Saturday, May 08, 2004

UNCOMPLICATED: We've just been watching CNN's The Music Room (no longer sponsored by Toyota, who've probably realised that the break bumper of a woman dancing about apparently unaware she's about to get a racing car up her arse wasn't a great advert.) They were focusing on Avril Lavigne - of course, an old friend of No Rock, so we were interested to see what she had to say.

Actually, you know, we don't think we've ever watched an interview with her before, because it's quite a treat. The woman clearly has nothing going on in her mind as her responses, empty as they are, take so long to form she makes Donald Rumsfeld look like Marvo The Memory Man. She explains the title of her album - "Under My Skin", which she clearly thinks is some difficult, obscure concept - after a lot of Miss World smiling and thought as being "that's where I write about stuff that's there"; which we think means that she writes about the stuff that's under her skin, rather than she peels back the top layer of her epidermis and scrawls down her lyrics on the underside of her flesh. Although we'd quite like to see that.

And what lyrics, eh? She's obviously put her foot down and insisted on being allowed a little more of herself on the new album, and it suddenly becomes clear why she's keen to stress that she's not a teenager any more: because if you tried to date her on songwords alone, you'd think she was a not particularly gifted thirteen year old:

"He gave me a kiss/ it went something like this/ it made me go/ oh oh"

"I sit on my bed alone/ staring at the phone"

And so on.

She does acknowledge that the new album isn't all her own work, becuase she got help from her friends. Everyone who worked on the album was a friend, it seems, and Chantal Kreviazuk is her best friend - by which, we presume, she means she wrote the most of it. On the other hand, this does seem to be part of a push by the Lavigne camp to try and suggest that this album isn't all custom fit, but we're so not buying the 'hey-my-best-friend-happens-to-be-a-famous-songwriter' schtick. It might be they get on know, having spent some time at the office together, indeed a while back, the story was they got to be good friends while writing. (That link also offers up a wonderful quote where Avril describes the death of her grandad: [it was] really hard for me to deal with. But it was good 'cause I was able to write about it." So long as his death wasn't in vain, then.

The Music Room then trotted out a bunch of other, bright eyed, vaguely punklite girls from Tornoto, all of whom had two things in common: they all sounded like Avril Lavigne, and they all insist they aren't anything like Avril Lavigne. To be fair, all of them are at least able to deliver responses to interview questions and give the impression they actually understood what they were being asked. But none of the - Lillix (Avril-as-band), FeFe Dobson (the black Avril), not even Katy Rose, the Avriliest of them all - realised that desperately trying to deny they're record label composites put together to be a bit like Avril is such an Avril thing to do. Katy Rose wins extra points, though, for insisting that the world will see that to be the case "once they hear my b-sides." Because, of course, that's where the soul of an artist would be.

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