has been going on since she was a kid. It likely stems from her parents’ divorce from when she was little. It doesn’t bother her that she’s known for being surly and mouthy. She remembers her dad tellings stories about protests on college campuses. She wonders if she should’ve been alive then. No one would’ve cared then. She would’ve been thought of as a progessive. She tells her boyfriend to grab some beer. She wants to get drunk tonight. (“Call it a bad attitude dude/I ain’t never going to cover up a tattoo/I might have a couple issues/You say “me too” (yeah)/Don't care about reputation/Must be living in the wrong generation/This is your invitation/Let's get wasted.”)
The part of the pre-chorus is sung again. “Some some how/It's a little different when/I'm with you/You know what I really am/All about/You know how the story really goes.”)
The chorus is sung again.
She chants “rock n roll/hey hey hey” twice again.
The chorus is sung twice.
She chants “rock n roll/hey hey hey” twice again to end the single.
Lavigne’s toneless, phonetic vocals flirt, twirling her hair and smacking on her gum as she toys with the beat. She’s with the band and isn’t above using it to her advantage. She’s relegated herself to an aging groupie trying to remain relevant admidst a shameless and brazen younger crowd.
Her regression back to being a punk is unfortunate. First, she’s too old for it. It’s embarassing to a hear a near-30 year old proclaim herself proud of being a problem child. Second, referencing her earlier hits draws attention to her desperation and far superior songs with The Matrix. Whatever growth that occurred during 2011’s “Goodbye Lullaby” has been erased.
The pitiful “Rock N Roll” maintains an image she outgrew several albums ago, refusing to let go. (Pun intentional.)